Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP)

The purpose of a child death overview panel (CDOP) is to undertake an overview of all child deaths within the locality. This process uses a standard set of data based on information available from those who were involved in the care of the child, both before and immediately after the death, and other sources such as:

  • Case summaries from health records;

  • Case information from police, LA children's social care and education; and

  • Post-mortem reports

The CDOP has responsibility for reviewing the deaths of all children, with priority given to those deaths that are both unexpected and unexplained.

Where necessary, the CDOP has the authority to recommend that a serious case review should be undertaken by the Local Safeguarding Children Board. If there is to be a serious case review, it will be undertaken by the Local Safeguarding Children Board where the child normally resides, with the final decision taken by the Local Safeguarding Children Board Chair.

Some of the key functions of a CDOP are to:

  • Receive notification on all child deaths occurring in the local area;

  • Collect and collate an agreed national minimum data set;

  • Seek information from professionals who had involvement with the child before and immediately following the death and, where relevant, the child's family members;

  • Discuss each child's case, and provide relevant information or any specific actions related to individual families to those professionals who are involved directly with the family so that they, in turn, can convey this information in a sensitive manner to the family;

  • Evaluate the data available and identify lessons to be learnt or issues of concern, with a particular focus on effective inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children