The Children and Young Persons Act: Child deaths

The Children and Young Persons Act, which was granted Royal Assent on 13 November 2008, provides the necessary legislative support to improve the care system for children and young people in England.

It underpins the white paper Care matters: Time for change (June 2007), and the implementation plan Care matters: Time to deliver for children in care (March 2008).

Reporting on child deaths: Points to note

Registrars of births and deaths are required to supply Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) information about the deaths of persons aged under 18 for which they have:

  • registered or reregistered the death
  • corrected or updated a death entry relating to someone under the age of 18 at the time of death, regardless of when it was registered
  • issued a Certificate of No Liability to Register where it appears that the deceased was, or may have been, under the age of 18 at the time of death.

The information is required to be sent no later than seven days from the date of registration, the date of making the correction or update, or the date of issuing the Certificate of No Liability as appropriate.

In addition, the registrar general has the power to supply information to the Secretary of State and to Welsh ministers for research purposes. Such information can be disclosed by them to an LSCB for the purposes of its functions.

In support of these new responsibilities, it is a statutory requirement that each LSCB make arrangements for the receipt of notifications from registrars and to publish these arrangements.

The Coroners (Amendment) Rules 2008 also place a duty on coroners to inform the LSCB for the area in which the child died of the fact of an inquest or post mortem.

The following documents are available to download from this page:

  • Supply of information concerning the death of children to local safeguarding children boards (LCSBs): Briefing note
  • Removal of human tissue from deceased children: Briefing note

Visit the Ministry of Justice website for guidance aimed specifically at coroners. The Coroners (Amendment) Rules 2008 place a duty on coroners to notify LSCBs of all child deaths over which they take jurisdiction.