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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Ind. Gov't. - "Mentally ill kids caught in Catch-22: Prosecutors at odds with DCS over care"

Following on this long ILB entry from May 20th, quoting from two great stories from Marisa Kwiatkowski of the NWI Times (see series here), Tim Evans of the Indianapolis Star today has a long story that puts a spotlight on "a provision [of Indiana law] known as CHINS 6 that covers nonvictim children who are 'substantially endangering (their) own or another's health.'" Some quotes:

There is one very important difference between a CHINS 6 and other types of CHINS cases. A CHINS 6 designation does not require a finding of abuse or neglect on the part of a parent. * * *

While mental health professionals and prosecutors see CHINS 6 as an important tool in helping troubled children, DCS officials pushed legislation in the General Assembly this year to eliminate the CHINS 6 category. Backlash from mental health professionals, children's advocates and judges temporarily scuttled the proposal, but it will be reviewed this summer by a legislative study commission. The panel also will look at whether prosecutors should be allowed to file CHINS 6 petitions.

In the meantime, according to advocates, DCS has become increasingly reluctant to use the designation to help children.

See this ILB entry from earlier today for more on the summer study committes.

Here is the 10-page trial court ruling by Judge Hanson in In the Matter of AA, discussed in both the NWI Times and Star stories.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 24, 2012 02:19 PM
Posted to Indiana Government