DCS

A House committee has approved legislation to track foster children and their success in schools.

The bill would require the Indiana Department of Education and the Department of Child Services to gather data on foster care students in public schools – specifically, the graduation rates and enrollment data for those students.

Deb Brewer is the regional director of a foster care and family services group called The Villages of Indiana, and she says that data could mean more support for foster children.

A bill that would raise the limit on children in a foster family from five to six is headed to the Senate floor. It passed the Senate Family and Children Services committee unanimously last week.

Cathy Graham, executive director of the Indiana Association of Resources and Child Advocacy, testified in favor of the bill. She says increasing the limit could help the Department of Child Services in emergency placements.

Gov. Eric Holcomb sought in his State of the State to reassure Hoosiers his administration will do “whatever it takes” to fix problems at the Department of Child Services.

But Democratic legislative leaders say Holcomb’s address lacked boldness and leadership, particularly when it comes to the ongoing DCS crisis.

Republican legislative leaders indicated Wednesday they will likely not take any significant action in the 2018 session to address issues at the Department of Child Services.

Democrats want the General Assembly to exert its oversight authority on the embattled child welfare agency.

Governor Holcomb Names New DCS Director

Dec 28, 2017

Gov. Eric Holcomb announced a new director for the Department of Child Services. He also called for a department assessment after the last director’s departure.

It was earlier this month when Judge Mary Beth Bonaventura sent a long resignation letter to the governor. In it she expressed her concern for the wellbeing of Hoosier children due to changes in the department, funding cuts and an increased number of children in the system.

DCS Chief, Holcomb Disagree On Agency Funding Levels

Dec 18, 2017

 

Indiana Department of Child Services Director Mary Beth Bonaventura says the well-being of Hoosier children has been put at risk because of steps taken by Governor Eric Holcomb’s administration.

Bonaventura’s sharp criticisms came in her resignation letter, delivered to Holcomb last week.

DCS Director Bonaventura To Depart Agency

Dec 17, 2017

 

Department of Child Services Director Mary Beth Bonaventura will resign her position before the end of the month.

Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Bonaventura’s pending departure as he praised the outgoing agency head. In a statement, Holcomb hailed what he calls her “unwavering commitment” to Hoosier children’s safety.

The announcement did not include a reason for her decision.

State Supreme Court Considers DCS Caseload Lawsuit

Jun 1, 2017

The Indiana Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday over whether a Department of Child Services caseworker’s lawsuit against the agency will move forward.

Only one of Indiana’s 19 DCS regions meets mandatory caseload limits at this time.

State law says DCS must provide enough caseworkers so that the average caseload in each region doesn’t exceed 12 active cases or 17 children supervised.