Gubernatorial Candidates Say DCS Reform Is Neccesary

John Gregg says DCS is a broken system. Mike Pence says, although reform is needed, DCS is meeting the needs of the community.

indiana statehouse

Photo: Massimo Catarinella (Wikimedia)

Boneham says more energy needs to be directed toward cases of child abuse.

In the wake of Department of Child Services director James Payne’s resignation Monday, Indiana’s gubernatorial candidates are offering their ideas for reforms in the state agency.

Governor Mitch Daniels accepted Payne’s resignation after allegations of impropriety surfaced regarding Payne’s handling of a DCS child neglect investigation involving his own grandchildren.  GOP gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence says he defers entirely to Daniels’ decision to accept Payne’s resignation.

“But I also wish to acknowledge the fact that, in the last eight years, Indiana has been recognized nationally as a state that has made appreciable and significant improvements in the health and safety of our children,” Pence says.

Pence says, as governor, he would continue in the general direction the agency is already headed, while acknowledging the need for improvement.  Democratic candidate John Gregg says the Daniels administration has not handled the agency’s budget well: the department has reverted more than $100 million to the state’s general fund in the last couple of years.

“We will not be bragging about reverting money back to the state general fund from an agency that’s been broken for well over year.  That’s why a bipartisan legislature is investigating it,” Gregg says.

Libertarian Rupert Boneham expressed sympathy for Payne but says the DCS wastes too much time before responding to child abuse claims and vowed to put more of the agency’s people on the ground throughout the state.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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