Parental incarceration

H.E.A. 1432, P.L. 258
Effective: July 1, 2019

  • Provides that a child in need of services (CHINS) case plan must include a description and discussion of: (1) the services and treatment available to an incarcerated parent at the facility at which the parent is incarcerated; and (2) how the parent and child may be afforded visitation opportunities, unless visitation with the parent is not in the best interests of the child.
  • Amends Ind. Code § 31-34-19-6 to require a CHINS dispositional decree to provide a reasonable opportunity for a parent of the child who: (1) is incarcerated; and (2) has maintained a meaningful role in the child’s life; to maintain a relationshipwith the child, subject to the safety of the community and best interests of the child.

Amends Ind. Code §§ 31-35-2-4- & 4.5 to provide that a motion to dismiss a petition to terminate a parent-child relationship (TPR) may be filed if: (1) the parent is incarcerated or the parent’s prior incarceration is a significant factor in the child having been under the supervision of the department of child services (DCS) or a county probation department for at least 15 of the most recent 22 months; (2) the parent maintains a meaningful role in the child’s life; (3) DCS has not documented a reason to conclude that it would otherwise be in the child’s best interests to terminate the parent-child relationship; and (4) the parent is not incarcerated due to conviction for certain crimes.   Provides that in determining whether to grant the motion to dismiss the TPR, the court may consider the length of time remaining in the incarcerated parent’s sentence and any other factor the court considers relevant.

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