Child death overview panels

November 2012

What is a child death overview panel?

Child death overview panels (CDOPs) are responsible for reviewing information on all unexpected child deaths. They record preventable child deaths and make recommendations to ensure that similar deaths are prevented in the future.

CDOPs are accountable to the local safeguarding children board (LSCB) and they are made up of representatives from social care, and the police as well as coroners and paediatricians.

What is their role in child accident prevention?

Although CDOPs investigate deaths after the fact, they have a major role to play in accident prevention. The aim is to ensure that measures are put in place to ensure that the preventable deaths uncovered by the CDOPs do not happen again. CDOPs main functions are:

  • Collating and analysing information about child deaths, which then feeds into wider area strategies.
  • Putting procedures in place to coordinate the response to serious matters. They work closely with the LSCBs.

More about child death overview panels

The child death review process is described in more detail on the Department for Education (DfE) site:

There is a guide to the child death review process for parents and carers on the DfE site produced by the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths:

Key findings and learnings from child death reviews and serious case reviews are published by the DfE. Read more in our news story:

CDOPs contacts

The DfE has published a list of CDOP coordinators, it was last revised in November 2012.

Updated June 2013