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Child Services agency sees improvements year after critical report

By Abrahm Hurt TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS—Staff turnover is down, caseload sizes are dropping and the ratio of supervisors to case managers has improved in the year since an outside review found numerous shortcomings in the Indiana Department of Child Services. Information and updates about the progress at DCS were shared Thursday when Gov. Eric Holcomb held […]

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‘Is your family complete?’: Experts say Indiana surrogates need legal protections and social visibility

By Erica Irish TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS — After Fort Wayne mother Laura Wheeler spent several years caring for her three children with her husband, she felt her personal family was complete. With a husband who could support the family financially through his work as an attorney and with the help of benefits from time served in […]

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ACLU challenging state over abortion law

By Emily Ketterer TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s newest anti-abortion legislation is facing a legal challenge in federal court, less than a day after Gov. Eric Holcomb signed the measure into law. The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed the lawsuit Thursday challenging House Enrolled Act 1211, which bans a form of a second trimester […]

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Advocates offer help to foster care parents

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Advocates offer help to foster care parents

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify that Indiana has a child abuse reporting hotline and is a mandatory reporting state. By Bryan Wells TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS–Advocates for foster and adoptive parents on Tuesday unveiled a conflict resolution toll-free phone line that will offer them the resources and support they need as they provide […]

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Youth in foster care struggle to keep up in school, study finds

By Bryan Wells TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS– Joshua Christian attended four different high schools while in the foster care system and none of the credits transferred from one school to the next, leaving him surprised that he was able to graduate on time. Christian, 21, of Indianapolis, was at the Indiana Statehouse Tuesday as results of Indiana’s […]

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Bills seek to provide expanded services to Indiana’s homeless children and youth

By Erica Irish TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS—Helping children find stability and success, according to Sen. Andy Zay, R-Huntington, should be a driving force in the legislature and for all elected officials. “It embodies everything that I represent as a public servant,” Zay said. Zay and his colleague Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis, presented two bills to the House […]

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Holcomb lauds improvements at DCS

By Andrew Longstreth TheStateHouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS—Gov. Eric Holcomb used an event kicking off Child Abuse Awareness Month on Monday to highlight improvements made at the state’s Department of Child Services and to remind the public that child abuse is an issue affecting all Hoosiers. Before an audience of DCS employees holding blue and silver pinwheels, Holcomb […]

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Legislation would give imprisoned parents more chances to bond with children

By Bryan Wells TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS—A bill that would give incarcerated parents more opportunities to build their relationships with their children won the unanimous approval of a Senate committee Monday. Rep. Karlee Macer, D-Indianapolis, and author of House Bill 1432, appeared before the Senate Family and Children Services Committee to explain her legislation, which passed out […]

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Department of Child Services plans to wait for federal funds as state budget advances

By Erica Irish TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS — The top officers of the Indiana Department of Child Services told lawmakers on the Senate Appropriations Committee Wednesday that the agency plans to wait to accept new federal funding as it continues to correct an array of internal problems. DCS Director Terry Stigdon testified alongside Leah Raider, the department’s […]

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Foster care bill passes House committee

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Foster care bill passes House committee

By Andrew Longstreth TheStateHouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS— A Senate committee voted unanimously to approve a bill that would speed up the efforts of the Department of Child Services to find new or permanent homes for foster children as well as provide those in foster care with services until age 21. Senate Bill 1, authored by Sen. Erin […]

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