Indiana Department of Child Services

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.

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

Indiana’s Department of Child Services says it’s doing all it can to comply with caseload requirements in state law and that a court can’t order it to do more.

Lawyers for the agency made that case Wednesday before the Indiana Court of Appeals.

Indiana law says the Department of Child Services must provide enough caseworkers so that the average caseload doesn’t exceed 17 children.

All but one of the 19 regions in the state exceeds that standard. Caseworker Mary Price oversees 43 children.

Pulpolux / https://www.flickr.com/photos/pulpolux/151179802

Indiana is exploring expansion of its addiction hotline and developing a more Indiana-centric program that will help the state in its battle against drug abuse. The governor’s drug abuse task force Friday discussed progress in exploring such a move.

Indiana’s addiction hotline, which serves Hoosiers looking for help with substance abuse, problem gambling and consumer services, is run by a national firm that serves multiple states. 

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

Indiana’s supply of foster parents is dwindling.

The state says more foster parents are needed because caseworkers are having to remove children from homes at an increasing rate because of parents' drug use.

Foster parent Brice Langebartels is a firefighter and has seen the drug use firsthand.

“I mean I’ve seen people unconscious on the ground with kids walking around the house, so it’s really sad,” Langebartels says. “It’s sometimes hard to be on those scenes.”

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