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Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 12:28pm

Agency: No Spike In Child Deaths

The state’s child protection agency is responding to concerns there appears to be a spike in the number of children’s deaths on their watch. 35 Georgia children have died since December 1st. They had either been in foster care or the Division of Family and Children Services had investigated their families for abuse or neglect.

Documents obtained by GPB show that 35 Georgia children have died in the last month and a half compared to 92 for all of 2011.

All of them were on the radar of the state’s Division of Family and Children Services.

But the agency’s director says she can’t yet conclude that there’s a spike in dangerous living situations. Deputy Director Kathy Herren says last year, during the same six-week time frame, 30 children had died:

“ The numbers are so small that it’s difficult to be able to speak about trends or comparisons from one year to another in context with the largest number of children we serve on a daily or monthly basis.”

Four deaths were attributed to abuse -- ten others to medical issues. Other causes were listed as house fire, bathtub drownings and adults accidentally smothering children sleeping in the same bed.

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