When a child has a difficult home life, it could affect how they grow and develop into an adult. Protecting our children and providing them with the best possible care is crucial to setting them up for successful futures. Legislation introduced this session would work to improve the support and assistance given to our most vulnerable Hoosiers.
Currently, Indiana educators cannot obtain information from the Department of Child Services on students who are being abused or neglected at home. If a child is experiencing a particularly difficult time, their behavior may change at school. This could include falling behind with assignments, having trouble focusing and showing a change in behavior. Without knowledge of a child’s home situation, it can be difficult to give students the additional support and attention they may require in the classroom.
A bill I authored would allow a child’s principal or teacher to work with DCS to better meet the needs of children in the welfare system. If a student is suspected of being abused or neglected, educators would have the ability to request information –to the extent necessary– from DCS to give students additional support and encouragement. Teachers would be better able to offer tutoring and specialized activities and programs to help students through their difficult time.
Currently, DCS works to protect children or place victims of abuse or neglect into safe, stable homes. This session, I supported a piece of legislation that would improve the outcomes of those in the child welfare system, and give DCS the tools to more effectively serve Indiana’s youth.
To create stability throughout the difficult transition into adulthood, this legislation would expand collaborative care to foster youth into their early 20s, and reduce managers’ caseloads. Additionally, caseworkers would be given more flexibility in their reporting and how they prioritize cases, allocating more time to individual Hoosier children in need and giving them the attention and care they deserve.
These are just a few of the many important bills being considered to improve the quality of care for neglected or abused children in Indiana. To follow these bills and others, visit iga.in.gov. You can also contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-232-9850 for if you have any questions or input on issues being debated at the Statehouse.
State Rep. Steve Davisson (R-Salem) represents House District 73,
Washington County, and portions of Orange, Lawrence, Jackson, Clark and Harrison counties.
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