NewsHealth / April 22, 2020

Children's Commission Discusses Changes And Limitations

Children's Commission Discusses Changes And LimitationsThe Commission on Improving the Status of Children met online Wednesday to talk about efforts to help children and families in Indiana during the pandemic.Commission on Improving the Status of Children in Indiana, coronavirus, COVID-192020-04-22T00:00:00-04:00
Children's Commission Discusses Changes And Limitations

The Commission on Improving the Status of Children in Indiana met virtually Wednesday, April 22.

Indiana Family and Social Services Administration via YouTube

The Commission on Improving the Status of Children met virtually Wednesday to talk about efforts to help children and families in Indiana during the pandemic.

Indiana Department of Mental Health and Addictions Director Jay Chaudhary says there have been some positives, including advancements in telehealth.

"People that otherwise would not have accessed services, are able to access them because they can do it from their own home," says Chaudhary. 

The state restricted courts but kept some operating to address essential cases, including child welfare hearings. Indiana Supreme Court Justice Loretta Rush says moving forward, questions remain about what to open and what should stay closed.

"We have a lot of issues like, when do you call a jury?" says Rush, "When is it safe to call 50 people into a small room."

An emergency court order has been extended through May 18. 

United Way of Central Indiana President Ann Murtlow says nonprofits have had to restructure to help children and families in the crisis.

"For example the community centers are providing more and more services every week but they are doing it in different ways than they used to," says Murtlow, "A lot of it is outreach, as opposed to bringing people into the centers, because of the need to do it in a socially distancing way."

Murtlow says the number of calls to 211 dipped as federal funds reach households.

The group also discussed issues related to the release of low level juvenile offenders, an uptick in overdoses and the difficulty of providing support for people with substance use disorders. 

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