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CAI Holds Congressional Briefing to Unveil New Report:

Shame on U.S.
Failings by All Three Branches of Our Federal Government Leave
Abused and Neglected Children Vulnerable to Further Harm
January 27, 2015

The federal government's dereliction allows states to fall short on meeting minimum child welfare standards. Below is information specific to Indiana.

CFSR Results Summary: In its Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) process, HHS determines whether each state is in substantial conformity with 7 specific outcomes (pertaining to the areas of safety, permanency and family and child well-being) and 7 systemic factors (relating to the quality of services delivered to children and families and the outcomes they experience).  In the first two rounds of the CFSR, HHS has concluded that Indiana was:

Round 1 (2002)

  • NOT in substantial conformity with 7 of the 7 Outcomes
  • NOT in substantial conformity with 1 of the 7 Systemic Factors

Round 2 (2008)   

  • NOT in substantial conformity with 7 of the 7 Outcomes
  • NOT in substantial conformity with 4 of the 7 Systemic Factors

Although federal law mandates that any state found not to be operating in substantial conformity during an initial or subsequent review must begin a full review within two years after approval of the state's program improvement plan, HHS has announced that Indiana will not undergo Round 3 of the CFSR until FY 2016 (see CFSR Technical Bulletin #7 (March 2014)).

Documents from the U.S. Health & Human Services Children's Bureau

Child Welfare In the News**

  • Flashpoint: DCS caseworker ratios need further analysis (Opinion) (Tribune Star - January 19, 2015) There has been much discussion about the 12/17 regional average caseload standard. Indiana adopted this standard in 2007 as a best practice; however, FCM duties are very different today, compared to 2007. For instance, many ancillary (yet still critical) duties were shifted from FCMs in the field, as DCS created specialized case worker roles; such as relative care specialists, foster care specialists, and hotline intake specialists.
  • Mary Beth Bonaventura: Analysis of DCS will ID ways to improve (Opinion) (Kokimo Tribune - January 15, 2015) Arguably one of the toughest jobs in this country is a child welfare caseworker; in Indiana it is our family case manager. Fortunately for Hoosier families, Indiana has some of the most committed workers on the front lines to protect children from abuse and neglect. As director of the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS), I lead an agency where very critical decisions are made daily, which have long-term impacts on children and families.
  • DCS to conduct workload analysis in wake of caseload challenges (WISH TV - January 14, 2015) Indiana's Department of Child Services will conduct a workload analysis study to assess whether it can manage its current case load without additional help. Some lawmakers have criticized the agency's response to recent cases, saying it is critically understaffed.
  • Editorial: Department of Child Services must explain Anderson neglect case (Herald Bulletin - December 14, 2014) Cases of child neglect and abuse seem as if they're always falling through some crack in the system. That's the common perception now of those who have heard the troubling story of a 15-year-old Anderson girl who was found Dec. 1 with no pulse by emergency crews inside her family home in the 3400 block of Forest Terrace.
  • GUEST EDITORIAL: Cost of state's child neglect mounting (The (Fort Wayne) Journal Gazette - November 07, 2014) A late fee on a delinquent bill is annoying; $627,000 in late fees is unacceptable - particularly for taxpayers who must cover the cost.
  • Fewer Elkhart County child abuse investigations might not be good news (Opinion) ( Fox 28 - November 06, 2014) Children and Parent Services of Elkhart County CEO Candy Yoder says the number of state abuse investigations in Elkhart County is actually down in 2014. That's after the Indiana Department of Child Services released numbers that showed the county with a dramatic uptick in the number of investigations last year.

**news summaries taken from daily newsfeed service of HHS' Child Welfare Information Gateway


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Children's Advocacy Institute
University of San Diego School of Law
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