Indiana Department of Child Services

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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DCS workers' suit on unpaid overtime dismissed

August 27, 2015
 Associated Press
A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by two Indiana Department of Child Services investigators over having to work extensive overtime without receiving extra pay.
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Pence authorizes hiring 113 new DCS caseworkers

August 13, 2015
IL Staff
Governor Mike Pence Thursday announced the authorization of 113 additional Department of Child Services caseworkers to meet the demand caused by increased cases across the state. DCS will present its annual report to the State Budget Committee Friday.
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Indiana Supreme Court weighs case on custody, mental illness

July 6, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana Supreme Court is weighing an emotionally charged case in which a man lost custody of his daughter after spurning child-welfare officials’ suggestions that he leave his mentally ill wife based on their fears that she might harm the girl.
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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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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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