Skip to content
Company Logo
Child Death Review - A Guide for Parents and Carers

Child Death Review - A Guide for Parents and Carers

Parents and family members should be informed that their child's death will be reviewed, as they may have significant information and questions to contribute to the review process.

Parents and family members should be assured that the objective of the child death review process is to learn lessons in order to improve the health, safety and well being of children and ultimately, hopefully, to prevent further such child deaths. The process is not about culpability or blame.

Leaflet for parents and carers by Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership 'What we have to do when a child dies'.

The HSCP, acting through the CDOP should agree what information is to be shared with parents and family members and ensure that a professional known to the family conveys to them agreed information in a sensitive and timely manner. Decisions on information sharing (i.e. what information is shared, with whom, and why) must be recorded in each agency's records. It is not appropriate however, for parents to attend the CDOP meeting as this is a meeting for professionals to discuss not only the individual case but also wider public health issues. Parents should however be encouraged to contribute any comments or questions they might have to the review of their child's death.

Parents should be informed that all cases will be anonymous which is it missed prior to discussion by the CDOP, information gathered will be stored securely and only anonymised data will be collated at a regional or national level. Parents should also be made aware that the CDOP will make recommendations and report on the lessons learned to the HSCP. The HSCP produces an annual report which is a public document, but it will not contain any personal information that could identify an individual child or their family.

CDOPs should ensure that whenever necessary, arrangements are made for the family to have the opportunity to meet with relevant professionals, for example a paediatrician or a Police officer to help answer their questions.

To help and support parents or carers who lose a baby suddenly and unexpectedly the Lullaby Trust has produced a leaflet entitled: When a baby dies suddenly and unexpectedly.  

Last Updated: December 7, 2023