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
Kids’ Voice, Child Advocates finding ways forward after shift of GAL/CASA contract
The fallout is continuing from Indianapolis’ decision to switch providers of CASA and guardian ad litem services.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
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
The termination of a Vanderburgh County mother’s parental rights to her minor child was based on sufficient evidence and did not violate her rights to due process, the Court of Appeals of Indiana has ruled.
Senator bucks legislative leadership, announces study of direct representation for kids in CHINS, TPR cases
Although the Legislative Council rejected a request to study the topic of providing attorneys to children in the child welfare system, Indiana state Sen. Jon Ford plans to keep pushing the matter by convening an independent study group to examine the issue.
A mother whose parental rights were terminated after a virtual hearing via Zoom has lost her appeal at the Indiana Supreme Court, which instead adopted as precedent a Court of Appeals analysis of how the mother’s due process rights were impacted by the virtual proceedings.
As the Legislature, agency stakeholders and foster parents restart the conversation about providing attorneys for children in child-in-need-of-services and termination of parental rights proceedings, the Child Advocates Direct Representation Program is an example of how direct representation works and what it can do.
A southern Indiana couple facing both criminal charges and the termination of their parental rights due to allegations of unreasonable discipline against their children are seeking to use Indiana’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act to end, or at least pause, the litigation against them.
The Indiana Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony on Senate Bill 410 on Wednesday, a measure designed to give “kinship caregivers” the right to intervene in termination of parental rights cases.
A mother whose parental rights were terminated following a hearing held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic has lost her appeal of the termination, with the Indiana Court of Appeals finding the technological issues that arose during the virtual hearing were not tantamount to a due process violation.
Upon being retained by D.S. as counsel in his CHINS proceedings, Indianapolis attorney Rachel Roman-Lagunas visited him regularly, spoke with his family, arranged an in-person visit between him and his mother and assisted in getting him therapy. However, in an unusual turn, her advocacy has been interrupted by the trial court blocking her participation in the case.
What began as a conversation 18 months ago culminated in May with the merger of the guardian ad litem and court appointed special advocates programs in Allen County, bringing together attorneys and volunteers to serve the abused and neglected children who are involved with the court system.
A Madison County mother was not denied due process in her termination of parental rights case, the Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed.
The Indiana Public Defender Commission is calling for proposals of projects that will help improve the assistance offered to children and families involved in the child welfare system and prevent involvement altogether.
Monroe County parents protesting the adoption of four of their 14 children could not sway the Indiana Court of Appeals that they were acting with the kids’ best interests in mind by seeking to withdraw their consents to adoption.
C.W.’s parental rights were terminated in October 2020. She appealed, but the Court of Appeals has affirmed.
Kids’ Voice of Indiana has signed a contract with the city of Indianapolis to provide guardian ad litem and court appointed special advocate services to Marion Superior Courts through the end of 2023, with the nonprofit set to receive $5.4 million for the remainder of 2021.
Like a couple deciding not to marry, Kids’ Voice of Indiana and Child Advocates were unable to work out a prenuptial agreement after weeks of negotiations and are now focused on who will take care of the children.
With just three weeks before its contract with the city of Indianapolis ends, Child Advocates is trying to negotiate a subcontract with Kids’ Voice so it can continue providing volunteers and staff to advocate for youngsters in Indiana’s child welfare system. Meanwhile, a report questioned longtime contractor Child Advocates’ cost overruns.
Child Advocates is asking the city of Indianapolis to delay plans to switch CASA providers until the end of year, citing questions about the transition, the ability of Kids’ Voice to handle the work and concerns over the risk to children.
The adoption of two children by their stepfather after their mother died cannot proceed without their father’s consent, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday, reversing a trial court order.