Child Services Oversight Committee Digs Into How Child Deaths Are Reviewed
Lawmakers and child services stakeholders want to improve how Indiana reviews and reports on child deaths.
A newly-formed oversight committee, created by the General Assembly, met for the first time Thursday.
Child deaths are reviewed through two different channels in Indiana – the Department of Child Services and local teams that report to the Department of Health.
Lawmakers, led by Sen. Erin Houchin (R-Salem), want to dig deeper into those reviews.
“Was the death preventable?" Houchin said. "Were there missed opportunities … are there prevention recommendations?”
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Both DCS Director Terry Stigdon and State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box testified at Thursday’s meeting about how the systems work. And both pointed to needed improvements – notably, Box said, standardizing how local child fatality review teams operate.
“There’s not a consistency about how people are reporting, what years they’re investigating,” Box said.
Box emphasized the need to provide more resources from the state to help local teams improve.