Dozens of Georgia children die despite state intervention

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
By Alan Judd

Epic failures by Georgia’s child welfare system have given the state one of the nation’s highest rates of death by abuse and neglect, an investigation by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution shows.

Dozens of Georgia children die from maltreatment each year despite intervention by the state’s child protection agency. In 2012 alone, the Journal-Constitution found, workers from the Division of Family and Children’s Services, or DFCS, did not detect or did not act on signs that clearly foretold the deaths of at least 25 children.

But DFCS is only one element of a fundamental breakdown in how Georgia protects its children.

Few states present more dangers for children than Georgia. It is among the leaders in firearms deaths, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and several potentially fatal diseases, in addition to maltreatment deaths.

These dangers are exacerbated, the Journal-Constitution found, by investigations of children’s deaths that can be alarmingly inadequate.

The Journal-Constitution examined 2,230 deaths of children reported statewide between January 2011 and July 2013. Among them, 135 were homicides and 71 were suicides. Authorities said 462 children died by accident. But the newspaper’s review suggests as many as one in four accidental deaths actually were caused at least in part by adults’ negligent or reckless conduct.

Dozens of children were unintentionally suffocated while sleeping with parents. Ten deaths occurred in fires after parents left children home alone. Eleven resulted from what was termed accidental drug or alcohol ingestion – a finding that often seems incongruous to the ages of the victims, one of whom was just 33 days old.

Sharon Hill, the state DFCS director, said the agency’s caseworkers and supervisors have improved their practices in dealing with sometimes-difficult families during difficult times. In the past two years, she said, DFCS has “certainly a deeper focus” on preventing deaths.

About gacoalition4childprotectionreform1

For the past 10 years I have been researching family law, constitutional law dealing with deprivation and DFCS/CPS. While I am not a lawyer, I am a special family rights law Advocate; advocating families who have been disrupted by the department of family and children services.
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2 Responses to Dozens of Georgia children die despite state intervention

  1. puremadangel says:

    I am disgusted at the inept excuses that these families must hear from an agency that has been around so long. ( At this point one would think they’d have a better grasp on things) yet in truth there are so many errors made by this corrupt services because they are to focused on how to destroy the families in court rather than how to correct their own continual grieves errors.


    • gacoalition4childprotectionreform1 says:

      They were in the”public eye” for a long time and seems people don’t care about what is going on with this system. I saw a news paper article the other day where DFACS/CPS was trying to refute the claims of the many children that come through their dept. Making up excuses, like, “children would die in house fires, sleeping with their parents” etc and claim that they are FIXING things… The truth of the matter is, they aren’t FIXING things.. I’m disgusted as well. I am also aggravated at how CPS workers lie to take children from perfectly good and stable homes, when they need to be looking at the real picture here of children that need to desperately be removed. However, they only print the stories when a child dies per say instead of making their lame excuses in how to protect our children in foster care. Thank you for posting ❤


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