On Friday, January 21st, Baltimore City published its 2021 Child Fatality Review Report.
The report analyzes and compiles data regarding deaths of City residents under the age of 17 for the purposes of determining what interventions should be put in place to effectively prevent future fatalities.
Mayor Brandon M. Scott discussed the CFR report’s findings and recommendations in a press release:
“As a city, we continue to lose too many of our young people to violence and neglect. These are children and teenagers who will never be able to grow up and realize their full potential,” said Mayor Scott. “This report and its recommendations tie directly into our shared vision for equity throughout our city. An overwhelming majority of the young people we lose to violence each year are children of color. We cannot lift our Black and Brown communities out of poverty and overcome systemic disinvestment without specifically prioritizing the safety of our youth.”
The City Administration highlighted the following findings from the report:
- Homicide is the leading cause of child fatality, with 45 youth ages seven to 17 killed by a non-relative third party and 24 children from birth to age seven killed by a parent or caregiver;
- Child fatality victims are predominantly (1) vulnerable infants and children, and (2) teens aged 16-17 struggling in school and involved in the juvenile justice system.
- 90 percent of children who died were children of color, reflecting the structural racism that is a root cause of the harrowing social and environmental factors underlying child fatality.
- Caregivers are struggling with substance use, mental health disorders, domestic violence, their own trauma, poverty, and living in violent neighborhoods.
- Two-thirds of the children were found to have four or more adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), indicating a high level of trauma and adversity in their short lives.
- Baltimore City’s health, child welfare, education, and criminal justice systems represent tremendous opportunity for prevention and intervention, but resources are sorely needed.
The full Child Fatality Review Report can be found here.