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Vermont Report Shows More Children In State Custody

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The Vermont Department of Children and Families says its newest report on child abuse and neglect shows many families are struggling, substance abuse continues to be problem and young children are entering state custody in record numbers.

The department released its 2014 child protection report on Tuesday.

There are currently 1,326 children in DCF custody — a 33 percent increase since the beginning of 2014. Officials say the increase is primarily driven by parental heroin use. Last year's increase was most significant — 68 percent — for children under the age of 6.

DCF came under scrutiny after the death of two toddlers in 2014 who had been under state supervision.

DCF says it has undertaken significant improvements, such as implementing new policies requiring management consultation in cases of serious physical abuse.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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