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AUSTIN, Texas -- State child welfare officials are releasing new safety guidelines following a sharp increase in the number of Texas foster care deaths due to abuse or neglect.

The Department of Family and Protective Services on Friday released a report calling the deaths not acceptable. At least eight foster children in Texas died from mistreatment in the fiscal year that ended in August. That's more than the previous four years combined.

Five more foster children have died in the past two months. Agency spokesman Patrick Crimmins says one of those deaths, an 11-month-old girl near Austin whose skull was fractured, is likely to be classified as mistreatment.

The new state plan calls for increased training and proposing more unannounced visits to foster homes.

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