child welfare

The Indiana Commission On Improving the Status of Children is working to tackle one part of the shortage of mental health providers.

Indiana Association of Resources and Child Advocacy executive director Cathleen Graham says the shortage of professionals comes from a number of factors: Indiana has almost doubled the number of children in the welfare system and the opioid epidemic contributed to longer stays in the system while parents and guardians get sober.

After operating for four years without a full-time leader, Indiana’s children’s commission finally has an executive director.

The Commission on Improving the Status of Children in Indiana was established in 2013, but has never had a person whose entire job was dedicated to the commission.

Julie Whitman leaves the Indiana Youth Institute to become the executive director of the commission.

Jim Grey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/mobilene/

Indiana’s Commission on Improving the Status of Children wants to refocus its efforts on improving child welfare by developing a new strategic plan. 

The Commission on Improving the Status of Children was formed by the General Assembly in 2013 and received a progress report from a national child welfare consultant group.

Consultant Holly Merz says the commission has made great strides in relationship-building in a child welfare system that’s spread in some cases across a dozen different agencies.