Department of Child Services

The Senate Family and Children Services Committee heard HB 1434 concerning the Department of Child Services sponsored by Sen. Head and Sen. Holdman. This legislation (1) provides for background checks for host homes used in the collaborative care program, (2) exempts DCS staff from social work licensure in the same manner as other state agencies, (3) repeals duplicative Regional Service Council reporting requirements, (4) provides for local law enforcement and sex offender registry checks for service providers, (5) implements provisions of the federal Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act, and (6) makes other changes. For a more detailed listing, see the January 23, 2015 legislative update. The Committee adopted two amendments by consent. The first amendment adds additional language for local background checks, amends the new requirements for the Another Planned Permanent Living Arrangement Permanency Option hearing to allow probation officers in delinquency cases and CHINS case managers to give information to the court in the same manner, either through court testimony or by report. The amendment also expands the number of DCS employees not subject to the social work licensure requirements, permits DCS to run record checks on successor guardians, and places all statutes on records checks in the same code section. The second amendment is technical in nature.  DCS testified in support of the bill. A public defender testified to concerns with the prohibition on using secure detention in CHINS cases. DCS agreed to reexamine this language. The amended bill passed 7-0.

Read the bill at http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2015/house/1434.