- Associated Press - Thursday, October 9, 2014

TALLAHASSE, Fla. (AP) - Florida’s child welfare agency has received a $200,000 grant to bolster child abuse prevention programs.

The Department of Children and Families said Wednesday it will use the funds to expand services in three areas - unsafe sleep, drowning and inflicted trauma. The agency says they are the leading causes of child fatalities called into the abuse hotline. The grant was awarded by the Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention.

DCF has come under fire after a scathing series from The Miami Herald highlighting the deaths of 477 children in the past five years. Most recently, the agency was criticized for not doing enough to help a family after being contacted 18 times over several years. DCF had an open investigation on the family when Don Spirit killed his six grandchildren, his daughter and himself last month.

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