Indiana’s largest organization that advocates for the interests of child victims of abuse has received the largest donation in its history — a $5 million grant from the Lilly Endowment. “They call it a transformational gift, and it certainly is for us,” Child Advocates CEO Cindy Booth said of the award.
Claiming outside advocates were relying on “an inflammatory and outdated account,” Indiana Department of Child Services director Terry Stigdon released a video statement Monday in response to the lawsuit filed last week charging the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.
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.
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.
A state consultant says Indiana's child welfare agency is facing a shortage of mental health and substance abuse treatment services, as well as attorneys. The review continues as lawmakers continue to consider numerous DCS-related bills.
A Michigan bill inspired by the Larry Nassar scandal that would retroactively extend the amount of time child victims of sexual abuse have to sue their abusers is drawing concerns from the Catholic Church, which has paid out billions of dollars to settle U.S. clergy abuse cases.
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.
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.
Testimony from a physician which supported the state’s effort to adjudicate six minor siblings as children in need of services was allowed under the hearsay exception, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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.”
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.
Legislators returned to the Indiana Statehouse on Wednesday to begin this year’s General Assembly session, which will be the first in recent memory in which the Republican supermajorities do not have an overarching objective they hope to achieve.
A day after Mary Beth Bonaventura left her position as director of the Indiana Department of Child Services, the Gov. Eric Holcomb has announced Terry Stigdon, clinical director of operations at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health in Indianapolis, will lead the agency.
A troubled teenager found to be a child in need of services was properly adjudicated even though the juvenile court ruled the state did not meet its burden in proving the basis of its CHINS petition.
The nearly 2-year-old Commission on Improving the Status of Children has released its annual report, detailing its activities during the 2014-2015 fiscal year.
A lawsuit filed on behalf of a Department of Child Services family case manager contends her caseload is more than twice what Indiana law allows, and the excessive work puts children at risk.
Child Advocates, Inc., a nonprofit representing and protecting children in Marion County, will be giving away hundreds of books to foster children in Indianapolis as part of the national project, “A Book of My Own.”