STATEHOUSE – A Senate bill regarding children in need of services (CHINS) petitions passed through the Indiana House on Tuesday with a unanimous vote. Senate Bill (SB) 164 was cosponsored in the House by State Representative Kevin Mahan (R-Hartford City).
SB 164 allows a prosecuting attorney to request a juvenile court to authorize the filing of a petition alleging that a child is a child in need of services. It also allows a prosecuting attorney to represent the interests of the state in the CHINS proceeding.
“This is a very simple bill but one that we spent a lot of time reviewing during the Interim DCS Study Committee,” said Rep. Mahan. “Prior to 2008, prosecuting attorneys had the authority to file CHINS petitions. This bill simply gives that authority back to them. This is one of many things being done by the state legislature this session to prevent children from slipping through the cracks.”
CHINS categories describe the type of abuse or neglect requiring the needed services. Under current law, CHINS petitions can only be filed by the Department of Child Services (DCS).
SB 164 will now head to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.
To stay up-to-date on this bill and any other piece of legislation in the General Assembly, visit www.in.gov/legislative.