• 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.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More

Articles

Admission of parents’ drug tests upheld in TPR case

Parents who objected to the admission of drug tests in their termination of parental rights hearing were unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that their children would not be affected by their drug use. The panel affirmed removal would be in the children’s best interests.

Read More

Res judicata clarification allows CHINS finding to stand

In granting a petition on rehearing, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed its earlier ruling and allowed the Department of Child Services to move forward with a new child in need of services petition even though the filing relied on allegations made in a previous CHINS petition that had been overturned.

Read More

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Claiming outside advocates were relying on “an inflammatory and outdated account,” Indiana Department of Child Services director Terry Stigdon released a video statement Monday in response to the lawsuit filed last week charging the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.

Read More

Supreme Court rejects DCS ‘piecemeal litigation’ in CHINS cases

In response to the question of whether the Department of Child Services can file successive CHINS petitions based on evidence available at the time of the original petition — a practice that has drawn ire from the Indiana Court of Appeals — the Indiana Supreme Court has ruled that such a practice is barred. However, the specifics of the case the court addressed Thursday did not require reversal.

Read More
focus-overview-shutterstock-498174346-bp-450.jpg

Zipping into statutes: Overview of new laws for 2019

Although the $34 billion budget dominated the session, legislators introduced and considered more than 600 bills each in both the Senate and the House. The ones they passed covered a variety of matters, including hate crimes, hemp, gambling, foster parents, electricity generation and, of course, electric scooters.

Read More