Lanane to Pence: properly staff DCS caseworkers

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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.

“The governor has an opportunity during the State of the State to make clear his commitment to protecting Hoosier children,” said Lanane, D-Anderson, during a news conference. “It’s time to do the right thing and give DCS the resources it needs to hire the 77 caseworkers and comply with the law.”

Pence’s State of the State address will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Statehouse.

During a November State Budget Committee hearing, DCS admitted it was out of compliance with state statute limiting family case manager caseloads, according to a statement from Lanane. Even after correspondence with the governor highlighting the issue and a meeting with DCS Director Mary Beth Bonaventura, Lanane says Pence still omitted additional case manager funding in his recently announced state budget proposal.

“Senate Democrats are open to taking a look at caseload standards,” Lanane said. “But in the meantime, the law is the law and we must do what it takes to ensure the safety of children.”

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