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DCS launching pilot to address children with mental health issues

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The Department of Child Services announced Monday that it will fund a two-month pilot program that will utilize local services to provide help for juveniles with mental health issues.

DCS Chief of Staff John Ryan discussed the pilot program at a meeting held by the Indiana Commission on Mental Health and Addiction. The commission discussed whether prosecuting attorneys should be allowed to file a petition alleging a child is a Child in Need of Services under Indiana Code 31-34-1-6 as well as the unmet mental health needs of children within the juvenile justice system.

Legislators created an interim study committee earlier this year to study these issues.

"This is a small, but important and complex population that presents a big struggle for many families," Ryan said. "For decades the only way these children have been able to get care is by entering the court system as a juvenile delinquent, or to have their parents claim neglect so the child can become a ward of the state. And everyone agrees – from state agencies, to prosecutors, to judges, to probation officers, to mental-health experts, to families – that is not the way to help these kids."

He said some kids with mental health issues fall into a “gray area” because, by law, DCS is only responsible for protecting children in situations of abuse and neglect by a parent, guardian or custodian.

A statutory change in 2008 took away prosecutors’ ability to file “CHINS 6” petitions, giving it solely to DCS. These petitions allege that a juvenile is a danger to himself or herself or to another person.

The pilot will launch in Lawrenceburg in the next two months. Schools, judges, probation officers, families, and others will be able to contact designated mental health access sites in their local area to refer a child in need of intensive services. Those sites will assess the child’s level of need and coordinate care, according to DCS.

The state agency initially will pay for the children who are not covered by private insurance or who are not Medicaid eligible, but it is asking legislators for around $20 million a year to cover the program across the state. DCS will cover the pilot and statewide implementation, which it says will cost around $11 million for the 2013 fiscal year.

The pilot program was developed through collaborations among DCS, Family and Social Services Administration, Indiana Council of Community Mental Health Centers Inc., juvenile court professionals and county prosecutors.

 

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  1. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  2. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  3. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

  4. "...not those committed in the heat of an argument." If I ever see a man physically abusing a woman or a child and I'm close enough to intercede I will not ask him why he is abusing her/him. I will give him a split second to cease his attack and put his hands in the air while I call the police. If he continues, I will still call the police but to report, "Man down with a gunshot wound,"instead.

  5. And so the therapeutic state is weaonized. How soon until those with ideologies opposing the elite are disarmed in the name of mental health? If it can start anywhere it can start in the hoosiers' slavishly politically correct capital city.

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