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Legislature Examines Complaints Against Child Services

Some parents have alleged the Department of Child Services has not provided enough preventative services to mentally challenged children.

Brian Bosma

Photo: Dan Goldblatt/WFIU News

House Speaker Brian Bosma is tasking a summer study committee to look into the Department of Child Services.

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.

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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