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Deficiencies cited in drowning deaths of 2 foster children

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More details are being released about what led to the drowning deaths of two foster children at Lake Georgetown last month. The state agency in charge is now demanding change to prevent any other accidents.

Monday a report was sent out to the foster care agency that placed the kids in a foster home.

It was here on July 6, where two siblings in foster care were playing "hold your breath." When Georgetown police arrived, they found a four-year-old boy and his six-year-old sister under water.

We spoke to Julie Moody with the Department of Family and Protective Services when it first happened.

"An accidental drowning is horrible. It's tragic. It's unacceptable for foster children," Moody said.

Since then they launched an investigation into providence kids, the child placing agency. After three deficiencies were found among the caregivers, recommendations were given, including that the operation provide additional training to caregivers regarding water safety and to ensure there are at least two caregivers available to supervise four or more children in water. Something that Allison Magrum with Colin's Hope agrees with.

“If you have multiple kids running in different directions, I mean it's hard to watch. Those ratios are really important. So when you take two kids, three kids, four need to have multiple adults watching them," Magrum said.

Two other children were at Lake Georgetown when the drownings happened. They survived but were not wearing life jackets. They have since been removed from the foster care family.

Colin's Hope raises water safety awareness to prevent children from drowning. Magrum says there have already been 55 in Texas this year.

"It's fast and it's silent. You may not hear it and you may not see the struggle. Especially in open water you may not see where the child or person is when they go under,” Magrum said.

Ofelia Lovano was out swimming at Mansfield Dam when she came across a scary situation. Her reminder to the community is that it's not only children that need help.

"There was just a young man that was swimming and the current was kind of strong. And he was being taken away and he panicked. He started yelling to us for help so it's not just the children. You can't just see somebody and not do anything about it," Lovano said.

Since being licensed by in 2012, Providence Kids has three deficiencies on file. One for foster parents not providing a barrier to prevent a toddler from going up and down stairs and another for not complying with medical professional recommendations in a timely fashion.

The third, for a caregiver leaving a two-year-old in a golf cart, with the ignition on. The boy pushed the accelerator and according to records, ran the golf cart into a tree, injuring himself and his 3-year-old sibling.

The executive director for Providence Kids says they just received the report Monday so they will be looking it over and then get in touch with us. They have until the end of the month to comply with the recommendations.

Georgetown police says they do not have any active criminal charges pending.

Links to the full investigation reports:

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