State Spotlight - South Carolina
updated: July 2011
Child Fatality Program Assistant,
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
1800 St. Julian Place, Suite 406
Columbia, SC 29204
South Carolina’s CFR Program was established in 1993 by legislation.
The program is housed out of the Department of Child Fatalities / South
Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and is headed by Lt. Patsy Lightle.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has partnered
with the program by providing a part time employee to assist in the development
of local CDR teams.
South Carolina has both state and local CDR teams. South Carolina includes
its Citizen’s Review Panel with CDR efforts.
State Team: (Chairperson - Dr.
The State Child Fatality Advisory Committee (SCFAC) is mandated by
law to look at unexpected/unexplained child deaths under the age of 18
years. It has both an investigative and prevention purpose.
Local teams are voluntary and were established in 1998. There are 12 local teams, which volunteer their time and meet as needed.
South Carolina reviews unexpected/unexplained deaths to children less
than 18 years old.
The main purpose of South Carolina’s CDR Program is to investigate
and prevent child deaths.
Standardized data reporting forms are completed for all reviews.
South Carolina does produce an annual report.
Building partnerships with other organizations dedicated to
the welfare of children exists as a continuing goal of the SCFAC.
SC SAFE KIDS is dedicated to preventing unintentional injuries, fatal and
non-fatal, of South Carolina’s children. Unintentional injury has consistently
proved to be the leading category of child fatality reviewed by the SCFAC.
Through working together the efforts of both groups are enhanced. As part
of this membership, the Chair of the SCFAC is now a member of the SC SAFE
KIDS board. The SCFAC is also represented on a task force
to review child deaths in South Carolina brought together by a contract between
the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control and the
South Carolina Department of Social Services. The SCFAC also highlights
dangers and join a broad statewide coalition to educate families and caregivers
by implementing the Safe Sleep for Infants, which encourages safe sleeping
methods to reduce risk to infants in their sleep environment. The
Children's Law Office has joined the SCFAC to aid in the reduction of infant
deaths through legal expertise.
South Carolina has a CFR meeting, confidentiality and child/infant
death investigation protocol.
Training is offered on the use of the protocol and on other issues
pertaining to infanticide.