Goodin on DCS report: Actions, not words, the best way to fix broken agency

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INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana House Democratic Leader Terry Goodin from Austin today issued the following statement after the Holcomb Administration revealed details of a report that outlines recommendations to improve the scandal-plagued state Department of Child Services (DCS):

“Today, at long last, the people in charge of state government acknowledge that DCS is broken. It has taken more than a decade to get to this point, but we’re there.

“The question is now where do we go from here?

“One of the many disturbing things about today’s report – along with the high levels of abuse and neglect that exist, a highly centralized management that detracts from improving services, and the ‘culture of fear’ that prevents staff from speaking out about their concerns – was that there have been five previous reports made about the problems at DCS, yet most of the recommendations for improvement have not been implemented.

“In other words, the problems are not new. What needs to change is the willingness to act on them.

“It would appear this administration is willing to act, unlike its predecessors. We must hold them to their word.

“The Indiana General Assembly has a responsibility to act. The lives of children are at stake.

“I know that there will be a study committee looking into DCS issues this summer. I also know the Legislative Council intends to look into this matter further in early July.

“My intention would be to ask my fellow legislative leaders to make a DCS study permanent so we can make sure the changes contained in today’s report are implemented. There appears no willingness among my colleagues in leadership or from the governor to consider a special session on this matter, so a permanent study until the problem is fixed would seem the best way to go.

“We must not tolerate the loss of one more child to abuse or neglect. Actions are needed now.”

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