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Nonprofit sues over DCS rate cuts

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A nonprofit organization made up of agencies that provide services to abused and neglected kids is suing the Indiana Department of Child Services for cutting rates paid to the agencies next year.

The Indiana Association of Residential Child Care Agencies Inc. filed suit Monday against DCS and director James W. Payne in Marion Superior Court seeking declaratory and injunctive relief.

DCS contracts with IARCCA's members to provide services to children as described in Title IV-E of the Federal Social Security Act, which include foster care placements and residential placements. About 80 members provide services that include a residential component.

According to the suit, No. 49D11-0912-PL-056480, the DCS informed residential members earlier this month that the rates for 2010 will be cut between 4 and 14 percent and no less than 20 percent for licensed child placing agencies. DCS allegedly told the licensed child placing agencies that it would transfer the children to other locations if the providers didn't sign the new contracts with the lower rates within five days of receipt.

The contracts provide for a per diem rate set by DCS, but there is no written explanation as to how these reimbursement rates are calculated.

IARCCA accuses the DCS of failing to establish any rules or method by which it sets provider reimbursement rates and that DCS arbitrarily is cutting rates paid to providers.

IARCCA says the cuts will affect the quality of the children's care, result in higher ratios of children to staff supervisors, higher caseloads for therapists, and reductions of tutoring and mentoring programs.

IARCCA wants the court to declare that DCS' setting of per diem rate payments to providers other than pursuant to promulgated rules violates Indiana Code Section 4-22 and Title IV-E. IARCCA also seeks a preliminary injunction preventing DCS from reducing its rates until it has promulgated rules governing the establishment of per diem rates, and permanent injunctive relief requiring the agency to set rates and to change rates in accordance with written standards in state and federal law. IARCCA also wants relief to prevent DCS from taking any action concerning children in the care of providers based solely on decisions about the rates to providers.

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  1. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

  2. Mazel Tov to the newlyweds. And to those bakers, photographers, printers, clerks, judges and others who will lose careers and social standing for not saluting the New World (Dis)Order, we can all direct our Two Minutes of Hate as Big Brother asks of us. Progress! Onward!

  3. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

  4. If justice is not found in a court room, it's time to clean house!!! Even judges are accountable to a higher Judge!!!

  5. The small claims system, based on my recent and current usage of it, is not exactly a shining example of justice prevailing. The system appears slow and clunky and people involved seem uninterested in actually serving justice within a reasonable time frame. Any improvement in accountability and performance would gain a vote from me. Speaking of voting, what do the people know about judges and justice from the bench perspective. I think they have a tendency to "vote" for judges based on party affiliation or name coolness factor (like Stoner, for example!). I don't know what to do in my current situation other than grin and bear it, but my case is an example of things working neither smoothly, effectively nor expeditiously. After this experience I'd pay more to have the higher courts hear the case -- if I had the money. Oh the conundrum.

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