Commission on Improving the Status of Children

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. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

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.

Brandon Smith / IPB News

The Commission on Improving the Status of Children in Indiana met Wednesday in Indianapolis. The group received a brief update of what was happening with the state’s independent assessment of the Department of Child Services.

Newly appointed DCS Director Terry Stigdon says members of the review team have conducted many interviews.

"Providers that partners with DCS to provide care that’s needed to children," says Stigdon. "They have met with legislators as well."

Baby Box Legalization Effort Halted In Committee

Feb 13, 2017

 

An effort to legalize baby boxes in Indiana was halted in a Senate committee hearing about the boxes, which are meant to provide mothers an extra layer of anonymity when dropping off unwanted newborns.

 

Indiana’s Commission on Improving the Status of Children approved a strategic plan that Chief Justice Loretta Rush says will help focus its work.

The process of developing and approving the commission’s strategic plan took months. Chief Justice Rush, who co-chairs the commission, says the result is a focus on four areas: child safety, juvenile justice, mental health/substance abuse and education.

And she says the plan will drive the commission’s work.

Jim Grey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/mobilene/

Indiana’s Commission on Improving the Status of Children wants to refocus its efforts on improving child welfare by developing a new strategic plan. 

The Commission on Improving the Status of Children was formed by the General Assembly in 2013 and received a progress report from a national child welfare consultant group.

Consultant Holly Merz says the commission has made great strides in relationship-building in a child welfare system that’s spread in some cases across a dozen different agencies.

Ruin Raider / https://www.flickr.com/photos/bobex_pics/6246813737

Indiana's Commission on Improving the Status of Children voted Wednesday not to pursue a statewide newborn safety incubator program.  But advocates of the so-called “baby boxes” say there’s hope for progress in the future.

Baby boxes, installed into the walls of “safe haven” locations, are meant to provide mothers an extra layer of anonymity when dropping off unwanted newborns.