Editorial: Return local voice in child abuse cases

Watching out for abused children is best done close to home.

A plan announced recently by an Indiana General Assembly study committee recommends changes that would return more local control and input into the investigation of child abuse and neglect reports.

The Indiana Department of Child Services has been under intense scrutiny much of this year, with horror stories reported from all corners of the state and in between.

Study committee members reviewed the department and unanimously approved asking the state to draft emergency regulations that would give county field workers a much-needed voice in how abuse and neglect cases are handled. That would be much as cases used to be handled, before all calls were funneled to a central hotline.

The lawmakers also want to establish a permanent legislative committee that would oversee the state agency and recommend expanding and adding what they called child fatality review teams.

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