Hundreds of CASA volunteers formed a wave of blue at the Indiana Statehouse on Wednesday in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Indiana State Office of GAL/CASA.
Hoosiers who volunteer their time and energy advocating on behalf of kids in the child welfare system will have a chance next week to celebrate more than three decades of effort.
A mother and father whose parental rights were terminated did not persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse the termination because they were deprived of the right to determine their child’s adoptive placement.
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.
In response to a lawsuit seeking to require the state appoint attorneys to represent children in termination of parental rights or children in need of services proceedings, Indiana is arguing that adding more lawyers would only flatter the legal professionals and not mollify tragic circumstances.
A national child advocacy organization filed a lawsuit Wednesday in federal court in Indianapolis asserting that Indiana is violating the rights of abused and neglected children by failing to provide them legal counsel in children in need of services and termination of parental rights hearings.
Legislators in 2018 introduced a slew of bills trying to bring more collaboration and modest adjustments to the Department of Child Services. Lawmakers this year have introduced at least 25 bills impacting CHINS, foster parents and DCS caseloads, among other things.
A bill that would have given immunity to guardians ad litem and court appointed child advocates stalled in the Indiana House, but other measures covering foster parents and placing new requirements on the Indiana Department of Child Services all passed through the Statehouse with little or no opposition.
With the help of a nearly $1 million grant, Child Advocates, Inc., is partnering with Indianapolis Legal Aid Society in a pilot project designed to sweep youths from the child in need of services process and get them into stable homes.
The Indiana Court of Appeals on Wednesday affirmed an award of attorney fees in a guardianship dispute that involved expert witnesses who testified as to the testamentary capacity of a man diagnosed with dementia.
The money is needed for guardians ad litem and court appointed special advocates, and to pay for the new rule requiring defenders in delinquency cases.
In Marion County, the funding shortfall is projected to be $4.6 million for 2015. Courts are routinely dealing with persistent shortfalls to support guardians ad litem appointed to represent juveniles in child in need of services cases.
A 15-year-old who fathered a child was not deprived due process because a guardian ad litem wasn’t appointed for him during proceedings in which his parental rights were terminated.
Indiana’s State Office of the GAL/CASA has been awarded a $40,000 grant from the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association. The money will be used to support local programs that provide volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children in Indiana.
As Court Appointed Special Advocate for Marion County, Child Advocates is celebrating its 30th anniversary, having assisted more than 75,000 children since its inception. Today, the organization advocates for every child involved in a Marion County abuse or neglect case – more than 5,000 annually – with the help of more than 400 volunteers.