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. I was wondering about the 6 million put aside for common attorney fees?does that mean that if you are a plaintiff your attorney fees will be partially covered?

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  3. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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