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Indiana First Region V State to Receive Federal Approval for Child Welfare Improvement Plan

Implementation Strategy Becomes Model for Other States

Indianapolis, IN—The Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) announced today it has received word from Region V of the Administration of Child and Families, an affiliate of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, that it has satisfactorily finalized its Program Improvement Plan (PIP). The PIP was required as a result of a 2007 federal review of state child welfare cases. All 50 states are required to complete the three-fold review, comprised of statewide assessments, on-site analysis of a random number of various cases and a review of child welfare practice data. The review indicated the state was not meeting several key compliance steps, including adoption, training and the availability of services necessary to reunify children and families.

DCS developed a proposal which included 11data goals and 133 compliance steps necessary to meet and exceed the federal assessment benchmarks. In 2009 DCS began implementing its PIP into practice. On October 18, 2011, DCS was informed by the Chicago Region V office of the Administration of Children and Families that the program improvement plan had been successfully completed.

“This is an important milestone for Indiana’s children and families,” stated James W. Payne, DCS Director. “The completion of the PIP highlights the continued evolution of the state’s child welfare system but also demonstrates the commitment of the men and women working each day to ensure the safety of Indiana’s abused and neglected children while at the same time changing our culture from a placement system to a permanency system.”

Indiana is the first of seven states within Region V to complete its PIP requirements and its successful implementation is being recognized by other states as a guidepost for child welfare practice reform. Region V states include Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. For more information about RegionV:http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/region5/about/index.html#service.

About Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS):

DCS is committed to protecting children who are victims of abuse or neglect. The Agency’s primary goal is to safely keep these children at home with their families by offering appropriate support services. If safety continues to be a concern, relative or foster care placements are necessary. DCS also oversees adoptions from the foster care system and manages the Child Support Bureau. The Kids First Trust Fund, supported by the sale of ‘Kids First’ specialty automobile license plates, subsidizes child abuse and neglect prevention programs. In collaboration with the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts, DCS’ Books for Youth initiative is targeting a Super Goal for the Super Game: collect 750,000 books for foster kids by Feb. 2012. Child abuse/neglect hotline: 800.800.5556. www.in.gov/dcs. For more information: Ann Houseworth, Communications Director, 317.234.3924, Ann.Houseworth@dcs.in.gov Rich Allen, Assistant Communications Director, 317.232.4424, Rich.Allen@dcs.in.gov