Home > Figures of Children who died while in Care 2000-2010.

Health Service Executive. [HSE Website] Figures of Children who died while in Care 2000-2010. (28 May 2010)

HSE provides full details on all children who died in Care, from natural and unnatural causes, during the past 10 years

Some of the data discussed in recent days in relation to children who died while In Care originates from a response from the HSE to a request from HIQA in February 2009.

In March of this year HIQA published guidelines (Guidance for the HSE for the Review of Serious Incidents including Deaths of Children in Care) which noted that in addition to providing information on children In Care who died of unnatural causes, information should be provided relating to children who die of natural causes due to illness or disease. This is the standard now applied for all cases to be notified from 2010. Based on this clarification the HSE has completed a further retrospective review of records. This is a manual process as there was no centralised register in place.

This analysis includes the full reporting period as set out on 6th May last by the Independent Review Group established by Minister Andrews. This 10 year reporting period is from January 1st 2000 to April 30th 2010.

The information being provided today relates to children who were officially in the care of the HSE or former health boards in accordance with the provision of the Child Care Act 1991 by court order or voluntary consent.

In seeking to bring full and absolute clarity to previous data collected on the number of deaths of children In Care, the HSE has identified the following:

(i) Deaths from unnatural causes
18 children died while In Care during the 10 year period of unnatural causes

Þ 5 died from suicide
Þ 5 deaths were drug related
Þ 2 were unlawful killings
Þ 3 died from road traffic accidents
Þ 3 died from other accidents.

(ii) Deaths from natural causes

A further 19 children died from natural causes and health related conditions, for example brain tumour, leukemia, surgical complications, heart disease etc during the same 10 year period.

Based on clear definitions, that include children who died of natural causes, we have prepared a comprehensive list which includes 37 children who died In Care during the 10 year period of natural and unnatural causes.

The HSE will now focus on a wider group of children and young adults identified by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs and also the Independent Review Group appointed by him. This work will relate to children not in care but who were known to Social Work Child Protection services and certain young adults previously In Care and known to care services. The HSE intends to bring clarity to this list within a week, subject to agreement with all parties as to which children are included.

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