Indiana Department of Child Services

Attorney general’s office will now represent DCS on appeal

September 13, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced Thursday afternoon that the attorney general’s office will take over appellate representation of the Department of Child Services. DCS currently utilizes attorneys of its choice in appellate matters.
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Courts, DCS, Criminal Code Evaluation committees meet this week

September 4, 2012
IL Staff
The Commission on Courts holds its first meeting of the legislative interim Wednesday, and a common theme is the need for more judges.
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DCS admits petition flawed; COA orders more proceedings

August 31, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Gibson Circuit Court committed fundamental error in terminating the parental rights of a mother and father over their young child, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday. The Department of Child Services admitted that it failed to comply with statute when filing the petition to terminate their parental rights.
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Case arising out of molestation not reported by DCS divides court

August 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A lawsuit brought by parents against the Department of Child Services and Evansville Police Department for not informing them of their daughter’s molestation led each judge on the Court of Appeals panel to write his or her own opinion. The only thing the judges agreed on is that the police department is not a proper party to the case.
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DCS, criminal law study committees meet this week

August 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Department of Child Services Interim Study Committee will meet for the first time Wednesday afternoon to discuss various matters including funding and child in need of services cases.
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DCS taking recommendations for members of child fatality review teams

August 14, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Department of Child Services has begun the process of establishing child fatality review teams across the state.
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COA rules trial court should have allowed DCS to withdraw adoption consent

July 10, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Department of Child Services’ failure to investigate a child’s aunt as a possible adoptive parent – and a trial court’s refusal to allow DCS to withdraw consent for foster parents to adopt after acknowledging its failure – prompted the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse a trial court order granting the foster parents’ petition to adopt.
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Court upholds former DCS worker’s child molesting convictions

June 27, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the 24-year sentence imposed on a former Hamilton County Department of Child Services’ case manager found guilty of molesting his cousin’s son.
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Judges uphold termination of parental rights

May 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found ample evidence that a mother took little to no steps to correct the problems that led to her son’s removal and continued placement out of her care, so it affirmed the termination of parental rights. In its opinion, the judges also discussed Indiana Evidence Rule 201(b) regarding judicial notice of “records of a court of this state.”
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Appeals court reverses DCS judgment of CHINS

May 22, 2012
Dave Stafford
A 16-year-old Indianapolis girl was improperly adjudicated a child in need of services, and her mother should not have been subject to Department of Child Services oversight, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Confidentiality issues raised

March 28, 2012
Michael Hoskins
St. Joseph County case creates concern about protecting callers’ identities on child abuse claims.
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Governor signs DCS, new judge legislation

March 19, 2012
IL Staff
Gov. Mitch Daniels signed legislation last week that gives Johnson Superior Court a fourth judge and Allen Circuit Court another full-time magistrate, and an enrolled act that makes changes to the Department of Child Services.
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COA remands parental rights case

March 8, 2012
Michael Hoskins
Finding that a trial judge and Indiana Department of Child Services didn’t follow the law before involuntarily terminating parental rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals has sent the case back to Elkhart Circuit Court.
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On rehearing, COA affirms original opinion

February 14, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
On petition for rehearing, the state Department of Child Services claims that the appellate court imposed an undue burden upon the agency by recognizing that DCS has to make a prima facie showing regarding current conditions before the parent is obliged to come forward with evidence.
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DCS recognized with national award

January 11, 2012
IL Staff
The Indiana Department of Child Services has won one of four Casey Family Programs “Excellence in Leadership” awards for 2011. The award is given to those involved in child welfare who work to improve the lives of children and families.
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Grand jury indicts 2 attorneys, real estate broker

December 14, 2011
Cory Schouten
A grand jury in South Bend has returned a 14-count criminal indictment against two attorneys and a real estate broker from central Indiana over a state lease deal in Elkhart.
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Judges reverse termination of parents' rights

December 14, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In a case filled with several errors and discrepancies, the Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed the termination of parental rights of a mother and two fathers because the Department of Child Services failed to meet the burden of proving that termination is in the best interest of the children.
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Indiana first in region to complete child welfare improvement plan

November 11, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Department of Child Services announced Thursday it has received word from Region V of the Administration of Child and Families, an affiliate of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, that it has satisfactorily finalized its Program Improvement Plan.
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Justices decline to reconsider out-of-state placements ruling

November 4, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has denied a rehearing petition from the state attorney general’s office to revisit a June ruling that upheld three statutes involving juvenile judges’ authority on out-of-state placements.
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Guidance offered on incarcerated parents' attendance at termination hearings

October 11, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Scolding the Indiana Department of Child Services for how it handled a parental termination case, the Indiana Supreme Court has found an incarcerated mother’s due process rights were not violated when she did not receive adequate notice about pending proceedings that would affect her rights as a parent or when she was not allowed to attend the hearings.
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Foster families get in free to Marengo Cave

October 6, 2011
IL Staff
Thanks to a partnership between Marengo Cave and the Indiana Department of Child Services, foster parents and their foster, biological and stepchildren will be able to get in to Marengo Cave’s guided walking tours for free.
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Court: CHINS fact-finding hearing required by due process

September 28, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals disagrees with the state Department of Child Services that fact-finding and dispositional hearings in a child in need of services case are interchangeable. The appellate panel has ruled a Marion County father’s due process rights were denied because he didn’t receive the opportunity for a fact-finding hearing.
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Indiana makes gains in permanent placementRestricted Content

September 14, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The state sees improvement, but aims to do better.
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Meth use linked to increase in CHINSRestricted Content

August 31, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Leslie Dunn, Indiana state director for GAL/CASA, said the number of Child in Need of Services cases over time remains stable, but she’s seen some remarkable variations in cases per-county from year to year. In Vanderburgh County, for example, new CHINS cases jumped from 448 in 2008 to 818 in 2010. People who are watching these numbers with concern cite several possible reasons for these variations.
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DCS announces new foster care reimbursement rates

August 19, 2011
Following a lawsuit filed by foster parents after the Indiana Department of Child Services announced in 2009 that it was going to decrease the foster care per diem by 10 percent, the department announced Friday that it has come up with new reimbursement rates beginning Jan. 1, 2012.
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  5. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

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