Since Governor Mitch Daniels retroactively eliminated funding across the board for at risk children (families adopting special needs children – after the adoptions were completed) the politics wrecking the lives of at risk children  have made the news in Indiana often;
IN: The politics of children and family services
Governing – October 09, 2012
Protecting kids and trying to preserve families isn’t only the hardest job in government, it’s by far the most politically dangerous. In resigning, Payne joins an ever-growing list of first-rate leaders in the human services field who were either fired or driven from office thanks to politics and a brutal and often purposefully ignorant press.

IN: Indiana child services agency settles lawsuit involving toddler’s 2009 death in foster care
Daily Reporter – October 13, 2012
The Indiana Department of Child Services has settled its part of a lawsuit involving the death of a 16-month-old girl in foster care. The lawyer for the girl’s mother, Kelli Sprunger, told the South Bend Tribune that the agency has agreed to pay her $150,000 for its alleged role in the March 2009 death of her daughter, Alissa Guernsey.–Foster-Care-Lawsuit

IN: Sex abuse awareness, treatment on the rise
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette – October 14, 2012
Local center reports seeing 40% more kids than in ’11. “We’ve definitely seen an increase from last year,” said Bobbi Golani, the center’s program director. “We’ve opened a second interview room in response to an increasing need. It’s busy.”
IN: Money woes underscore child services troubles
Post-Tribune – September 30, 2012
Somewhere in the $2.2 billion Indiana has socked away in cash reserves is money that Tiffany Girard says was needed to help the three foster children she used to care for before quitting Indiana’s foster care system in frustration.

IN: Indiana Department Of Child Services director resigns
Indiana Public Media – September 24, 2012
Department of Child Services Director James Payne resigned from his post Monday in the wake of allegations of impropriety regarding the DCS and a case involving his own family. DCS Chief of Staff John Ryan is stepping in as director of the department effective immediately.

IN: DCS director violated agency code of conduct, report says
South Bend Tribune – September 24, 2012
The director of the Indiana Department of Child Services likely violated his agency’s code of conduct through his involvement in a child neglect case involving his own grandchildren, a report Sunday said. Also: Also:,0,7752965.story?track=rss


IN: Attorney General’s office will handle DCS appellate court cases
Indianapolis Star – September 13, 2012
Attorney General Greg Zoeller said he will reassume responsibility for Department of Child Services appellate court cases in the wake of a controversial attempt by DCS to block a newspaper from publishing information about a call to the agency’s child abuse hotline.

IN: Pence issues familiar prescription to improve families – September 18, 2012
Pence said as governor he will promote adoption by eliminating income limits on private school vouchers for adopted children, host with his wife an annual summit examining the best ways to strengthen families, and improve the Department of Child Services through better coordination by state government, local governments and social service agencies.
IN: DCS statute irks prosecutors: Some say review teams usurp counties in child-death cases
The Journal Gazette – September 04, 2012
In August, the Indiana Department of Child Services asked county agencies and other groups to provide names of people possibly interested in serving on 18 newly created regional child fatality review teams.

IN: Department of Child Services child abuse hotline criticized at legislative hearing
Indianapolis Star – September 05, 2012
The Department of Child Services’ child abuse hotline came under new criticism Wednesday from social workers, members of the public and some current and former hotline workers.

IN: Indiana child abuse warnings not being made
Indy Star – August 29, 2012
The doctor asked “very direct specific questions about any child abuse,” according to hospital records obtained by The Indianapolis Star. But ultimately the doctor determined the family’s explanation was plausible.

IN: Violating child abuse reporting law rarely results in punishment

Indianapolis Star     August 29, 2012

In Indiana, professionals such as doctors, teachers and counselors face requirements for reporting suspected child abuse and neglect that go above and beyond the law that applies to the general public. But few “professional” reporters — or any other Hoosiers, for that matter — ever face criminal charges for violating the state’s mandatory reporting law.

IN: EDITORIAL: State slow to start in looking at central child abuse hotline
Evansville Courier Press – August 28, 2012
An Indiana legislative investigation of the state’s Department of Child Services got off to a bumpy start Wednesday after officials concerned about the agency’s centralized child-abuse and neglect hotline learned it would not be discussed at the first meeting. According to The Associated Press, a group of sheriffs and judges had complained that a new system which sends all child abuse hotline calls through a central intake center in Indianapolis was experiencing difficulties, including poor response time.

IN: Overdue answers from DCS
Journal-Gazette – August 26, 2012
A public relations effort paints the work of Indiana’s child protection agency as among the best in the nation. But under the scrutiny of judges, child advocates, health officials and lawmakers familiar with their work, agency officials issued an almost apologetic response to troubling questions about their performance.

IN: Youth expert teaches cultural sensitivity
News-Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Indiana) – August 27, 2012
Indiana Youth Group Education Outreach Coordinator Graham Brinklow believes that just as the practice of forbidding children to use their left hand to write or throw has mostly disappeared, the belief that sexual orientation is a choice will soon be gone


  1. IN: Indiana Department Of Child Services director resigns

    What if,
    What if he was doing the right thing to protecting his grandchildren? He did whatever it took to making sure those kids were safe.

    We don’t have all the facts and my first intuition was just that; he saw his own people at child services not protecting his grandchildren and only going by some guidelines, at most. It sounds like Mr. Payne has seen first-hand how his people at CPS are truly not looking out for the best interest of the children. He then had no choice but to intervene in search of protecting those children. This was my first thought.

    My question is – why was CPS involved at all?

    If Payne’s son was involved in a bitter divorce from his wife than that means they have lawyers and were fighting in divorce court. At this time CPS is almost never involved as everything must go through divorce court.

    As you will read in my book “Our Children Come First” you will see in my case in Indiana that no matter what happens, from abuse or neglect to a child, or any domestic violence, everything must go through divorce court. I even witness police upset to the point they do nothing because they know the situation has to go back to divorce court and what they do doesn’t matter. Their hands are tied because the divorce papers are so vague and not specific they are limited in helping or protecting to serve. I had found bruises on my daughter after picking her up from her mother’s, and I was bounced around between two counties with both police and CPS as either department didn’t want to get involved. Or the restraining orders had said the protective order will be in effect until the next court date, which didn’t happened, so as far as the police were concern the restraining order was not valid.

    Personally I would want to sit down and talk with this man, James Payne, to see what he has learned from his son’s case after resigning. With his many years of experiences being a director of the department, maybe he has seen another light of what the true problems are within the system. I would like to pick his brain to see if maybe I could be helping in another way which I haven’t seen yet.

  2. Does anyone know if there is any age requirement for a child to emancipate themselves from their parent in Indiana do to abuse?

    I am trying to help this child I have talked about before and I am trying to get her out of an abusive situation. It is to the point that this 15 year old girl is about to lose her mind and respect for life as her mother continues to neglect and abuse her. Someone is about to get hurt if nothing is done.

    The police were called last week because of the mother yelling at this child. But the police did not file a report yet again. She has been left with bruises on her and child services wouldn’t do anything because of their evaluation, she isn’t abused enough. The mother is moving her to the 3rd school in the last 4 months due to the fact she cannot take care of herself, therefore moves from guy to guy dragging this daughter with her. This has been going on for 5 years since this child found her father dead and child services, without regards of the child, quickly put the child back into the mother’s custody. Prior to this the father had full custody and the mother had supervised visitations, with reason.

    A few months ago a family had tried to take the mother to court to get the child away from her, because the mother had left her child at an ex-boyfriend’s house for 3 months while she lived with someone else. Since this family didn’t understand the law or asked me for guidance they didn’t have enough substantial evidence of the abuse and the judge kept the child with the mother.

    This is the immediate occurrence of what is happening with this child. The story of this child and her father along with her half-sister is much greater and too important to be left alone. With extensive research seeing how bad abuse is across the world where child services have been involved needs to be addressed.

    Please do not misunderstand that last statement because I do understand the big picture where there are so many parents not being responsible for their actions. Where child services is left with a hard decision to make evaluating an abusive situation, but at the same time the stories across the world are not very pretty.

    Along with this child and others how can we change this circle of neglect that continues to be missed by everyone involved within and without the legal system?

Comments are closed.