Indiana Department of Child Services

Mother’s suit alleging DCS caseworker abuses proceeds

December 1, 2016
Dave Stafford
An Indiana Department of Child Services case manager who allegedly pursued meritless child-abuse allegations against an Indianapolis mother must face a federal civil lawsuit, though her DCS supervisors will not, a judge has ruled.
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Justices weigh whether child abuse reporter can sue DCS for breach of confidentiality

November 16, 2016
Dave Stafford
A southern Indiana church van driver who suspected children to be in need of services due to dangerous living conditions in his small community followed the law requiring him to report his suspicions. He didn’t want to provide his name, but he did so after a Department of Child Services hotline worker assured him his identity would remain confidential, as the law also requires.
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Park Tudor gets prosecution deferral after Cox case

November 15, 2016
Dave Stafford
Park Tudor School will not face further penalties arising from its handling of an investigation of former basketball coach Kyle Cox, who was convicted and sentenced to 14 years in prison for trying to entice a 15-year-old student to have sex with him.
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DCS insists no right to sue over disclosed identity

November 8, 2016
Dave Stafford
A state attorney argued before the Indiana Supreme Court Thursday that the Department of Child Services cannot be sued by a man who reported suspected child abuse but whose promise of confidentiality was violated when his identity was disclosed to those he reported.
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DCS insists no right to sue over disclosed identity

November 3, 2016
Dave Stafford
A state attorney argued before the Indiana Supreme Court Thursday that the Department of Child Services cannot be sued by a man who reported suspected child abuse but whose promise of confidentiality was violated when his identity was disclosed to those he reported.
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State appealing $31M judgment against DCS workers

November 1, 2016
IL Staff
The state of Indiana is asking the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to review the $31 million jury verdict awarded to a Pulaski County family after they sued Department of Child Services workers and others for the wrongful removal of their children and prosecution of the parents.
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Appeals court rules that DCS employee can proceed with caseload claims

October 25, 2016
Olivia Covington
An employee of the Department of Child Services can continue in her complaint that alleges violations of the state-mandated caseload maximums despite a ruling that the employee has no private right of action under Indiana Code.
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Legislative group delays action on ALJ panels to retain subject-matter expertise

October 19, 2016
Dave Stafford
Perceived bias of administrative law judges in favor of the state agencies for which they adjudicate disputes has led to calls for Indiana to join 30 other states that have moved to central panels of ALJs to give them more independence. But that won’t happen anytime soon, a General Assembly study committee decided.
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Judge: State must reply to lawyers seeking fees of $2.8M in DCS case

October 7, 2016
Dave Stafford
A judge has ordered the state to reply to the petition of four lawyers for fees of $2.8 million for winning a $31 million judgment for a northern Indiana family victimized by the state Department of Child Services.
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Judge denies state bid to reduce $31 million award against DCS

September 30, 2016
Dave Stafford
A federal judge Friday rejected the state of Indiana’s motion to reduce a jury’s $31 million award last year against Department of Child Services workers and a state police officer for the wrongful removal of a couple’s children and prosecution of their parents.
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On rehearing, appeals court reins in DCS on CHINS custody change

September 8, 2016
Dave Stafford
The Department of Child Services lost on rehearing its argument that a custody modification ordered in a child in need of services case survives the CHINS proceeding.
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Justices take case on DCS caller confidentiality

September 6, 2016
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court will decide whether the Indiana Department of Child Services may be sued for failing to maintain the confidentiality of a caller who reported suspected child neglect.
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Caseworker vs. DCS

July 27, 2016
Dave Stafford
Despite a caseworker’s lawsuit against the Indiana Department of Child Services, her employer says she’s right: There aren’t enough caseworkers to handle the exploding growth in cases of Indiana children and families in crisis. But that’s where the agreement ends.
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Safe Families effort wins favor in Legislature

July 27, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
A new law furthers the group’s power of attorney arrangement in order to keep kids out of the child welfare system.
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DCS agrees more caseworkers needed, argues against suit

July 20, 2016
Indiana’s Legislature and governor have failed to provide resources to ensure sufficient case managers to protect children and families, a lawyer representing the Department of Child Services told the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday. But she argued a caseworker’s lawsuit against the agency was the wrong way to enforce state law requiring those workers have no more than 17 cases each.
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Indiana abuse, neglect deaths up 25 percent in 2014 to 66

July 15, 2016
 Associated Press
The Indiana Department of Child Services says the number of Indiana children who died from abuse or neglect during the 2014 state fiscal year rose by more than 25 percent over the previous year.
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Baby box founder undeterred by warning, plans defense fund

June 16, 2016
 Associated Press
The founder of an organization that has installed boxes where mothers can leave unwanted infants is undeterred by a warning from Indiana that they are illegal and intends to make sure more mothers have protected access to them.
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Indiana wants group to stop using baby boxes

June 10, 2016
 Associated Press
Indiana child welfare officials have warned an organization that installed two baby boxes at firehouses where mothers can drop off unwanted newborns anonymously to remove them, saying they question their safety and whether women who use them could face child abandonment charges.
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Judges say order for DCS interviews with children should not have happened

May 12, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Department of Child Services for Crawford County should not have been granted the opportunity to interview two children, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled, because the order doing so violates their mother’s right to raise her family without undue interference by the state.
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7th Circuit: State immune from FLSA suit

April 6, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit affirmed that Indiana was immune from a Federal Labor Standards Act lawsuit brought by two Department of Child Services Employees. The court said the state did not give consent for the suit, and thus had 11th Amendment immunity under the U.S. Constitution.
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Lawsuit: DCS illegally slashes subsidies if special-needs kids adopted

October 30, 2015
Dave Stafford
A lawsuit filed Thursday claims the Indiana Department of Child Services violated federal law when it proposed to slash assistance for three profoundly disabled children after their grandparents who served as foster parents planned to adopt them.
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DCS 'became the abusers'

October 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
A jury has awarded $31.3 million in an "arbitrary and capricious" case against parents in their child's death.
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Director: Indiana child services case managers leaving

October 9, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana Department of Child Services is seeing a higher percentage of its family case managers leave the agency, its director told the DCS Oversight Committee.
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Federal jury rules against DCS, awards family $31.3 million

October 7, 2015
Dave Stafford
The family of a 14-year-old Pulaski County girl who died as a result of prescription error has been awarded $31.3 million in a judgment against state agents who wrongly removed the couple’s children from their home and prosecuted the parents for their daughter’s death.
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Indiana seeks more foster parents because of growing need

October 5, 2015
 Associated Press
The number of children in Indiana in foster care rose to 13,134 in June, up from 10,550 a year earlier, according to state records. The shortage of foster families is putting pressure on the pool of people who are licensed to foster and making it more difficult for caseworkers to find local placements.
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