Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

December 12, 2013

Ind. children's panel eyes meth, child abuse link

The Associated Press

Indianapolis — A state commission looking for ways to improve the lives of Indiana's most vulnerable children wants to explore whether there's a link between methamphetamine arrests and child welfare cases.

Members of the Commission on Improving the Status of Children in Indiana created an investigation task force Wednesday after hearing about child deaths in homes where adults were using illegal drugs.

The Indianapolis Star reports Department of Child Services director Mary Beth Bonaventura says drug use is a factor in the majority of the agency's child abuse and neglect cases. Commission members were particularly concerned by the prevalence of meth manufacturing in Indiana.

State Police data show that 372 Indiana children were found last year living in places with illegal meth labs.