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Evidence supports CHINS finding, COA affirms

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Based on evidence that a mother continued to have extensive problems with drugs and violent relationships with her children’s fathers, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the determination that a woman’s two young children were children in need of services.

E.B. appealed the order finding that her children, who were under the age of three at the time, were in need of services. The Department of Child Services became involved with E.B. after receiving a report she used and sold drugs from her home where her children lived. When a case manager tried to follow up at the home, she found no one living there. E.B. declined to initially tell DCS where her children were living.

DCS filed the petition alleging the kids were CHINs based on E.B.’s admission to using cocaine three months earlier and refusing to disclose the location of the children. The day after the petition was filed, she tested positive for alcohol and marijuana, which she admitted to using daily.

E.B. underwent a substance use disorder assessment with a counselor. The counselor’s report was admitted during the CHINS hearing. The trial court cited the daily use of drugs by E.B., the age of her children, her violent history with her children’s fathers, among other things, as reasons why the children are CHINS. The court has since released wardship over the children and closed this case as E.B. has completed all ordered services and had clean drug screens since February 2013.

The COA affirmed the CHINs determination, finding evidence supports that E.B. continued to have extensive problems with drugs, violent relationships with her children’s fathers, and that these problems are harmful to the children. The trial court’s findings also support its judgment that there is a substantial risk of endangerment to the children, and that they need care, treatment or rehabilitation that they are not receiving and would not receive without court intervention, Judge Edward Najam wrote in In the Matter of Des.B. and Dem.B., Minor Children in Need of Services, E.B. v. Indiana Department of Child Services, 49A02-1306-JC-487.  

The judges also affirmed the admission of the telephonic testimony of John Martin. Martin worked at a California lab and analyzed E.B.’s drug test. His testimony regarding mother’s failed drug screen was harmless because it was merely cumulative of evidence already before the court. E.B. claimed he was allowed to testify by phone despite the court not following the procedure outlined in Indiana Administrative Rule 14.

 

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  1. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  2. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  3. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  4. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

  5. Can I get this form on line,if not where can I obtain one. I am eligible.

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