Indiana Lawyer’s top story of 2018 began inside an Indianapolis bar in the cool early-morning hours of Thursday, March 15. Attorney General Curtis Hill had had a few drinks. A few too many, several witnesses would later claim.
Among the biggest issues the 2019 General Assembly will have to contend with is the Department of Child Services, which is still reeling after a tumultuous year that saw a leader abruptly resign and a national group identify several shortcomings in the department’s operations. Gov. Eric Holcomb is calling on lawmakers to devote significant financial resources to the struggling department, and all four legislative leaders say their caucuses plan to make DCS a top priority.
The Indiana Court of Appeals reinstated a wrongful death lawsuit against Indianapolis Public Schools when it found genuine issues of material fact as to Arlington Community High School’s duty to supervise its students after a teen’s murder nearby.
Legislative leaders to focus on DCS funding, teacher pay in ‘extraordinarily difficult’ budget session
In what the Indiana House Speaker said is likely to be an “extraordinarily difficult” budget session, Indiana’s legislative leaders plan to focus their efforts during this year’s legislative session on budget-impacting legislation, such as funding for the embattled Department of Child Services and increasing teacher pay.
The Indiana Department of Child Services is requesting a 42 percent increase in its budget next year compared to the funding it was designated to receive this year in the previous budget cycle. The proposed budget from DCS would include $965 million from the state’s general fund per year for the next two fiscal years.
Indiana lawmakers returned to the Statehouse on Tuesday for the ceremonial start to the new legislative session.
In celebration of National Adoption Day, Hoosier families will once again have an opportunity to smile for the camera in the courtroom. The Indiana Supreme Court has announced its authorization of cameras in court for uncontested adoptions during the month of November, allowing photography and video of the adoption proceedings.
The Indiana Court of Appeals reprimanded the Indiana Department of Child Services on Wednesday for failing to comply with notice requirements, while also affirming a mother’s termination of parental-child relationship for her failure to communicate with DCS.
The Indiana Department of Child Services is spending $22 million on raises for staff as part of an effort to improve the agency that’s seen rising caseloads and internal battles. The raises will take effect Wednesday for more than 3,600 employees, or about 87 percent of the agency’s staff.
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed two CHINS petitions when it ruled fact-finding hearings must be completed within 120 days of filing, regardless of any act or agreements of the parties involved.
The Indiana Court of Appeals reiterated harsh words at the Department of Child Services and Indiana trial courts after reversing another case involving a failure to afford due process protections to families in termination of parental rights cases.
While the firestorm over the Indiana Department of Child Services has died down, the Indiana General Assembly is preparing to begin its examination of the agency and possibly make recommendations for action during the 2019 legislative session. The Interim Study Committee on Courts and the Judiciary is scheduled to meet at 10 a.m. Wednesday in Room 431 of the Statehouse to review a host of issues related to DCS.
Two Marion County children will no longer be considered children in need of services after the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed their CHINS adjudication, finding insufficient evidence to support the finding that their North Carolina-based father could not care for them.
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that court-appointed special advocates have the statutory authority to prosecute a petition to terminate parental rights, even when the Department of Child Services opposes the termination.
A man who used the sovereign citizen tactic of filing phony liens against multiple Indiana federal judges lost his appeal Monday. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Brent A. Swallers' conviction of filing a false lien and encumbrance against a federal judge
It’s not uncommon for the Indiana Department of Child Services to hear it doesn’t have enough evidence to support its child welfare cases. Children in need of services cases that enter the court often leave shredded by judges for lack of a sufficient reasoning as to why they came before the bench without enough evidence to back up the claims.
Five reviews of the Indiana Department of Child Services cost more than $1.3 million but yielded no state action to address the troubled agency’s increasing caseloads.
Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma said Monday he was “disturbed” after finding out the state’s child welfare agency failed to take action after five different reviews conducted in recent years found problems at the agency. The revelation was included in a sixth report on the Department of Child Services, which was released in June by a consultant hired by Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb.
The $25 million Gov. Eric Holcomb recently pledged in additional funding for the Department of Child Services is not the first infusion of extra money given to the agency in recent years. In fact, the sum is one of the smaller supplements to the department’s annual state appropriation, which is more than $600 million.
A review of Indiana’s troubled child welfare agency confirms what advocates have long said: Parental drug abuse has led to a surge in children removed from their homes.