Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas announced Saturday that he is asking the county's child welfare agency to provide the Board of Supervisors with accurate data about children's deaths going back to 1990.
Ridley-Thomas described child fatalities under the county's watch as a crisis and said he plans to call on fellow supervisors Tuesday to order the Department of Children and Family Services to compile comprehensive figures for deaths of children who had a history of abuse or neglect.
Without such data, the supervisor said, the county is unable to pinpoint the causes of fluctuations in deaths or to determine whether they involve killings that could have been prevented by the county. The department lacks comprehensive data for deaths before 2008, he said.
"Obtaining all critical information that can inform us of the true scope and severity of this crisis is not only important, it is our duty," Ridley-Thomas said in a statement.