To ensure that it is aware of and can appropriately react to changes in the number of abandoned babies, Social Services should work with the Department of Public Health and county agencies to gain access to the most accurate and complete statistics on abandoned babies.
In December 2012, CDSS worked with CDPH and county CWS agencies to gather data on abandoned infants for the 2010 calendar year in order to establish a data sharing process. The 2010 calendar year was chosen because, at that time, it was the most recent year for which complete data was available from CDPH. This review with CDPH resulted in identifying three such cases. CDSS also conducted a survey of county CWS agencies which resulted in counties reporting the same three cases. This same process will be utilized to gather data for subsequent years as data becomes available from CDPH. Under the MOU which has been executed.
In the California Department of Social Services' (CDSS) six month and one year responses to the BSA's recommendation, CDSS noted that although this item has been partially implemented, the work of determining how to obtain information regarding abandoned babies from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) continues. A Memorandum of Understanding between CDSS and CDPH allows the departments to continue child death data analysis efforts. Currently, the data provided by CDPH is beneficial in identifying cases where children have died as a result of abuse and/or neglect. CDSS continues to work with CDPH to determine if the same data sharing process can be utilized to effectively identify, among the infants that have died as a result of abuse and/or neglect, the cases where the cause of death was abandonment.
Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.