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Children's Services Releases Child Death Figures

Children's Services Releases Child Death Figures

CREATED Apr 3, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee's Department of Children's Services has published the first set of child fatality statistics since an agency overhaul following revelations that child welfare officials did not know how many children were dying in DCS custody.

The statistics released this week were gathered under a new process for reporting, counting and investigating deaths.

The primary concern from lawmakers and the public has been cases where DCS workers were aware of abuse or neglect allegations and may have failed to act.

The agency investigated 245 deaths in 2013. In 232 of those cases, the children were not in state custody.

However, 53 percent of those children had prior contact with DCS investigators. DCS Deputy Commissioner of Child Safety Scott Modell said the agency will monitor those figures.

(Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)