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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) – It will truly be a happy holiday for more than 1,600 kids in Florida’s foster care system.

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The Department of Children and Families worked with local agencies and judges around the state to reunite 1,347 children with their siblings, parents or extended family just in time for Christmas. Another 266 children will spend their first holiday with their new family through adoption.

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The “Home for the Holidays” initiative also helped more than 1,400 children over Thanksgiving. The initiative gets children into homes faster by finalizing adoptions with new parents, requesting amended visitation and often requires expedited background screenings, court orders and travel arrangements.

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