October 5, 2018

Foster Parents Raise Concerns Amid New Recruitment Campaign

Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
Gov. Eric Holcomb says he and the Department of Child Services are "wide open" to input from everyone in the child welfare system. - Brandon Smith/IPB News

Gov. Eric Holcomb says he and the Department of Child Services are "wide open" to input from everyone in the child welfare system.

Brandon Smith/IPB News

The Department of Child Services announced a campaign to encourage more Hoosiers to become foster and adoptive parents. But the new partnership with a national organization comes as many of the state’s foster parents say the system has significant problems.

Kiamesha Colom is an Indiana foster parent. She gathered statements from 85 other foster parents for the legislative study committee examining DCS. They say foster parents don’t have a real voice in the system. And they argue DCS policy shouldn’t be to re-unify children with their birth parents at nearly any cost.

Gov. Eric Holcomb says he and DCS are “wide open” to that input.

“And we’re making progress because of that," Holcomb says. "So we need to tend to anyone that has an issue or complaint.”

But Colom says that’s not how many foster parents feel.

“We had numerous people reach out to me via Facebook messenger, email, comments and state ‘I’m too scared to tell my story,'” Colom says.

Colom says they’re worried about retaliation from DCS if they speak up. Holcomb says they shouldn’t be afraid.

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