• 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.

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  • 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.

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Articles

COA reverses termination of mother’s parental rights

A trial court erred in terminating a mother’s parental rights to her two minor children, finding the potential of the children’s reunification with their father and their continuing bond with their mom made the termination of their relationship with their mother not in their best interests.

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Appellate court: Minor not ‘Indian child’ under ICWA

A father who argued his daughter was an Indian child under federal law during a termination of parental rights battle lost his appeal of the termination Monday, when the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a ruling finding that the child’s tribe was not registered with the United States government.

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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.

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Claiming outside advocates were relying on “an inflammatory and outdated account,” Indiana Department of Child Services director Terry Stigdon released a video statement Monday in response to the lawsuit filed last week charging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

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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.

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