Judge allows lawsuit against Indiana child welfare agency

A child advocacy group is praising a federal judge’s decision that allows most of a lawsuit to move forward accusing Indiana’s child welfare agency of inadequately protecting thousands of children in its care.

Posted: May 18, 2020 8:56 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A child advocacy group is praising a federal judge’s decision that allows most of a lawsuit to move forward accusing Indiana’s child welfare agency of inadequately protecting thousands of children in its care.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Young’s Wednesday ruling allows two of three counts to go forward in the lawsuit, which was filed last July against the Indiana Department of Child Services, The Journal Gazette reported. The suit alleges that DCS doesn’t protect 22,000 children with open child welfare cases, including more than 14,000 in out-of-home care.

“This is a great victory for the children of Indiana,” said Marcia Robinson Lowry, the attorney for A Better Childhood, one of two child advocacy groups that joined the law firm Kirkland & Ellis in suing the state agency on behalf of nine foster children.

DCS spokeswoman Noelle Russell said Friday that the state agency would have no immediate comment on the judge’s ruling.

The list of allegations include many of the children “unnecessarily" languishing in foster care for years before they are reunified with their primary caretakers, are adopted, or age out of the system. The delays caused by DCS inflict further emotional trauma,” it added.

The case can now proceed to the discovery phase and a potential trial if a settlement is not reached.

“Federal courts have a duty to decide cases before them. Sometimes they refrain from exercising jurisdiction when doing so would interfere with ongoing state proceedings or would upset state-court judgments. But those exceptions are just that: exceptions,” Young wrote. “Federal courts cannot refuse to entertain cases, even when the subject matter involves parallel state-court proceedings. This case tests the limits.”

West Lafayette
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 89°
Kokomo
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 84°
Rensselaer
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 83°
Fowler
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 83°
Williamsport
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 89°
Crawfordsville
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 86°
Frankfort
Overcast
85° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 86°
Delphi
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 85°
Monticello
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 85°
Logansport
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 84°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 45952

Reported Deaths: 2650
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11387679
Lake4872240
Elkhart308543
Allen2677114
St. Joseph184965
Cass16369
Hamilton1484100
Hendricks136699
Johnson1235118
Porter68537
Madison64363
Tippecanoe6408
Clark62244
Bartholomew57844
Howard54356
LaPorte53925
Kosciusko4952
LaGrange4596
Jackson4553
Noble44728
Vanderburgh4306
Hancock42935
Delaware42648
Boone42242
Shelby41625
Marshall4123
Floyd36344
Morgan32031
Montgomery28720
Grant28526
Clinton2792
Dubois2606
White25810
Monroe25628
Decatur24632
Henry23515
Lawrence23124
Vigo2248
Harrison20822
Dearborn20422
Warrick20129
Greene18431
Miami1802
Jennings16911
Putnam1658
DeKalb1594
Scott1547
Daviess13916
Orange13323
Wayne1286
Franklin1248
Steuben1232
Perry1209
Ripley1127
Carroll1092
Jasper1092
Wabash1072
Fayette967
Newton9510
Whitley814
Randolph764
Starke733
Huntington702
Wells681
Jay670
Fulton661
Jefferson651
Washington641
Pulaski631
Knox620
Clay594
Rush573
Benton480
Adams451
Owen451
Gibson442
Sullivan441
Brown381
Blackford372
Posey350
Spencer311
Tipton301
Crawford290
Fountain292
Switzerland250
Martin220
Parke220
Ohio140
Warren141
Union130
Vermillion130
Pike80
Unassigned0194

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events