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Indiana Department of Child Services goes $284M over budget

April 25, 2018

The Indiana Department of Child Services has gone over budget by $284 million with two months left in this fiscal year.

The Journal Gazette reports that the state Budget Committee heard about the issue Tuesday.

State Budget Director Jason Dudich said the Family and Social Services Administration and Medicaid reserves have been providing most of the excess funds.

DCS doesn’t have enough family case managers to oversee the high numbers of abused and neglected children in Indiana. Further, The Indiana Supreme Court ruled last year that despite reports of family case managers carrying caseloads that are more than double statutory limits, the applicable statute, Indiana Code section 31-25-2-5, does not warrant a judicial mandate for compliance with caseload limits.

The department is also in the midst of an outside review after the abrupt departure of its former director, Mary Beth Bonaventura, who criticized Gov. Eric Holcomb for service cuts and management changes that she said would harm children.

DCS Director Terry Stigdon said the agency will have a better idea of what resources it needs after the report is completed in June.

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