ILNews

Indiana chosen for non-resident father project

Jennifer Nelson
January 1, 2008
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The Indiana Department of Child Services is one of four groups in the country selected to participate in a new pilot project to reach out to non-resident fathers whose children are involved in the child welfare system.

DCS, in collaboration with Indiana Fathers and Families Center and the Indiana University School of Social Work, will receive nearly $500,000 in each of the next four years from the Administration of Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The project will be piloted in Marion County and is designed to bring non-resident fathers - those not living within Marion County limits - into a relationship with their children in the state's child welfare system, said Jeff Lozer, spokesperson for DCS. The project aims to learn whether fathers can be re-engaged to support their children through an extensive curriculum, support, research, and evaluation.

The fathers can be living in Indiana or out-of-state, and typically the children will be in Marion County if they are wards of the state.

"Our target is to try to get 120 fathers re-engaged" by the end of the project, Lozer said.

The project is still in its infancy, and he isn't sure what the curriculum will entail and the means by which the information will be transmitted. The DCS will contact extended-family members who have relatives in the child welfare system to identify the missing fathers.

By re-engaging fathers, the department is hopeful it can increase the number of families reunified, but Lozer stressed reunification would happen only if the child would be placed in a safe home.
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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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