Central Texas saw a tragedy occur recently when two children from the Texas foster care system drowned in a Georgetown lake. The 4-year-old boy and his 6-year-old sister were swimming at the lake when the accident occurred. The state Department of Family Protective Services (DFPS) temporarily stopped allowing Providence Service Corp. to place foster kids following the incident. According to a DFPS press release, Providence Kids has 29 foster children in eight homes in Williamson, Travis, Bell, Lee and Hays counties.
Police say that the two children were playing a game to see who could hold their breath the longest under water. When they did not return to the foster home, a 12-year-old boy who also lived at the home went to look for them in the swimming area at Russell Park. He found the girl after five minutes, and the boy about 15 minutes later. Bystanders performed CPR until emergency personnel arrived; however, the children later died after being airlifted to Dell Children's Hospital. They had allegedly only been in water about two or three feet deep, approximately 15 feet from shore, when they drowned.
The children were originally from Waco and had been living in the foster home since August 2, 2013. They also lived there with two other siblings, a one-year-old girl and a 22-month-old boy. The two living siblings were moved from the foster home and the home is closed pending the outcome of the investigation.
One day before the drownings occurred, the new state House Select Committee on Child Protection held its first meeting to explore how they could reduce deaths of children, especially those in foster care.
The number of fatal incidents involving children in the Texas foster care system has risen sharply, from two cases in 2012 to ten in 2013. This is an alarming trend. Our child injury law firm will continue to monitor this issue closely.