Department of Child Services

The Senate Family and Children Services Committee heard HB 1006, sponsored by Sen. Houchin, about changes to the Indiana Department of Child Services.  This legislation, based on the Child Welfare Group (CWG) report:

  • Creates a new third category of caseload for a family case manager for children in out of home care
  • Provides an older youth who received foster care is eligible to receive collaborative care until the child becomes 21
  • Increases the amount of time the DCS has to file an initial assessment from 30 to 45 days;
  • Provides the DCS has two (2) hours rather than one (1) hour to initiate an assessment immediately if the child is in immediate danger of serious bodily harm
  • Provides as part of Ind. Code § 31-34-1-1 a child is a CHINS if the parent, guardian or custodian fails to provide the child with necessary food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education, or supervision, when they are financially able to do so or due to the failure, refusal or inability of the parent, guardian or custodian to seek financial or other reasonable means to do so

A former DCS case manager and a representative from Indiana Association of Resources and Child Advocacy spoke in favor of the legislation.  A representative from the Indiana Foster and Adoptive Parents supported the bill, but noted the need for additional case managers, and the difference between DCS policies and practices. The bill passed 7-0 and was recommitted to the Senate Finance Committee.

Read the bill at: http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2019/bills/house/1006