DCS Reports 47 “Non-Custodial” Deaths for Early 2013

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(Memphis)  The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services is now reporting 47 children died during the first quarter of 2013, whose death is being investigated due to abuse or neglect.

The latest figures are for children who are not in state custody.

According to the report, DCS had no prior contact with nearly half of the 47 who died.

In more than 30% of the cases, DCS has confirmed abuse or neglect.

The department recently changed the way it reports fatalities.

The agency now only reports non-custodial deaths when abuse or neglect is suspected.

WREG and other media outlets sued DCS for child death records when the agency refused to release them under the state open records act.

This latest information was released as part of a weekly newsletter from DCS Commissioner Jim Henry, called Open Line.