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Child Deaths In Georgia Rise Despite DFCS Contact

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File photo of kids playing. (KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of kids playing. (KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

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ATLANTA (AP) — A new report says 180 children in Georgia died last year after the state’s child protection agency had contact with their family.

State officials say that’s higher than the 152 children who died in 2012. They say the agency has worked with other stakeholders to improve reporting of child deaths, which may have contributed to the higher numbers.

The report includes children who were in the state’s custody or whose family had contact with the agency during the previous five years.

Division of Family and Children Services’ Interim Director Bobby Cagle says every death is heartbreaking and the agency must work smarter to keep kids safe.

Statewide, nearly 1,500 children died in Georgia last year. More than 300 of those deaths were reported to the agency for review.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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