The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Local News

July 1, 2013

Commission on children starts work fixing system of services

INDIANAPOLIS — The new Commission on Improving the Status of Children in Indiana hasn’t had its first official meeting, but its chair, Indiana Supreme Court Justice Loretta Rush, has already started prodding members to get to work.

In a recent informal meeting in her chambers, Rush urged other newly appointed commission members to embrace their ambitious challenge: Figuring out how to fix the state’s fractured system of services for vulnerable children.

“It’s rough out there for kids,” Rush said later, talking about the commission’s charge. “Rougher than it’s ever been.”

The new law that created the commission, effective July 1, came in response to revelations last year of problems at the state’s Department of Child Services and the failings of its statewide child-abuse hotline. A summer study committee found, that among things, there were children in danger who were falling through bureaucratic cracks.

But the commission’s mission goes far beyond oversight of the DCS. It’s tasked with taking a deeper look at how well — or more accurately, how poorly — a myriad of agencies, organizations, and entities are working together to help children in harm’s way.

Rush had been pushing for such a commission for several years, based on concerns of judges like her who’d seen the need for better coordination of services for children who ended up in the court system.

She’d spent 14 years as a juvenile court judge before she was tapped for the high court, and years before that as a court-appointed advocate for children who’d been abused, neglected, or abandoned.

She’d seen how the tangle of services and programs aimed at helping children too often failed them, either from lack of coordination or by working at cross purposes.

Of the hundreds of memorable cases she’s dealt with, she talks about one that embodies the problems the commission must face: It involved a teenage girl who grew up in the chaos of mental illness and poverty, and had been shuffled from foster home to foster home and in and out of different schools.

Text Only
Local News
  • NWS - HB0820 - Mounds Reservoir - JC 1 Reservoir proposal garnering support Of the approximately 400 people who visited the “Imagine Mounds Lake” display at the Mounds Mall on Tuesday, the vast majority were supportive of the project.

    August 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Manufacturing company opens in Elwood

    More than 200 people turned out to welcome Warner Bodies to the city Wednesday morning.

    August 20, 2014

  • NWS - HB0815 - heroin bust - JM - james dixon New York suspect denies involvement in large heroin network A New York man suspected of involvement in the large heroin ring dismantled last week said he has never sold drugs in his life, though he suspected that's exactly what his brother was doing.

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Election board looking into voter fraud allegation The Madison County Election Board delayed a decision into allegations of voter fraud in the May primary until it can gather additional information. Brian Bell, who lost the Democratic Party’s nomination for sheriff by 48 votes to Scott Mellinger, raised allegations to the election board during a hearing Friday.

    August 19, 2014

  • Mother who brought gun to school pleads guilty

    A mother who admitted to bringing a gun to a meeting at her son's school in April pleaded guilty on Tuesday.

    August 19, 2014

  • NWS - HB0821 - Warner Bodies - JC 1 Manufacturing company opens doors in Elwood The relocation of a manufacturing plant to Madison County brings both revitalization and new jobs to the area.

    August 20, 2014 3 Photos

  • NWS - HB0821 - Lapel Fire Station Lapel turns dirt for new fire station After working on the details on financing for years, the Lapel Stony Creek Township Fire Territory is much closer to opening a new station after a ceremonial ground breaking Tuesday night.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arrest Log: Aug. 21 Arrests made by Madison County law enforcement on Tuesday and Wednesday, based on Madison County Jail records.

    August 20, 2014

  • What's Where: Aug. 20 Local meeting and events as published in the Wednesday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    August 20, 2014

  • Local Briefs: Aug. 20 A compilation of local and state news as published in the Wednesday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    August 20, 2014

August Staff Photos


Buy and browse more photos from The Herald Bulletin

More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
Auto Industry Book
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Facebook