On Tuesday, June 25, there was a lawsuit filed against the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) claiming that the department is not protecting children, and even more so, that their practices inflict additional trauma and harm on these highly sensitive young ones.
There are nine children who are plaintiffs in the case, which is set to account not just for these children testifying, but also for the 22,000 children that are in the legal and physical custody of DCS. Many of these children under DCS care are members of vulnerable populations and have severe emotional, psychological, and physical conditions.
Recently there have been reforms enacted within the system via the Republican Governor Eric Holcomb backed by the Republican-controlled General Assembly. The suit claims that DCS has failed to ensure affected children were put in the right foster care families; did not provide safe family reunification; have not been timely in their termination of parental rights; and have been negligent in their ability to provide safe, permanent housing for these children.
Main Points of the Suit
It is alleged that DCS is not properly placing those specialized populations of children who have been neglected, abused, and mistreated into the right types of homes that will be stable, safe, and nurturing for them. Instead, these children are being dragged through the foster care system, which is already strained and stressed beyond capacity. The concern is that DCS is looking at what type of housing is available, not what housing is necessary for the well-being of the children.
In addition to the improper placement of these children, there are questions about the lack of stability being imposed upon them. Often, these children are not only being put in homes not suitable for them, but they are constantly being moved around within the system. This greatly reduces their stability and further causes them distress and additional trauma.
Aside from unsuitable housing, the actual treatment of those who have specific disabilities that require frequent monitoring is severely lacking. The absence of oversight and consistent support for these children is causing them to be thrown into institutionalization even in cases where a child has only mild behavioral issues.
A Call for Reform and Action
This suit has been filed in order to put a stop to the mistreatment of children under DCS care and ensure that their best interests are the priority. It aims to try to reduce any further negative impacts that these already damaged children could face.
The suit has called for DCS operations to become more in step with national child protection standards. There is also the call for oversight of the entire department.
Contacting an Indiana Child Custody Attorney
When you are facing a legal battle regarding the rights for custody of your child, it is important to seek the resourceful guidance of an experienced child custody lawyer in Indiana. Christopher L. Arrington, P.C. understands the frustration and stress of working through a child custody case.
If you are in a child custody battle whether it is because of divorce or another unfortunate circumstance where you are in a position that your access to your children may be limited, call the Danville Law Firm today at 317-745-4494. I am here to help you through this difficult time and make myself available to you for discussions, questions, and support. You can email me, call me, or come in and see me any time. As a caring Indiana child custody and support attorney I am here to fight for you.