DCS settles final issue stemming from 2009 suit over rate cuts

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The Indiana Department of Child Services announced Tuesday that is has reached a legal settlement with IARCCA, an Association of Children & Family Services, over rates paid to cover additional staffing costs and cost-of-living expenses to residential facilities and foster care agencies that serve abused and neglected children.

The settlement says that DCS will primarily adjust cost-of-living rates to providers and pay for additional staff per child with providers. According to a statement released by DCS, the settlement agreement provides a one-year adjustment on rates for 2013. The state estimates the adjustment will cost $15 million.

In 2009, IARCCA filed a lawsuit after DCS said it would cut rates paid to the agencies that provide foster care placements and intensive residential treatment for children who are abused or neglected, beginning in 2010.

After changes in Indiana property tax law in 2008 shifted responsibility of payments for provider services to state government from county governments, DCS realized that there was a wide range of pricing of services among providers.

DCS contracts with IARCCA’s members to provide services to children as described in Title IV-E of the Federal Social Security Act.

Since the suit was filed, IARCCA and DCS have settled other issues cited in the suit. In 2011, the two reached an agreement regarding the reimbursement rate cuts. Stephanie McFarland, spokeswoman for DCS, said that the settlement announced Tuesday stems from a 2011 filing in the original lawsuit. Now that the issue over rates paid to cover more staff and cost-of-living expenses has been settled, no issues from the 2009 suit remain.

IARCCA Executive Director Cathleen Graham said in the statement that her membership is pleased with the settlement result. She noted that further work needs to be done, and IARCCA is “equally pleased that DCS agreed to meet regularly in partnership to enhance Indiana’s child welfare system. It takes both the public and private sectors working together to truly meet the complex needs of the abused, neglected and delinquent children and their families.”

For nearly three years, DCS has been trying to implement consistent rates for providers across the state based on actual costs incurred. McFarland said DCS is on course to achieve that goal.

“Although costs vary from region to region within the state, rates are tied to actual and verifiable costs, so the range of rates is not as large as what had been the case prior to 2009,” she said. “Administrative rules have been established regarding rates, and this settlement acknowledges those rules.”

IARCCA was represented by Faegre Baker Daniels LLP; James Payne, the named defendant in the suit and former director of DCS, was represented by Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP and Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP.


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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.