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ATLANTA -- Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has announced a new a task force to advise him on how to reform the state's child welfare system.

11Alive News has spent months investigating the state's handling of cases of alleged child abuse and the troubling failures to protect at-risk children.

Even with line after line of information redacted from their case summaries, we found critical communication gaps between case workers, schools, and police. Our investigation also revealed a lack of training and overwhelming case loads that contributed to the deaths of several children.

Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver discusses the state of child welfare in Georgia.

The governor is now ordering a new Child Welfare Reform Council to audit the entire DFCS system and come up with a list of changes to better protect children.

Deal went into this legislative session hoping to make DFCS more transparent and change how child fatalities were investigated. On Thursday morning, the chair of the Senate Human Services committee refused to vote on the bill, leaving its fate uncertain.

This council could be one way to keep those initiatives alive.

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