The Issue

History & Mission

The mission of the National Coalition to End Child Abuse Deaths (NCECAD) is to promote awareness about child maltreatment fatalities and advance federal law and policy to support vulnerable families and prevent future deaths. We leverage the expansive networks of our members and collaborate closely with organizational allies, foundations, and other coalitions to advance the recommendations of the federal Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities (CECANF) and the aligned prevention priorities of our members.

The NCECAD was formed in 2008 to address the seemingly intractable scourge of fatal and near-fatal child abuse which claims the lives of thousands of children each year. Membership is comprised of seven national organizations: The American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Association of Social Workers, the National District Attorneys Association, the National Children’s Alliance, the National Center for Fatality Review and Prevention, Within Our Reach, and Every Child Matters.

In its initial phase, the NCECAD successfully pressed for Congressional hearings and a GAO report on the issue of maltreatment fatalities, leading to the introduction of the bipartisan Protect Our Kids Act of 2012. This Act created the CECANF to exhaustively review and better understand the scope and causes of persistent high rates of child abuse deaths, explore promising prevention efforts across the country, and issue a set of recommendations to combat this public health crisis.

Representatives of half of NCECAD’s members were selected to serve among the 12 CECANF Commissioners. The Commission met from 2014-2016, holding meetings around the country and hearing from hundreds of stakeholders, concludingwith the 2016 issuance of, Within Our Reach: A National Strategy to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities. This report sets forth 114 recommendations for administrative, regulatory, and legislative action to frame a comprehensive public health approach to eliminating child abuse fatalities. The National Coalition to End Child Abuse Deaths reconvened in 2016 to preserve an urgent focus on this issue and to press for expedient adoption of the recommendations of the CECANF and our members’ related priorities.

Coalition Members

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world, with 132,000 members and 55 chapters. NASW works to enhance the professional growth and development of its members, to create and maintain professional standards, and to advance sound social policies.

The National District Attorneys Association (NDAA), founded in 1950, is the oldest and largest professional organization representing criminal prosecutors in the world. The National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse (NCPCA), a program of NDAA, was established in 1985. NCPCA is staffed with professionals involved in the investigation and prosecution of child abuse, exploitation and technology facilitated crimes against children. NCPCA trains child abuse prosecutors and allied professionals and provides technical assistance across the country.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is a non-profit professional organization of 66,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical sub-specialists, and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents, and young adults.

The National Children’s Alliance (NCA) is the national association and accrediting body for Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs). Formed in 1988, NCA has been providing support, technical assistance, and quality assurance for CACs, while serving as a voice for abused children for more than 25 years. A children’s advocacy center is a child-friendly facility in which law enforcement, child protection, prosecution, mental health, medical and victim advocacy professionals work together to investigate abuse, help children heal from abuse, and hold offenders accountable.

The National Center for Fatality Review and Prevention (NCFRP) is a resource center for state and local child death review programs. It promotes, supports, and enhances child death review methodology and activities at the state, community and national levels. NCRPCD provides technical assistance to help teams develop, implement and sustain a prevention-focused CDR process.

Every Child Matters was founded in 2002 with the mission to make children’s issues a national priority. To that end, Every Child Matters has promoted the adoption of smart policies for children and youth. These include ensuring that children have access to affordable, comprehensive health care services, expanding early care and learning opportunities and after-school programs, preventing violence, abuse, maltreatment, and fatalities against children in their homes, and alleviating child poverty.

Within Our Reach at the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities (WOR) Within Our Reach is an office of the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, funded by Casey Family Programs, to encourage implementation of the recommendations of the Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities. Within Our Reach is tracking national, state and local efforts as well as providing technical assistance, training and resources to implement policies and practices recommended in the Commission’s final report. The goal of Within Our Reach is to equip policymakers, practitioners, and advocates with the tools they need to fundamentally reform child welfare into a 21st Century system that focuses on child safety and the prevention of deaths through a shared responsibility to keep children safe.