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Monday, November 05, 2012

Ind. Gov't. - "On Thursday morning, legislators tasked with recommending solutions to issues plaguing Indiana's Department of Child Services will and begin their work of balancing politics with policy."

From Virginia Black's story in the Sunday South Bend Tribune:

On Thursday morning, legislators tasked with recommending solutions to issues plaguing Indiana's Department of Child Services will sit down in a government conference room and begin their work of balancing politics with policy.

Perhaps some of them won't recognize the irony of what's slated to happen in a small courtroom in South Bend on the same day: Dellia Castile will be sentenced to up to 50 years in prison for not protecting her grandson, 10-year-old Tramelle Sturgis, from his father, who beat and tortured the boy to death a year ago.

The General Assembly's study committee on DCS has taken testimony since August from DCS officials and members of the public, but Thursday, they begin their deliberations among themselves.

"There are issues involved with DCS, there's no question about that," said state Sen. John Broden, D-South Bend and a member of the study committee. "Clearly Tramelle's death was a galvanizing force for what became a strong bipartisan effort, that we needed to take a good, hard look at everything regarding the Department of Child Services, especially starting with the intake process."

In response to media reports and concerns from law enforcement, schools and even emergency rooms, DCS has already made some changes to its centralized call center for abuse and neglect reports.

But some -- such as St. Joseph County Prosecutor Michael Dvorak, St. Joseph Probate Judge Peter Nemeth, and state Rep. Gail Riecken, D-Evansville -- advocate for a return to local centers where relationships among professionals can be tapped.

Here is the home page of the Department of Child Services Interim Study Committee. Two meetings are scheduled, for Nov. 8th and Nov. 27th.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on November 5, 2012 08:22 AM
Posted to Indiana Government