Child services oversight

The House Family, Children and Human Affairs Committee heard SB 345 establishing the child services oversight committee, sponsored by Rep. Lindauer and Rep. DeVon. This bill requires the committee to review case decisions of the Department of Child Services (DCS) and the juvenile courts in certain cases with negative outcomes, make recommendations to DCS and the legislative council, study topics assigned by the legislative council, and study any other issues relevant to the activities of DCS and improving child safety. It also authorizes the committee to meet at any time at the call of the chairperson and provides that records reviewed by the committee are confidential and may not be disclosed.

On Tuesday, February 25, Author, Sen. Houchin, introduced an amendment, that was adopted by consent, that stripped the bill and instead created an interim study committee for child oversight. Tippecanoe County Judge Faith Graham testified in favor of the amended bill on behalf of the Indiana Judges Association, as did multiple representatives of DCS. Multiple people also testified against the amended bill.  The bill was held for a vote on Thursday, February 27.

On February 27, the committee amended the bill to add two additional categories for study by the study committee.  The amended bill passed 11-0.

Read the bill at: http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2020/bills/senate/345