Child Fatalities and Near Fatalities in Allegheny County

Latest report

What are child fatalities and near fatalities?

The County is required by state law to review each death or near-death of a child and use the information to improve practice and systems.

What can these reports tell us?

This series of reports describes findings and outcomes from child fatality/near-fatality (CFNF) reviews. Information about the incidents—including victim and perpetrator demographics, cause of death/injury and families’ prior involvement with the child welfare system—is available in these reports as well as case practice and system reforms enacted to reduce the likelihood of future child abuse-related incidents.

What are the key takeaways?

  • In Allegheny County in 2018 there were 23 child fatalities or near fatalities.
  • During that year, there were four child fatalities and 19 near fatalities, which is 11 more total incidents than 2017 and similar to 2016 data.
  • Forty-four percent of victims (10) were under one year of age. The remaining victims were age 1 (four children), ages 2–5 (five children), and older than 5 (four children).
  • Violent acts (48%, 11) were the leading causes of both fatal and near-fatal injuries. The reported causes of the four fatalities were inflicted bodily injuries and drug ingestion.
  • Most of the named perpetrators of fatalities (75%) and near fatalities (66%) were the parents of the children, and most incidents occurred in family homes.
  • Almost 80% of families (18) had either previous or current child welfare system involvement.

Previous reports