Spotlight – Oklahoma

Lisa Rhoades
Oklahoma Child Death Review Board
1111 N. Lee, Ste. 500
Oklahoma City, OK 73103
Phone: 405-606-4900
Email:Lisa.Rhoades@occy.ok.gov

Website: http://www.ok.gov/occy/Programs/Child_Death_Review_Board/

Tools

Reports

Mortality Statistics

Program Description

Administration
Oklahoma’s Child Death Review Board was established in 1991 and is a program of the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth. Funding for the program is year-to-year. There is one employee for both the state and local level.

Teams
Oklahoma has both a state and regional teams. Currently, there are four regional teams reviewing cases. Teams conduct retrospective/periodic case reviews for their geographic area.

State Team: (Chairperson – Andi Grosvald-Hamilton, Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation))
The team is comprised of 27 members and meets monthly.

Eastern Regional Review Team: (Chairperson – Tonya James, Child Development Specialist)
The team is comprised of 6 members and meets quarterly.

Southwestern Regional Review Team: (Chairperson – Jason Hicks, JD, District Attorney)
The team is comprised of 7 members and meets quarterly.

Southeastern Regional Review Team: (Chairperson -Jerrell Hoffman, Oklahoma Department of Human Services)
The team is comprised of 6 members and meets quarterly.

Tulsa Regional Review Team: (Chairperson – Rose Turner, LCSW, Vice President of Clinical Programs and Counseling, Domestic Violent Intervention Services, Inc.
The team is comprised of 8 members and meets every other month.

Reviews
Oklahoma CDR teams review unattended deaths of children under the age of 18 years old. Serious injuries/near fatalities are also reviewed.

Purpose
The Oklahoma CDR is statutorily required to:

  • Establish and maintain statistical information related to the deaths and near deaths of children including, but not limited to, demographic and medical diagnostic information;
  • Review the policies, practices, and procedures of the child protection system and make specific recommendations to the entities comprising the child protection system for actions necessary for the improvement of the system;
  • Review the extent to which the state child protection system is coordinated with foster care and adoption programs and evaluated whether the state is efficiently discharging its child protection responsibilities under the federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act state plan;
  • As necessary and appropriate, for the protection of the siblings of a child who dies and whose siblings are deemed to be living in a dangerous environment, refer specific cases to the Department of Human Services or the appropriate district attorney for further investigation;
  • Report, if recommended by a majority vote of the Board, to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives any gross neglect of duty by any state officer of state employee, or any problem within the child protective services system discovered by the Board while performing its duties;
  • Recommend, when appropriate, amendment of the cause or manner of death listed on the death certificate.

Data
Standardized data reporting forms are completed for all reviews are entered onto a web based database. CDR data is stored electronically and is analyzed statistically.

Annual Report
Oklahoma does produce an annual report and is submitted to the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth and any additional interested parties.

Prevention Initiatives
Although the Oklahoma Child Death Review Board is not statutorily required to create and/or participate in prevention initiatives, CDR findings have influenced policy and procedural changes. Statewide examples include automatic toxicology screens for all unexplained deaths of children, autopsies are now required in all deaths before the manner of death can be listed as SIDS and a death scene investigation card has been created for all first responders in the state. Prevention activities include the passage of legislation for a graduated driver’s license program and improvements to child passenger restraint laws. The Oklahoma CDRB is also a partner in the statewide infant mortality initiative Preparing for a Lifetime: It’s Everyone’s Responsibility (PFL), with CDRB staff involved in statewide efforts to reduce of abusive head trauma.

Protocols
Oklahoma CDR has a variety of protocols in place including CDR meeting, child death investigation (death scene investigation cards and promotion of SUIDI protocols) and confidentiality.

Training
Training for new board members is conducted by staff and senior board members.

Last Updated: January 2019