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The term of the Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities expired on March 18, 2016.

We Cannot Do This Work Alone

Filed in Commissioner’s Blog By on May 30, 2014

By David Sanders, Chairman

June 1, 2014

Dr. David Sanders

It is my great privilege to introduce myself as chairman of the Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities (CECANF). My fellow commissioners and I are committed to fulfilling our mandate to develop a national strategy and recommendations for reducing fatalities resulting from child abuse and neglect. This work is critical — and we cannot do it alone.

The tragedy of child deaths from abuse and neglect touches us all. It is not the sole responsibility of law enforcement, the medical field, or the child welfare system. It is not exclusively a national, state, or local issue. Solutions must be informed by experts on all aspects of the problem, including those specializing in research, policy, and practice.

To this end, the Commission has already begun meeting with stakeholders—a process that will continue throughout the next two years as we formulate our recommendations. In April, we presented to approximately 40 attendees of the 19th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, sponsored by the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect (OCAN). At that meeting, we received valuable suggestions to help us plan for additional meetings across the country. In May, we met with a group of local Prevent Child Abuse executive directors, as well as with OCAN’s Federal Interagency Work Group on Child Abuse and Neglect, a group that comprises representatives from more than 40 federal agencies concerned with child maltreatment. Additional meetings are planned throughout the summer, including presentations at the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC) annual colloquium and the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators (NAPCWA) annual meeting, both in June.

The Commission’s first state meeting will be held in San Antonio, Texas, on June 2–3, 2014. Our goal will be to gather detailed information and insight related to federal policy, research, and practice associated with child abuse and neglect fatalities, with a practice focus on Texas. We will look, in particular, at the complexities of how these deaths are counted, and how that affects our understanding of the true scope of the problem.

In the coming months, the Commission will hold additional meetings around the country, continuing to gather perspectives from a diverse group of public officials, experts, and other stakeholders about the factors associated with child fatalities due to abuse and neglect and the strategies needed to eliminate such tragic deaths. Our next two meetings will be July 10 in Tampa, Florida, and August 28 in Detroit, Michigan. Further information about these meetings, including how the public can attend and participate, will be posted on this website and in the Federal Register.

The problem of child abuse and neglect fatalities is broad and complex. Identifying effective solutions will require the participation of many. Whether you attend one of our upcoming public meetings, or simply send us your comments via this website, my fellow commissioners and I thank you for your participation and look forward to hearing from you.

CECANF Reception

Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) welcomes the CECANF Commissioners to San Antonio, Texas. Shown (l-r): Theresa Covington, Dr. Cassie Statuto Bevan, Michael Petit, Rep. Doggett, Dr. David Sanders, Marilyn Zimmerman, Dr. Wade Horn, Amy Ayoub, Hon. Patricia Martin, Jennifer Rodriguez, Dr. David Rubin. Not present: Commissioners Bud Cramer and Susan Dreyfus.

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