As this summer’s legislative study committees begin to take shape, the committee with the most on its plate will examine the Department of Child Services. Speaker Brian Bosma says it’s the most important committee that will meet this year.
The Department of Child Services Study Committee is tasked with examining 14 different topics dealing with child services, by far the most ambitious agenda among this year’s study committees. It’s also one of the largest, comprised of 20 different people, including legislators, members of DCS and child advocates.
The formation of the committee was spurred on in part by recent controversy with DCS. Among other complaints, some parents have alleged the group has not provided enough preventative services to mentally challenged children. Speaker Brian Bosma says it’s an issue that needs addressing.
“We did feel in this time of administration transition to a new governor, whoever that may be, it was time to take a good, hard look at the workings of the Department of Child Services and see how they could be improved in the next administration,” he says.
Indianapolis Democratic representative Vanessa Summers says regardless of how much the study committee manages to tackle, the legislature will have to deal with the DCS next session.
“My caucus, the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus, we’re going to have town meetings,” she says. “So, you know, we’re gearing up to keep this alive.”
Bosma says to help accommodate the large agenda, the committee can meet up to five times, rather than the usual three.