Since 2014, the OCC has been working with the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS) and the Office of the Ontario Child Advocate (OCA) to develop a “best-in-class” model of child and youth death review that will be data-driven, evidence informed and grounded in collaborative partnerships. This will maximize the potential for affecting public health analysis, policy development, research and prevention strategies in the province of Ontario.  All three parties have provided funding to support a Child and Youth Death Review and Analysis Project Team that have been working to pilot a new model of child and youth death review since 2018. To date, the framework for a new model has been developed and pilot projects are expected to be completed by September 2020.

Ultimately, the objective of a new model is to improve the health, safety and well-being of Ontario’s children and youth and reduce the child mortality rate in Ontario.  We recognize that the factors that influence the circumstances of a person’s death are not isolated to the immediate time surrounding their death; they have intersected with various systems throughout the course of their life, and those systems may have influenced the circumstances of their death. Consequently, to be maximally effective, a new model of child and youth death review and analysis requires integrated data regarding the circumstances of a person’s death and their intersections with systems over their life course. This is key to determining the right areas for targeting further analysis, prevention strategies and areas where research could be of benefit. 

To achieve this vision, the new model will leverage data (existing and/or new) to undertake surveillance and identify trends and themes that may point to broader systemic issues – and therefore, target the “right” areas for further analysis to promote and advance death prevention. The OCC is actively working with a number of key governmental partners on the design and methods for collecting and analyzing data for the Data Integration Pilot to inform the next steps for implementing Ontario’s new model of child and youth death review. Full implementation of the new model is anticipated following the pilot’s evaluation in January 2021.