At Kathey and Rob Raskin of Las Vegas the care of this country’s children is the #1 priority. And Indiana is facing some serious issues. Lawmakers there want to know why there are so many children in state care compared to some of its neighbors.
House Speaker Brian Bosma stated last week, among many other lawmakers, that there is something wrong with how Indiana administers its foster care system.
The Indianapolis Star reported that the state had almost 30,000 children in foster care during the 2016 fiscal year, much more than every other neighboring state, including Illinois and Ohio which both have greater populations.
Since former director Mary Beth Bonaventura wrote a resignation letter to Governor Holcomb last month, focused attention is on the Indiana DCS. In the letter, Bonaventura stated that cuts and management alterations are “all but ensur[ing] children will die.”
She wrote in the letter, “I choose to resign, rather than be complicit in decreasing the safety, permanency and well-being of children who have nowhere else to turn.”
Governor Holcomb responded by hiring an Alabama-based non-profit Child Welfare Policy and Practice Group to complete a thorough evaluation of the DCS.
Statehouse Democrats have demanded hearings regarding the state of the DCS. House Minority Leader Terry Goodin wrote to Holcomb asking for the investigative team to include members of the General Assembly.
Goodin wrote, “This request is one of sincerity [to] resolve the issues […] plaguing [the] DCS.”
Supermajority Republicans are battling the calls for a simultaneous legislative investigation of the child welfare agency however.
Senate President Pro-Tempore David Long (R-Fort Wayne) told the media, “I think as long as we have an open and fair and transparent and very public vetting of what this group [determines…] that we will accomplish the same goal.”
Bosma states that since the legislature has added $600 million to the DCS budget for the current 24-month budget, it is not an issue with funding. “We have a systemic issue,” he says.
If you’ve seen a child care problem, anywhere in the foster care system, report it on the Kathey and Rob Raskin Stop DHR webpage. Do so now, and do your part to get your state officials to give our children the best chance at life. You can contact your representatives here.