Child fatality review panel to investigate deaths — qualifications — prosecutors and circuit attorneys to organize — report on investigations — immunity from civil liability — program for prevention. — 1. The prosecuting attorney or the circuit attorney shall impanel a child fatality review panel for the county or city not within a county in which he or she serves to investigate the deaths of children under the age of eighteen years, who are eligible to receive a certificate of live birth. The panel shall be formed and shall operate according to the rules, guidelines and protocols provided by the department of social services.
2. The panel shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following:
(1) The prosecuting or circuit attorney;
(2) The coroner or medical examiner for the county or city not within a county;
(3) Law enforcement personnel in the county or city not within a county;
(4) A representative from the children’s division;
(5) A provider of public health care services;
(6) A representative of the juvenile court;
(7) A provider of emergency medical services.
3. The prosecuting or circuit attorney shall organize the panel and shall call the first organizational meeting of the panel. The panel shall elect a chairman who shall convene the panel to meet to review all deaths of children under the age of eighteen years, who are eligible to receive a certificate of live birth, which meet guidelines for review as set forth by the department of social services. In addition, the panel may review at its own discretion any child death reported to it by the medical examiner or coroner, even if it does not meet criteria for review as set forth by the department. The panel shall issue a final report, which shall be a public record, of each investigation to the department of social services, state technical assistance team and to the director of the department of health and senior services. The final report shall include a completed summary report form. The form shall be developed by the director of the department of social services in consultation with the director of the department of health and senior services. The department of health and senior services shall analyze the child fatality review panel reports and periodically prepare epidemiological reports which describe the incidence, causes, location and other factors pertaining to childhood deaths. The department of health and senior services and department of social services shall make recommendations and develop programs to prevent childhood injuries and deaths.
4. The child fatality review panel shall enjoy such official immunity as exists at common law.
(L. 1991 H.B. 185 § 1, A.L. 1991 S.B. 190 § 12, A.L. 1994 S.B. 595, A.L. 2000 S.B. 757 & 602, A.L. 2014 H.B. 1299 Revision)