Indiana Department of Child Services

Gov. Eric Holcomb sought in his State of the State to reassure Hoosiers his administration will do “whatever it takes” to fix problems at the Department of Child Services.

But Democratic legislative leaders say Holcomb’s address lacked boldness and leadership, particularly when it comes to the ongoing DCS crisis.

Lawmakers Announce Push To Expand Baby Box Locations

Jan 3, 2018

Lawmakers in the 2018 session want to spread the use of so-called “baby boxes” in Indiana. New legislation would expand last year’s law that legalized the devices meant to serve as a more anonymous way for someone to leave an unwanted newborn.

DCS Chief, Holcomb Disagree On Agency Funding Levels

Dec 18, 2017

 

Indiana Department of Child Services Director Mary Beth Bonaventura says the well-being of Hoosier children has been put at risk because of steps taken by Governor Eric Holcomb’s administration.

Bonaventura’s sharp criticisms came in her resignation letter, delivered to Holcomb last week.

Foster Families Needed For Children In Indiana

Nov 1, 2017

The need for adoptive parents is growing in Indiana. The link between cases coming through the Department of Child Services and substance abuse disorders is direct.

So far this year DCS has completed more than 1,800 adoptions, up from a little more than 1,000 three years ago. This follows a sharp increase in the number of Hoosier children entering the foster system because parents are unable to care for them, often because of opioids.

Indiana DCS Director Mary Beth Bonaventura says awareness of the need for foster to adopt families is imperative.

 

The Indiana Supreme Court unanimously ruled Monday it can’t force the Department of Child Services to comply with caseload requirements in state law.

Wes Jackson / https://www.flickr.com/photos/boilermakerwes/3608649743/

Purdue University officials are declining comment about the school’s pending investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct at an on-campus summer camp.

The school sent out a press release Friday saying the university’s vice president for ethics and compliance, Alysa Rollock, would lead the inquiry.

But staff at Rollock’s office said she was unavailable for an interview Friday and a Purdue spokesperson said the school preferred to let the press release stand as the University’s only comment on the matter.

State Supreme Court Considers DCS Caseload Lawsuit

Jun 1, 2017

The Indiana Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday over whether a Department of Child Services caseworker’s lawsuit against the agency will move forward.

Only one of Indiana’s 19 DCS regions meets mandatory caseload limits at this time.

State law says DCS must provide enough caseworkers so that the average caseload in each region doesn’t exceed 12 active cases or 17 children supervised.

 

Legislation approved by a House committee would no longer require adoption agencies to check a national registry of child abuse and neglect cases because the registry doesn’t exist.

State law requires adoption providers to do a criminal history check of prospective adoptive parents. As part of those background checks, providers must consult a national registry of child abuse and neglect cases.

But Department of Child Services legislative director Parvonay Stover says the registry doesn’t exist.

Indiana Department of Child Services / http://www.in.gov/dcs/files/DCSLog150.jpg

The Department of Child Services wants the legislature to help improve the process of reporting child abuse and neglect to the agency. 

Department of Child Services legislative director Parvonay Stover says state law requires anyone to report potential child abuse and neglect without delay. And she says the agency wants state law to help ensure that when it comes to schools’ internal policies.

Gordon / https://www.flickr.com/photos/monkeymashbutton/

According to a recent report released by the Indiana Department of Child Services, the majority of fatalities due to child abuse or neglect occur in babies and toddlers.

Of the 66 fatalities that occurred in 2014—the most recent year in which data is available—60 percent occurred in children three years old or younger.

DCS spokesman James Wide says the youngest children are the most vulnerable.

“If we’re not actively supervising these children then they will get into things that will hurt them,” he says.

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