Indiana Department of Child Services

Pence asks Legislature for $15M to add DCS staff

March 18, 2015
IL Staff
On the same day the state released an independent report on workload and caseloads of staff at the Indiana Department of Child Services, Gov. Mike Pence sent a letter to several legislators seeking more funding to increase family case managers and supervisors at the state agency.
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Change to Indiana law on sex trafficking victims wins approval

March 17, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana legislators have approved changing state law so that those younger than 18 won't be prosecuted for prostitution if they were a victim of human trafficking.
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COA affirms cutting off mother’s communication with daughter

February 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The court record is replete with evidence supporting a juvenile court’s decision that a teenage girl would be better off if communication and visits with her mother were terminated, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday. The girl, in foster care, often had detrimental visits with her mother.
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Appeals panel affirms CHINS adjudication

January 16, 2015
Dave Stafford
Two children were properly adjudicated in need of services, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded in affirming a trial court.
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Lanane to Pence: properly staff DCS caseworkers

January 12, 2015
IL Staff
Indiana Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane said Monday that Gov. Mike Pence must add 77 new caseworkers at the Department of Child Services to comply with state law.
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Child services agency exceeding caseload standard

November 20, 2014
 Associated Press
Leaders of Indiana's Department of Child Services say it isn't meeting state-mandated caseload standards but aren't asking for money to hire more child welfare workers.
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Indiana rejects fired DCS workers' appeals

October 27, 2014
 Associated Press
A state agency has rejected the appeals of two former Indiana child-welfare workers fired following the death of a paralyzed young woman.
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Child services investigators claim unpaid overtime

September 25, 2014
 Associated Press
Two Indiana Department of Child Services investigators say in a lawsuit that they've had to work extensive overtime without receiving required overtime pay.
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DCS settles adoption subsidy lawsuit

September 18, 2014
IL Staff
Families who sued the Department of Child Services will receive $15.1 million in state foster child adoption subsidies withheld from 2009 to 2014, DCS announced Thursday.
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DCS struggles to keep accurate caseload tally

September 15, 2014
 Associated Press
Indiana has hired more case workers to keep track of its most vulnerable residents, but complaints about overwork continue to surface as the state battles turnover and questions the accuracy of data on caseloads.
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DCS to fund state subsidies for adoptions from foster care

August 13, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Department of Child Services will fund state subsidies for children adopted from foster care for the fiscal year that began July 1. The announcement comes after a lawsuit claimed the state reneged on promises to provide the assistance to about 1,400 eligible families since 2009.
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Court affirms termination of parental rights without case plan

August 12, 2014
Dave Stafford
Morgan County parents, including a father who dealt meth to a confidential informant while his wife and three minor children were present, lost an appeal of their termination of parental rights Tuesday.
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Firm says DCS misled parents on foster adoption subsidies

August 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Department of Child Services misled parents adopting foster children by falsely claiming the agency lacked resources to provide subsidies while it returned hundreds of millions of dollars to the state, according to the Indianapolis law firm pursuing a class-action suit against DCS.
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Advocates: Suit over unpaid subsidies emblematic of DCS' shortcomings

July 16, 2014
Dave Stafford
Adoptive families who’ve sued the state and likened the Department of Child Services to deadbeat parents for failing to pay promised subsidies to people who adopt foster children aren’t alone in feeling slighted, child and adoption advocates say.
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Adoptive parent likens DCS to deadbeat parents

June 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
A woman who adopted three special-needs foster children said Monday the state’s failure to provided promised adoption subsidies made the Department of Child Services “basically deadbeat parents.”  
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Can parents sue DCS? Yes, divided justices rule

January 1, 2014
Dave Stafford
A sharply divided Indiana Supreme Court decision that a family may sue the state’s child protection agency for negligence is sure to resonate within the Department of Child Services, attorneys familiar with the case said.
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Divided Supreme Court reinstates claim DCS mishandled abuse case

November 27, 2013
Dave Stafford
Claims that the Department of Child Services was negligent in its handling of child-molestation allegations were reinstated Tuesday, when a divided Indiana Supreme Court in a 3-2 opinion reversed in part a trial court grant of summary judgment.
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Foster child’s claim against health center falls outside Medical Malpractice Act

November 21, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Morgan County court erred when it granted Adult and Child Mental Health Center Inc.’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed on behalf of a child in foster care who suffered severe brain damage from a near-drowning. The center argued the complaint was subject to the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act.
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Judge sentences attorney Page to probation, fine

November 4, 2013
Cory Schouten
Attorney and real estate developer Paul J. Page will serve two years of probation and pay a $10,000 fine for concealing the source of a $362,000 down payment on his purchase of a state-leased office building in Elkhart.
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New commission on children to webcast meetings

October 9, 2013
IL Staff
Interested parties across Indiana will be able to attend the upcoming meetings of the state’s new child commission via the Internet.
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COA reverses involuntary termination order for a second time

October 8, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals sharply rebuked a trial court as having “committed clear error” by relying on old evidence and testimony in terminating a Vanderburgh County couple’s parental rights.
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Gov. Pence turns to legal community for board appointments

August 23, 2013
IL Staff
A litigation attorney for the Indiana Department of Child Services, Luke Britt, has been appointed as the Indiana Public Access Counselor.
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First Child Services Oversight Committee meeting Wednesday

July 26, 2013
IL Staff
The Child Services Oversight Committee, established by the Indiana General Assembly specifically to keep tabs on the Indiana Department of Child Services, will hold its first meeting July 31.
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Justices uphold termination of mother’s parental rights after years of drug abuse

June 5, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court Wednesday set aside the Court of Appeals order dismissing a Dearborn County mother’s appeal of the termination of her parental rights and took the case. The justices affirmed the decision to end her parental rights to her three children.
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Justices block Schiralli’s Lake County bench transfer

May 17, 2013
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court blocked the transfer of a judge who sought to replace former Lake Superior Juvenile Court Judge Mary Beth Bonaventura after her appointment to head the Department of Child Services.
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  1. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  2. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

  3. She must be a great lawyer

  4. Ind. Courts - "Illinois ranks 49th for how court system serves disadvantaged" What about Indiana? A story today from Dave Collins of the AP, here published in the Benton Illinois Evening News, begins: Illinois' court system had the third-worst score in the nation among state judiciaries in serving poor, disabled and other disadvantaged members of the public, according to new rankings. Illinois' "Justice Index" score of 34.5 out of 100, determined by the nonprofit National Center for Access to Justice, is based on how states serve people with disabilities and limited English proficiency, how much free legal help is available and how states help increasing numbers of people representing themselves in court, among other issues. Connecticut led all states with a score of 73.4 and was followed by Hawaii, Minnesota, New York and Delaware, respectively. Local courts in Washington, D.C., had the highest overall score at 80.9. At the bottom was Oklahoma at 23.7, followed by Kentucky, Illinois, South Dakota and Indiana. ILB: That puts Indiana at 46th worse. More from the story: Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, Colorado, Tennessee and Maine had perfect 100 scores in serving people with disabilities, while Indiana, Georgia, Wyoming, Missouri and Idaho had the lowest scores. Those rankings were based on issues such as whether interpretation services are offered free to the deaf and hearing-impaired and whether there are laws or rules allowing service animals in courthouses. The index also reviewed how many civil legal aid lawyers were available to provide free legal help. Washington, D.C., had nearly nine civil legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty, the highest rate in the country. Texas had the lowest rate, 0.43 legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty. http://indianalawblog.com/archives/2014/11/ind_courts_illi_1.html

  5. A very thorough opinion by the federal court. The Rooker-Feldman analysis, in particular, helps clear up muddy water as to the entanglement issue. Looks like the Seventh Circuit is willing to let its district courts cruise much closer to the Indiana Supreme Court's shorelines than most thought likely, at least when the ADA on the docket. Some could argue that this case and Praekel, taken together, paint a rather unflattering picture of how the lower courts are being advised as to their duties under the ADA. A read of the DOJ amicus in Praekel seems to demonstrate a less-than-congenial view toward the higher echelons in the bureaucracy.

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