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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. YES I WENT THROUGH THIS BEFORE IN A DIFFERENT SITUATION WITH MY YOUNGEST SON PEOPLE NEED TO LEAVE US ALONE WITH DCS IF WE ARE NOT HURTING OR NEGLECT OUR CHILDREN WHY ARE THEY EVEN CALLED OUT AND THE PEOPLE MAKING FALSE REPORTS NEED TO GO TO JAIL AND HAVE A CLASS D FELONY ON THERE RECORD TO SEE HOW IT FEELS. I WENT THREW ALOT WHEN HE WAS TAKEN WHAT ELSE DOES THESE SCHOOL WANT ME TO SERVE 25 YEARS TO LIFE ON LIES THERE TELLING OR EVEN LE SAME THING LIED TO THE COUNTY PROSECUTOR JUST SO I WOULD GET ARRESTED AND GET TIME HE THOUGHT AND IT TURNED OUT I DID WHAT I HAD TO DO NOT PROUD OF WHAT HAPPEN AND SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SEEKING MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR MY CHILD I AM DISABLED AND SICK OF GETTING TREATED BADLY HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF I CALLED APS ON THEM FOR A CHANGE THEN THEY CAN COME AND ARREST THEM RIGHT OUT OF THE SCHOOL. NOW WE ARE HOMELESS AND THE CHILDREN ARE STAYING WITH A RELATIVE AND GUARDIAN AND THE SCHOOL WON'T LET THEM GO TO SCHOOL THERE BUT WANT THEM TO GO TO SCHOOL WHERE BULLYING IS ALLOWED REAL SMART THINKING ON A SCHOOL STAFF.

  2. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

  3. Right on. Legalize it. We can take billions away from the drug cartels and help reduce violence in central America and more unwanted illegal immigration all in one fell swoop. cut taxes on the savings from needless incarcerations. On and stop eroding our fourth amendment freedom or whatever's left of it.

  4. "...a switch from crop production to hog production "does not constitute a significant change."??? REALLY?!?! Any judge that cannot see a significant difference between a plant and an animal needs to find another line of work.

  5. Why do so many lawyers get away with lying in court, Jamie Yoak?

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