INDIANAPOLIS - A legislative study committee will review operations of the Department of Child Services (DCS) this summer in light of a series of tragedies and gaps in reporting documented over recent years.
State Senator Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) has been appointed to serve on the newly created Department of Child Services Interim Study Committee which is charged with identifying critical problems in DCS and recommending strategies to solve the problems. The committee will also review the statewide child abuse hotline, which was recently consolidated to a phone center in Indianapolis, and the process used to refer reports to the local offices.
"This is our opportunity to really take a hard look at what is going on within the Department of Child Services and figure out a way to improve not just what they offer but the ways in which vulnerable Hoosiers and their advocates can access help," said Lanane. "Too many incidents have occurred where community members have reached out for help to deaf ears."
The study will also look at how families are determined eligible for wrap-around services, the breadth of services available to families involved in DCS proceedings, the follow-up provided by staff to determine whether services were provided and the adequacy of those services, and the communication between family courts and DCS.
Additionally, Lanane will serve on a new commission established to create permanent safety regulations for outdoor stages. Lanane authored legislation earlier this year which established temporary regulations and called for the Outdoor Stage Equipment Safety Commission to review reports from the 2011 Indiana State Fair stage collapse and make recommendations for effective, permanent safety standards to prevent future tragedies.
Lanane has also been appointed to the Census Data Advisory Committee, Commission on Courts
Indiana Public Defender Commission, Interim Study Committee on Redistricting, Joint Study Commission on Transportation & Infrastructure Assessment & Solutions. These appointments were made by Indiana Senate President Pro Tempore David Long (R-Fort Wayne) upon recommendation of Senate Democratic Leader Vi Simpson (D-Ellettsville).
The Indiana General Assembly annually convenes interim study committees and permanent commissions to conduct in-depth research and analysis of issues affecting the state. Recommendations from these committees are often the basis for future legislation. More information about committee topics, schedules and agendas is available online at www.IN.gov/legislative/interim.
Lanane represents Indiana Senate District 25 includes the City of Muncie and the southeastern portion of the City of Anderson. District 25 also includes Union Township and part of Anderson Township in Madison County and Salem, Center, Monroe, Liberty and Perry Townships, all of which are in Delaware County. For more information on Lanane, his legislative agenda or other State Senate business call 1-800-382-9467 or visit www.IN.gov/S25 .
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