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Lawmakers push for the use of baby boxes

By Christina Ramey TheStatehouseFile.com  INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana General Assembly is looking to provide more protections for mothers who want to anonymously drop off their newborns. Senate Bill 246 would extend immunity to mothers who leave their child in a newborn safety device or a baby box. It also provides civil immunity to hospitals who […]

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Department of Child Services to add more than 100 caseworkers to help ease burden

By Amanda Creech TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Mike Pence announced on Thursday morning the Indiana Department of Child Services would add 113 additional caseworkers. The move comes just a day before DCS will present their annual report before the state budget committee. “I’m proud of the efforts they have made but nevertheless because we’re talking […]

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ACLU: State is putting children at risk by overloading caseworkers

By Aubrey Helms TheStatehousefile.com INDIANAPOLIS – The American Civil Liberties Union is trying to protect some of the state’s most vulnerable children through a lawsuit meant to ease the burden on overloaded caseworkers. State law prohibits caseworkers from taking on more than 17 children at a time. The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday, is on behalf […]

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DCS discusses needs of the state’s foster children

By Max Bomber TheStatehousefile.com INDIANAPOLIS– Maltreatment of children in the state’s foster care system has increased 38 percent from April 2013 to April 2015. The Department of Child Services (DCS) describes maltreatment as children with at least one substantial allegation of abuse or neglect when the perpetrator is a foster parent or a staff member. […]

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New law: Juvenile delinquents will be screened for abuse, neglect

By Amanda Creech TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Kids who are abused and neglected are significantly more likely to be convicted of a crime as a juvenile. That’s why a new state law will require that minors in criminal detention are screened to see if they are victims as well. “After 20 years working with children, I […]

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Pence requests $15 million for 100 caseworkers over two years

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Mike Pence has asked lawmakers for $15 million in additional funding over the next two years to hire 100 more caseworkers and 17 supervisors for the Department of Child Services. The additional staff should bring the agency in line with caseload guidelines in state law, according to a […]

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Sen. Tim Lanane urges Pence to consider more funding for DCS workers

By Katie Stancombe TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Senate’s top Democrat reiterated his disappointment with Gov. Mike Pence’s failure to include funds for additional family case managers for the Department of Child Services in his two-year budget proposal. Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, made an emergency request for funding to Pence on Monday for more DCS […]

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Pence: State will pay adoption subsidies for special needs kids this year

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Nearly 1,400 families who adopted special needs children out of foster care are in line to receive state subsidies under an order Gov. Mike Pence gave a state agency Tuesday. The Department of Child Services will fund the $10 million in subsidies out of unspent money it would have […]

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DCS to focus on child support, mental health and employee retention

By Olivia Covington TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Creating a new child support system, providing aid to children dealing with trauma and employee recruitment and retention are the main areas the Indiana Department of Child Services is working to improve in the coming months. The agency’s director, Mary Beth Bonaventura, detailed the priorities Wednesday at the first […]

Senators say DCS has made progress but laws still needed

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Senators say DCS has made progress but laws still needed

By John Sittler TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS — State senators on Thursday commended the progress the Department of Child Services has made in addressing problems with the agency’s hotline but said new state laws are still needed to better the system that protects children. Sen. Brent Steele, R-Bedford, has been a strong critic of the current DCS […]

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