• New law gives moms, dads behind bars hope in TPR cases

    Christina Kovats and Kristina Byers previously served time at the Indiana Women’s Prison, and this year they became advocates who worked to draft Indiana legislation aimed at dismantling the black-and-white mentality regarding termination of parental rights for incarcerated mothers. A new law now gives judges discretion in TPR cases involving parents behind bars.

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  • Lawsuit claims DCS failing to protect children and inflicting further harm

    Children going into the state’s child welfare system end up more broken, attorneys suing the Department of Child Services say, because they are not being provided with therapy and treatment to help them heal. Rather, the lawyers contend, DCS is just finding beds to stick the kids in and forgetting about their other needs.

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Articles

CASAs share experiences, hopes for Hoosier kids at 30th anniversary celebration

Compassion. Persistence. Patience. These are shared qualities that Indiana’s court appointed special advocates have when working with thousands of Hoosier kids in the child welfare system each year. Indiana Lawyer spoke with a few of those advocates about their personal experiences as CASAs following a 30th anniversary celebration of the Indiana Office of GAL/CASA on March 4.

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CHINS statutory deadline overridden by trial rule

In a case of first impression, the Indiana Supreme Court found a trial rule trumped the CHINS statutory deadline after a mother was first granted a continuance, then moved to have the case dismissed because the court took longer than 120 days to complete the factfinding.

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COA reverses termination of mother’s parental rights

A trial court erred in terminating a mother’s parental rights to her two minor children, finding the potential of the children’s reunification with their father and their continuing bond with their mom made the termination of their relationship with their mother not in their best interests.

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CHINS findings for siblings upheld

The parents of four children who were all adjudicated as children in need of services have lost their appeal of the CHINS determinations, with the Indiana Court of Appeals dismissing arguments claiming error on the part of the trial court and the Department of Child Services.

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Courts as conveners: Task force led by Rush releases recommendations for judicial response to opioid crisis

The National Judicial Opioid Task Force was created in 2017 to delve into ways the judiciary could get a handle on the opioid crisis. Co-chaired by Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush, the task force’s work culminated late last month in the release of a report that includes four findings and six recommendations for how courts can respond to the current drug scourge and be better prepared for the next addiction crisis.

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