Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush says a recent independent report on the Department of Child Services underscores the need for a wholesale approach to improving child welfare.
The Commission on Improving the Status of Children discussed the report at its meeting Wednesday.
Much of the discussion centered around the need for preventative services to help the overburdened DCS system.
Chief Justice Loretta Rush says there are ways for courts to get involved in prevention – halting, she says, a generational cycle. Rush was a juvenile court judge. She says she saw that cycle in her Children in Need of Services, or CHINS cases.
“I had children that were CHINS and they came back to me as delinquents and they came back as CHINS parents,” Rush says.
The DCS report suggests too many cases go into the court system. The number of court-involved cases in DCS is more than double the national average. Rush says she doesn’t know if the courts are too involved.
“What we see in the statistics as to what are coming in and why are serious, so I can’t answer that,” Rush says.
Rush says the Children’s Commission will continue to delve into the report.
Read the complete report below: