Arnold: New laws protect Hoosier families and children

Posted by: Tori Klimczak  | Thursday, May 18, 2017 9:21 am

This session, I supported a number of new laws to enact policies and provide resources in the hopes of protecting Hoosiers throughout the state. 

A new law will place more Department of Child Services workers out in the field as a way to help more children in need. Due to the opioid crisis in our state, Indiana needs more skilled and talented workers to help with the increased number of children being removed from dangerous situations. Rural areas are also lacking in their number of qualified counselors. This law addresses the licensed social worker shortage in Indiana by easing the licensure process to include previous training hours, while still maintaining professional standards. The policy also allows for reciprocity with other states, removing obstacles for getting qualified individuals working in Indiana. 

Another new law seeks to raise awareness about and prevent youth suicides. Sadly, suicide is the second leading cause of death in young adults between the ages of 15 and 24. In an effort to save lives, schools will be providing suicide prevention training for all staff in contact with children in grades 5-12. Providing educators with suicide prevention and intervention training will help identify and protect individuals who may be contemplating suicide. 

Action was also taken to establish a statewide Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee. On average, there are 60 deaths that occur each year in Indiana as a result of domestic violence. Incidents like these are unacceptable and we could help prevent deaths by having experts examine all fatalities or near-fatalities that stem from domestic violence. The data collected through the committee’s research will be used to craft policies and procedures to reduce family violence throughout the state. 

Indiana offers a variety of resources including health and human services, veterans’ aid and emotional or physical abuse help through the state’s 211 service. Last year, more than 300,000 calls were answered by the service and their online database was visited more than 200,000 times. A new law securing and expanding the funding for the 211 hotline will help provide more information and resources to Hoosiers in need. 

It is my hope that these efforts will protect Hoosiers and provide them with valuable services and information. Please contact me with any questions or comments you may have by phone at 317-232-9793 or email at h74@iga.in.gov. You can also receive regular updates by signing up for my newsletter at www.in.gov/h74.

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State Rep. Lloyd Arnold (R-Leavenworth) represents House District 74,

which includes portions of Spencer, Dubois, Perry, Crawford and Orange counties. 

A high-resolution photo of Arnold can be downloaded by clicking here.