Chesterton Tribune


Indiana child abuse hotline criticized during hearing

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A legislative panel studying Indiana’s Department of Child Services is hearing from residents who believe the agency puts keeping families together ahead of children’s best interests.

Wednesday’s testimony focused on the state’s centralized child abuse hotline.

Donna Baxter of Schererville testified that she used the hotline to try to regain custody of her granddaughter after DCS returned the child to her drug-addicted mother and her abusive boyfriend. Baxter says the girl was malnourished and tested positive for drugs as a newborn.

Democratic Rep. Gail Riecken of Evansville says DCS should prioritize children’s well-being over family unification.

DCS officials have said the agency is required by law to make all reasonable efforts to reunify families and evaluates what can be done to safely keep a child in his or her home.



Posted 9/6/2012