DCS Posts Child Death Data Online
(Memphis) The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services is now posting data online about children who died in its care.
The move comes nearly one year after WREG and other media outlets sued for access to the very records now made available to the public.
The records now posted are the same ones the On Your Side Investigators have been reviewing since Chancellor Carol McCoy first ordered DCS to turn them over.
They are related to children who died in 2012.
The children’s names, as well as counties and other medical information has been redacted.
Commissioner Jim Henry previously told WREG he wanted the Department to be more transparent, and they were working on a way to make records more easily accessible.
DCS also now provides updates on child fatalities by quarter.
According to DCS, from January to June of 2013, 113 children died who were not in the state’s custody. As of September 2013, there were 11 custodial deaths.
Of those 113 non-custodial children, 55 had previous contact with DCS (within past three years), while the remainder had no contact.
Most of the cases were opened due to reports of neglect.
So far, DCS has closed 86 cases, with the majority being classified as “unfounded.”
This means there wasn’t enough evidence to support the allegation.
No word on how often the data now provided online will be updated.