Statement as distributed Wednesday by the Indiana governor's office:
Indianapolis, IN - Governor Mike Pence today named Mary Beth Bonaventura as the head of the Department of Child Services.
Bonaventura will join Pence's administration as Director of the Department of Child Services. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, most recently serving as Senior Judge of the Lake Superior Court, Juvenile Division – one of the toughest juvenile court systems in the state. Bonaventura was appointed Senior Judge in 1993 by then-Governor Evan Bayh after having served more than a decade as Magistrate in the Juvenile Court.
Since the start of her career in the Juvenile Court, Judge Bonaventura has been recognized for her dedication and outstanding service to children. In 2008, Governor Mitch Daniels appointed Bonaventura as a member of the Indiana Commission on Disproportionality in Youth Services. In 2009, she was named Chair of the Civil Rights of Children Committee for the Indiana State Bar Association and the Chief Justice appointed Bonaventura as Chair of the Child Welfare Improvement Committee.
"Judge Bonaventura is uniquely qualified to lead the state's Department of Child Services and help to protect Hoosier children from abuse and neglect," said Governor Pence. "She is a strong leader who has an impeccable reputation of integrity and compassion for children."
Bonaventura, a life-long Lake County resident, was born in East Chicago. She received her undergraduate degree from Marian University in Indianapolis and her Juris Doctorate degree from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois.
Rep. Rebecca Kubacki, R-Syracuse, on the appointment:
“I am pleased that Governor Pence appointed Mary Beth Bonaventura as head of the Department of Child Services today. As chair of the Committee on Family, Children and Human Affairs, I am eager to learn from her perspective and work with her to strengthen the support and protection given to Hoosier children.
“Judge Bonaventura’s passion for helping children is very clear, and I have no doubt that her experience in juvenile law will benefit Indiana in her new role. We all want what is best for Indiana and Hoosier children.”