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.
Statehouse Democrats say they are troubled by Republican “secrecy” as Gov. Eric Holcomb and the GOP-majority scramble to contain fallout from a burgeoning crisis in Indiana’s child welfare agency.
The two most powerful Republicans in the Indiana Legislature said they do not plan to take major action to address a growing crisis in the Department of Child Services during this year’s session, which kicked off Wednesday.
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.
The state of Indiana will pay an Indianapolis veterinarian $1.2 million to settle a lawsuit she filed claiming a Department of Child Services case manager conducted an illegal search of her office then posted a notice falsely informing her that her children had been removed from her home.
Although a Tippecanoe County father appealed the denial of a petition alleging his children were children in need of services, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled the father’s arguments as to why his children should be considered CHINS were unavailing.
A divided Indiana Supreme Court has affirmed summary judgment for the Department of Child Services after one of its employees revealed the name of a child abuse reporter, finding there was no statutory or common law basis to impose a duty of confidentiality.
Indiana school employees are now required to report suspected child abuse or neglect directly to the Department of Child Services or local law enforcement instead of first notifying a school administrator.
A 10-year-old boy adjudicated as a delinquent for acts that would be considered Level 4 felony child molesting if committed by an adult will have his adjudication dropped after the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday there was insufficient evidence to support a true finding of the conduct.
The Commission on Improving the Status of Children in Indiana has set a three-year plan emphasizing child safety and services, juvenile justice, mental health, substance abuse and educational outcomes as key priorities.
An Indiana trial court imposed an “inappropriately high” burden on the Department of Child Services to prove a presumption of a child in need of services situation, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday in an opinion ordering the trial court to revisit the CHINS petition.
A statute providing exceptions to the requirement that the Department of Child Services make reasonable efforts to preserve and reunify families involved in CHINS cases survived a constitutional challenge Thursday.
Perceived bias of administrative law judges in favor of the state agencies for which they adjudicate disputes has led to calls for Indiana to join 30 other states that have moved to central panels of ALJs to give them more independence. But that won’t happen anytime soon, a General Assembly study committee decided.
Two employees of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration will face individual-capacity claims brought by a religious day care whose registration was revoked without providing for some type of hearing, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
The Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday reversed the findings that four sisters are children in need of services, noting none of their parents’ actions or inactions endangered the children.
The Supreme Court of the United States ruled Monday that the Labor Department must do a better job of explaining why it is changing a longstanding policy on whether certain workers deserve overtime pay.