You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Indiana

  • USDA opens 9,600 more acres in Indiana for program
    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A federal program that rewards farmers for turning some of their land into wildlife habitat has opened up another 9,600 acres of Indiana farmland.
  • St. Joseph County eyes stricter abortion law
    SOUTH BEND – A proposed ordinance that would require doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital has stalled in a northern Indiana county. A St.
  • Good Samaritan adding devices
    VINCENNES – Money raised through golf tournaments, holiday galas and even motorcycle poker runs goes to buy equipment such as a 3-D breast tomo/stereotactic unit, equipment that in the capable hands of the staff at Good Samaritan
Advertisement

Expert says Child Services’ probes of deaths still lagging

– A state ombudsman has told the Indiana Department of Child Services its investigations into child deaths and near-deaths still can take too long.

Ombudsman Alfreda Singleton-Smith recommended the child welfare agency develop a plan to speed up its investigation of such cases, the Indianapolis Star reported.

The agency implemented a policy in 2012 to complete such assessments within 180 days. The new ombudsman’s report covering 2013, which was released last week, said the agency still isn’t always meeting that deadline but did not include details on those troubles.

Officials with Child Servies told Singleton-Smith that the agency’s assessments can be delayed by reports from other agencies and coordination with county prosecutor’s offices and police investigators.

“The ombudsman report is an independent look at how to improve DCS processes,” agency spokesman James Wide said.

“DCS has (used) and will continue to use the recommendations to protect Hoosier children from abuse and neglect and work to ensure their financial support.”

The child death recommendation was in response to changes made in 2012, after the ombudsman found DCS was taking nearly two years to complete some of its death and near-death investigations.

The new report said the ombudsman’s office fielded 607 complaints about the child welfare agency in 2013, a slight increase from the year before. The bureau opened cases on 210 of them.

State legislators established the Ombudsman Bureau in 2009 amid concerns about the deaths of several children involved with the Indiana Department of Child Services, and about a growing number of children being removed from their families.

Advertisement