Indiana House passes Summers DCS bill concerning child safety

February 25, 2014 Vanessa Summers

For immediate release:
Feb. 25, 2013

 

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana House of Representatives has taken a significant step in protecting children from being abused or neglected by passing bipartisan legislation coauthored by Rep. Vanessa Summers (D-Indianapolis) that encompasses child health and safety improvement laws in Indiana.

House Bill 1123 is a product of the Department of Child Services (DCS) Interim Summer Study Committee, which included discussion between Summers and other legislators from both parties. According to Summers, the committee made came together to develop and improve legislation concerning abused and neglected children and other DCS concerns.

“I am pleased with the bipartisan work and support I’ve seen with this bill,” said Summers. “This legislation has come a long way, which shows our work this summer was not in vain.”

The bill establishes a Commission on Children that would include decision-makers, appointed by the Governor, who will take recommendations from the statewide committee in helping form strategies to improve the status of children. They would deal with issues regarding child abuse, neglect, poverty, juvenile delinquency, and mental health—issues that affect the health and wellness of children. The bill also creates a legislative Oversight Committee as a subcommittee.

The bill also includes an addition to improve the Child Fatality Review Committee system—which addresses causes of child deaths in communities—by improving communication between local and state committees.

The bill, authored by Rep. Kevin Mahan (R-Hartford City) and coauthored by Reps. Gail Riecken (D-Evansville) as well as Rebecca Kubacki (R-Syracuse), passed through the House 97-0 and now will advance to the Senate for further consideration.