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DFPS to Investigate If Sibling Drownings Were Result of Neglect

WikiMedia Commons

An investigation has begun into the deaths of a 4-year-old boy and his 6-year-old sister who drowned in Lake Georgetown this weekend while under the care of a foster family. 

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) had placed the children under the care of a state sub-contractor called Providence Kids, an agency specializes in placing sibling groups with foster families.

DFPS spokesperson Julie Moody says the children had lived in the foster home since last August. 

Moody also said the home was inspected in August, "as part of a sample inspection and there were no concerns."

She called the deaths "absolutely unacceptable." And said the investigation should determine whether they were accidental or a consequence of neglect. The children were reportedly having a contest to see who could hold their breath the longest when they drowned, according to KXAN

In the meantime, DFPS has suspended placements through Providence Kids. Providence Kids told KUT the organization is cooperating with Child Protective Services' investigation, and last week they sent out a pamphlet on water safety from DFPS to all the foster parents in its system.

"In light of this terrible tragedy, we plan to follow up with additional water safety requirements for our families providing care to children," said Executive Director Bob Hartman in a statement. "We are very saddened for the impact that this has had on everyone involved, especially the families and children involved."

Texas Standard reporter Joy Diaz has amassed a lengthy and highly recognized body of work in public media reporting. Prior to joining Texas Standard, Joy was a reporter with Austin NPR station KUT on and off since 2005. There, she covered city news and politics, education, healthcare and immigration.