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The Department of Child Services through its Child Welfare Division provides services to children and their families to prevent or remedy child abuse and neglect and ensure the safety, permanency and well being of children.

This Child Welfare Manual provides:

  • Legal cites to both federal and state laws (including the Indiana Juvenile Code) which establish the authority of the agency, mandate the creation of specific program areas and set parameters governed by best social work practice within those areas.
  • A clear description of each program administered.
  • The policies governing each program.
  • The procedures to be followed in carrying out each program.
  • Information regarding funding sources to support programs and services; and
  • Case management information, including reference to Indiana’s automated child welfare information system, Indiana Child Welfare Information System (ICWIS).

Specific programs within the Child Welfare scope are:

  • Child Protection Services, which include receiving and investigating reports of suspected abuse or neglect of children, and the establishment of the community Child Protection Teams;
  • Service provision to children who are found to be victims of abuse or neglect and for whom the intervention of the court is necessary to assure their safety;
  • Service provision to children who are found to be victims of abuse or neglect and for whom the court has declared that placement outside the home of their parent(s) or guardian(s) is necessary to secure their safety. This includes independent living services to these children who are age 14 and above;
  • Services to children who are not victims of abuse or neglect, but whom the court has determined are children in need of services, in need of care, treatment and rehabilitation that is unlikely to be provided without court intervention. Children who are a danger to themselves and others fall into this category;
  • The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC). This program governs children who are victims of abuse or neglect or who are being adopted, and who move into Indiana from comparable agencies in other states or who move out of Indiana with the approval of a comparable agency in the receiving state. Purposes for these moves may be reunification with parents, placement with other foster parents to facilitate reunification, relative placement or adoptive placement;
  • Licensing services to foster care or relative care homes;
  • Custody studies when ordered by the court;
  • Adoption services to children the court has declared cannot return to their birth families; and,
  • Service provision to prospective adoptive families and to families who are in the process of adopting children, including financial assistance in the form of subsidy to those families who adopt special needs children.
  • Service provision to adoptive families to ensure the continued success of the adoption.

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