In Allegheny County in 2018, there were 23 child fatalities or near fatalities that were the result of suspected abuse or neglect. The County is required by state law to review each of these fatal or near-fatal events and use the information to improve practice and systems. This data brief describes the incidents that occurred in 2018, including victim and perpetrator demographics, cause of death/injury and families’ prior involvement with the child welfare system. Findings include:
- 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.