July 16, 2015

Pence Discusses DCS Amid Lawsuit

INDIANAPOLIS -- Gov. Mike Pence says he can’t comment on a lawsuit alleging the Department of Child Services is breaking state law by not adhering to guidelines limiting employee caseloads.  But, he says he’s confident the agency is on solid footing.

The ACLU this week filed a lawsuit on behalf of a DCS caseworker who says she’s supervising 43 children, when state law says she shouldn’t be overseeing more than 17. 

DCS officials told the State Budget Committee last November it wasn’t meeting the caseload standards.  And Gov. Pence says the state hired an outside firm to evaluate DCS and make recommendations.

“And if you’ll recall, I submitted a supplemental budget request in the midst of this session of the General Assembly requesting an additional $7.5 million for the Department of Child Services to bring up the number of caseworkers to the statutory level.”

That additional money – approved, Pence notes, with strong bipartisan support – allows DCS to hire 100 more caseworkers, which it’s in the process of doing.  The governor says hiring the new caseworkers will ensure vulnerable children are more effectively protected.

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