According to the U.S. Department of Justice Investigating Child Deaths (2005), understanding the dynamics that contribute to child deaths is crucial to the effective investigation of child fatalities. Caring for children can be very stressful for parents and other caretakers with underdeveloped parenting and coping skills and may result in the unintentional death of the child.
The investigation of child deaths is one of the most challenging and complex responsibilities of the child welfare system. Local Child Protective Services (CPS) investigate child deaths that are suspicious for abuse or neglect. These investigations have the best outcomes when they are conducted jointly by law enforcement and the local department.