News From Terre Haute, Indiana

January 23, 2013

Indiana House panel backs more abuse caseworkers

Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana House committee has endorsed a proposal to add dozens of caseworkers and supervisors around the state to investigate child abuse complaints.

The bill would have the Department of Child Services hire 60 additional staffers for its centralized call center plus 80 caseworkers and 16 supervisors for investigating abuse reports. The Indianapolis Star reports the House family and children committee voted unanimously in support of the bill today.

The additional staff is estimated to cost $8.9 million a year, so lawmakers will have to add money to the state budget for the hiring to take place.

A legislative review last year recommended that reports to the central hotline be investigated by county field workers. Children’s advocates blamed the hotline for “screening out” calls that should have been investigated.