Child services oversight

S.E.A. 301, P.L. 148
Effective: April 29, 2021

  • Establishes the interim study committee on child services (committee).
  • Provides that the committee: (1) shall review the annual reports submitted by local child fatality review teams and by the statewide child fatality review committee and shall report to the legislative council regarding the committee’s review of the reports; and (2) may make recommendations regarding changes in policy or statutes to improve child safety; in addition to reporting to the legislative council regarding any other issue assigned to the committee by the legislative council.
  • Provides that a local child fatality committee may meet at the call of members of the local child fatality committee other than the county prosecutor for purposes of the first meeting of the local child fatality committee.
  • Requires the summary information included in the department’s annual report regarding child fatalities to indicate, with regard to a child fatality that was the result of abuse or neglect, whether the child was a ward of the department at the time of the event that led to the child’s death.
  • Requires the department to provide the annual report to the committee.
  • Urges the legislative council to assign the following topics to the committee, or to another appropriate study committee, for study during the 2021 legislative interim: (1) Amending the Indiana Code to provide for a structured, limited, confidential process by which members of the general assembly may, in the regular course of legislative duties, individually request and view reports and other materials regarding cases of child abuse or neglect and child fatalities resulting from abuse or neglect, while protecting personally identifying information and confidentiality. (2) The child fatality review process, including recommendations from the department and the state department of health about improving reporting and data collection.
  • Requires a local child fatality review committee that has not held its first meeting as of the effective date of the bill to hold its first meeting not later than December 31, 2021.

Read the bill at: http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2021/bills/senate/301