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House Committee Scrutinizing Texas Foster Care

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(credit: Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)

(credit: Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – A legislative committee examining ways to better-protect youngsters in Texas foster care will convene for the first time since two foster children drowned over July Fourth weekend.

The House Select Committee on Child Protection meets Thursday in Austin.

The state’s 17,000-child foster system has been under scrutiny since seven children died of abuse or neglect in fiscal year 2013. This year, only one such youngster has died. But officials are still investigating two siblings, ages 4 and 6, who drowned July 6 in Lake Georgetown.

The hearing is the fifth of its kind this year on foster care and the Department of Family and Protective Services.

A recent outside review found that child protective caseworkers statewide only spend 26 percent of their job meeting with youngsters and families.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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