Sources: Arizona, Freedom of Information Act requests; Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, New Jersey, North Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin child welfare agencies.
The following people and newsrooms contributed to our effort to compile this data: Vittoria Elliot, Alissa Escarce, Sanya Mansoor, Decca Muldowney, Kierra Murray, Emily Palmer and Nour Saudi. North Carolina's records were compiled by Tyler Dukes from WRAL. Many of California's records were compiled by Karen de Sá, Cynthia Dizikes, Joaquin Palomino and Erin Stone from the San Francisco Chronicle.
Incorrect Info? Each record in our database comes from a FOIA request to a state agency or records already published online. Spot an error? Let us know at [email protected].
Notes: Washington, D.C., responded to our initial request for data with multiple records of child fatalities, including ones the child welfare agency later said were not entirely relevant to our inquiry. A spokesperson indicated that not all of the fatality reports we received were the result of abuse or neglect, but did not respond to multiple requests to identify the relevant records.
ProPublica's records request to Missouri has not been completely fulfilled and is estimated to total more than $3,000 in fees. State officials said releasing the records would require extensive redactions beforehand.
Wyoming provided no records. State officials said that all information is banned from release by state law and that they are not compliant with CAPTA.
New Mexico responded to our records request with a single individual report over a six-year period, which state officials said was the only report approved for release. According to a spokesperson for the state’s Children, Youth and Families Department, New Mexico does not provide individual reports on child fatalities to the public. Instead, the state provides aggregate reports that do not contain all of the categories required by CAPTA.
Kansas officials said they would only fulfill our records request if we paid a bill of $11,600 to cover the costs of releasing the data. Because of the expense, the information is not readily available to the public and Kansas does not appear to be CAPTA compliant. Kansas did not respond to our questions about the high cost of the records request and lack of public accessibility. In March 2018, Kansas passed a bill that would make this information more accessible, but the law does not apply retroactively.
Montana provided no data in response to our request in 2016. However, Montana's state law was updated to allow the release of all information required under CAPTA. State officials said fatalities that are recorded in April 2017 or later will be made available.
Oklahoma responded to our records request with select records of individual children that other media organizations have previously asked for by name. State officials said that they will only release records when requested by the child's name. They declined to provide additional records, citing the lack of staff time and resources. Because the full records are not available to the public, Oklahoma does not appear to be CAPTA compliant.
We requested records from New York in June 2016. State officials have provided ProPublica with some of the records, but they said a full records release would not be available until January 2019. As of December 2019, we have not received any additional records. Of the records we have received, New York provided all the required fields.