Give Now

Delays, Closings and Severe Weather - View All Alerts and Updates

Pence Names Judge As New Dept. Of Child Services Head

Judge Mary Beth Bonaventura will be the third person to head the Department of Child Services within the past seven months.

Bonaventura and Pence

Photo: Brandon Smith/IPBS

Mary Beth Bonaventura speaks after Gov. Mike Pence announces her as his appointment to head the Department of Child Services.

Governor Mike Pence is making a change in leadership at the Department of Child Services, appointing a juvenile court judge as director of the embattled agency.

Lake County Superior Court judge Mary Beth Bonaventura will become the third DCS director in the last seven months. She has spent three decades working in the juvenile division, experience Governor Pence says makes her uniquely qualified for her new role.  Bonaventura says she is already familiar with some of the issues plaguing DCS, including high turnover rates among case workers.

“We just have to figure out, how do we support the case managers that we have, keep the really great ones and maybe some of the ones that aren’t so great will just have to go their own way if they can’t keep up the pace,” she says.

Bonaventura replaces interim director John Ryan, who took over after long-time director James Payne resigned last July. Ryan will return to his role as DCS chief of staff during Bonaventura’s transition, something she says is vital.

“He’s so knowledgeable,” Bonaventura says. “I know nobody there. You know, I would walk in there saying, ‘Okay, who is everyone?’ And he has really been the glue to the agency and so, without him, I probably wouldn’t have taken the job.”

Ryan says he will stay on while Bonaventura adjusts to her new position but plans to retire within a year.

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.

View all posts by this author »

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

Search News

Stay Connected

RSS e-mail itunes Facebook Twitter Flickr YouTube

Follow us on Twitter

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Recent Politics Stories

Recent Videos

Find Us on Facebook