Florida State Senator and Delegate Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, who is running for the U.S. House in Florida's 20th district, with State Rep. and delegate Eleanor Sobel during a party for the Florida Delegation at Northeastern University in Boston. (Photo by Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images)
PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. (AP) -- South Florida lawmakers are holding a hearing with child welfare officials to discuss the recent spike in child deaths around the state.
Department of Children and Families officials say nine children have died this year after having some sort of involvement with the agency.
Sen. Eleanor Sobel called Tuesday's hearing, saying DCF needs to identify the problems and fix them immediately.
Secretary David Wilkins abruptly resigned last month. Interim Secretary Esther Jacobo called for a review of all child death cases when she first took over.
The agency is also partnering with child advocacy foundation, Casey Family Programs, to review its child protective investigations.
DCF contracts out the bulk of its foster care work to 17 private contractors. Officials from those organizations are also slated to attend the hearing.