LaPorte and Tippecanoe counties are piloting a National Center for State Courts project called “Upstream,” a framework which aims to prevent child maltreatment and out-of-home placement, reduce court involvement, and support safe and healthy families.
Working hand in hand: Advisory board helps DCS improve by sharing parents’ experiences, opinions
The Indiana Birth Parent Advisory Board was assembled in 2019 at the prompting of Department of Child Services Director Terry Stigdon. Along with feedback, Stigdon said she wanted parents on the advisory board to provide guidance and input on DCS policies and practices.Read More
Senate Bill 180 reignites conversation about direct representation for CHINS, TPR proceedings
Indiana is one of just six states that does not require counsel for children in child welfare cases in any situation, according to the National Association of Counsel for Children. Although Indiana Code § 31-32-4-2 does give state court judges the discretion to appoint counsel for children in child welfare cases, stakeholders say the Hoosier State could be forced to implement a direct representation program either through lawsuits filed by national children’s rights organization or federal legislation that Congress is considering.Read More
Indianapolis mom celebrates reunification with son after 10-year battle
For Keely Tackett, having her son, Baron, home was the end of a nearly 10-year struggle during which she had to continually convince the courts, social workers, therapists and sometimes even herself that she was a fit mother and could care for her oldest child.Read More
CHINS filings stabilize after surge in recent years
Filings for child in need of services and termination of parental rights cases have swung in opposite directions in the past few years, according to statistics released recently by the Indiana Supreme Court.Read More
In denying Indiana’s request for an award of costs for successfully defending a lawsuit that had challenged the state’s foster care system, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals highlighted the appellate procedure rule that limits who can be held responsible for reimbursements.
Food and fun part of reunification celebration: 3rd annual event gives families sustenance, emotional boost
By midmorning on a sunny June 24, the tents were pitched around the parking lot located on the east side of Indianapolis, the folding tables were overloaded with food and household items, and dance music was thumping from the DJ’s sound system. The work was being done as part of the Reunification Month Community Event in Indianapolis, which celebrates the parents who have been able to overcome their struggles and regain custody of their children.
An Indiana father who wasn’t notified that the Indiana Department of Child Services assessed allegations of abuse and neglect until two years after his twins were injured couldn’t convince the Court of Appeals of Indiana that the agency should be found negligent.
A Wabash couple who had reached a $2.75 million settlement after an Indiana Department of Child Services family case manager was found to have made false allegations of abuse and neglect is now suing the state for not approving the settlement agreement.
The Court of Appeals of Indiana has upheld a nearly $300,000 judgment in favor of a mother who sued her ex-husband and his new girlfriend for making a false claim of child abuse against her.
The Court of Appeals of Indiana has found a juvenile court that reset four times a factfinding hearing for a CHINS petition and, consequently, exceeded the 120-day statutory deadline did not abuse its discretion because the Indiana Department of Child Services needed extra time to procure the testimony of two physicians.
An amended rule granting temporary licenses to out-of-state attorneys who are waiting for admission to the Indiana bar will now include lawyers working as deputy prosecutors and some attorneys working at the Indiana Department of Child Services.
The Marion Superior Court Executive Committee has announced the family recovery court, which started in 2010, will be closing at the end of the month. Dwindling participation along with concerns about how the program was being operated have been cited as among the reasons for the decision to stop. But stakeholders and graduates say the closure will have a devastating impact, rippling beyond the participants to their children and extended family members.
Senior judge and former head of the Indiana Department of Child Services Mary Beth Bonaventura has been appointed judge pro tempore to fill a vacancy in Marion Superior Court 15, starting Feb. 7 and continuing until further order from the Indiana Supreme Court.
A former Indiana Department of Child Services supervisor who alleged he was fired in retaliation for complaints he made about race and sex discrimination will not be able to proceed with his complaint after a federal judge granted summary judgment to the state. However, one 14th Amendment claim survived the ruling.
A former family case manager for Indiana’s child welfare agency allegedly falsified records involving child abuse or neglect and falsely documented contact with four families.
The parents of a 5-year-old girl who drowned last summer in a southwest Indiana city’s swimming pool are suing the city and the child’s foster parent, accusing them of negligence in her death.
Indiana’s child welfare agency has won a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a grandmother alleging her criminal history was intentionally altered to prevent her grandson from living in her home.
In a case that even the district court acknowledged tested the limits of federal interference in state court matters, the Indiana Department of Child Services and Gov. Eric Holcomb are asking the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to review the denial of their motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by children in the foster care system.
The Indiana Department of Child Services won a judgment from the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Indiana on Friday following allegations from a man who claimed a caseworker entered his home to take photos without permission, resulting in the removal of his children.
Two young women have been selected to serve as the voice of Indiana’s youth in foster care and social services and will be the newest — and youngest — members of the Commission on Improving the Status of Children Indiana.
Two Madison County minors will remain in the custody of their grandparents after out-of-state relatives failed in their appeal of an adverse judgment in their adoption case.