Articles

DCS director claims lawsuit is ‘misleading and harmful’

Claiming outside advocates were relying on “an inflammatory and outdated account,” Indiana Department of Child Services director Terry Stigdon released a video statement Monday in response to the lawsuit filed last week charging the state agency with inflicting further harm on children entering the foster care system.

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DCS lawsuit details harm to children

An 81-page lawsuit filed Tuesday against the Indiana Department of Child Services claims the agency is failing to protect children and further inflicting trauma by placing foster children in inappropriate, unstable or overly restrictive facilities and not providing the necessary medical and mental health care.

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Suit: Kids in CHINS cases need attorneys

A nonprofit that gave Indiana an F grade in how the state provides for minors in child in need of services and termination of parental rights hearings asserts in a new lawsuit that children a have right to counsel so their voices be heard in court.

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Attorney couple seeking changes for Indiana foster parents

Indianapolis attorneys Joe Delamater, a criminal defense lawyer at Razumich & Delamater PC, and Kiamesha Colom, a partner at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, encountered confusion, frustration and ultimately heartbreak during the course of a few months when they became foster parents to a baby boy. Now they are pushing for changes to state laws they say will balance the system so the right results happen for kids.

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Divided COA reverses CHINS finding

The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a finding that a Marion County child was a child in need of services, with most of the appellate panel finding insufficient evidence to support the determination. The dissenting judge, however, urged caution in the face of a potentially dangerous situation.

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DCS consultant: Twice as many Hoosier kids out of home

A consultant hired by the state said Thursday Indiana has more than double the number of children in out-of-home care compared to the national average. The finding was among the highlights of an initial report commissioned by Gov. Eric Holcomb after the resignation of former Department of Child Services director Mary Beth Bonaventura.

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Indiana governor pledges ‘transparent’ DCS review

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb pledged in his State of the State address Tuesday night to conduct a “transparent” review of the Department of Child Services, but offered little more than platitudes about an agency that his critics say is enveloped in crisis. “I’ll state right now: There’s no one who cares more about Hoosier children than I do, and I’ll do whatever is necessary to ensure the success of our agency and its mission.”

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Problems persist as director quits DCS

The departure of Mary Beth Bonaventura as director of the Indiana Department of Child Services surprised several family law attorneys and social service providers. Uniformly, they agreed the former Lake County juvenile judge was a strong advocate for children and brought valuable experience to her tenure. Still, the department has struggled against internal and external challenges.

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