• 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

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Claiming outside advocates were relying on “an inflammatory and outdated account,” Indiana Department of Child Services director Terry Stigdon released a video statement Monday in response to the lawsuit filed last week charging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

New DCS laws bringing changes to agency, foster parent system

Holding her infant foster daughter, attorney Kiamesha Colom explained in simple terms a 13-page bill that revamps parts of Indiana’s foster care system. Come July 1, she and her husband, like other long-term foster parents around the state, will be able to have more of a say in the care and protection of their baby.

Read More

COA affirms termination of parent-child relationship

A drug-addicted mother couldn’t convince the Indiana Court of Appeals to reconsider the termination of her parent-child relationship with her young daughter after the panel concluded there was sufficient evidence to prove the removal was in the child’s best interests, even if some of it was admitted in error.

Read More

General Assembly passes DCS reforms

As Senate Enrolled Act 1 was heading for its third and final reading in the Indiana House of Representatives, Rep. Vanessa Summers reminded her colleagues that their work in helping reform the Department of Child Services is not finished.

Read More

COA’s error leads to rehearing, affirmation of TPR reversal

The Indiana Court of Appeals admitted it made an erroneous statement in reversing a termination of parental rights order and granted the Department of Child Services’ request for a rehearing. But the appellate panel Wednesday affirmed its initial opinion, concluding the error had no bearing its original ruling that a mother’s due process rights were violated.

Read More