DFPS Investigating Foster Child Drownings
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Monday, July 7, 2014
AUSTIN - The Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) has halted placements of foster children by a Central Texas network following Sunday's drowning of two foster children.
The two children, a four-year-old boy and his six-year-old sister, were at Lake Georgetown Sunday with their foster parents when they were pulled from the water. Efforts to revive the children were unsuccessful, and Georgetown Police are investigating.
Placements of foster children into the Austin-based Providence Kids child-placing agency (CPA) have been suspended pending the outcome of the DFPS investigation of the incident. The CPA currently has 29 foster children in eight homes in Williamson, Travis, Bell, Lee and Hays counties.
As a precautionary measure, Child Protective Services (CPS) will visit each child in the foster homes individually. Providence Kids, and its affiliate Providence Service Corporation of Texas (one of the state's two foster care redesign contractors), have also been directed to immediately provide all foster parents and other providers with water and heat-related safety information.
"This is an unspeakable tragedy," said Judge John Specia, DFPS Commissioner. "We will find out exactly what happened, and whether or not it could have been prevented. Foster children must be kept safe."
Both children who were from Waco were placed in the Cedar Park foster home on Aug. 2, 2013. Two siblings of the deceased children, a one-year-old girl and a 22-month-old boy, were also placed in the foster home earlier this year but have been moved. The foster home is closed pending the outcome of the investigation.
The Providence Kids CPA was licensed by DFPS on Sept. 14, 2012.