Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

July 2, 2013

Commission on children starts work fixing system of services

Group tasked with examining how agencies help or hinder child welfare.

INDIANAPOLIS — The new Commission on Improving the Status of Children in Indiana hasn’t had its first official meeting, but its chair, Indiana Supreme Court Justice Loretta Rush, already has started prodding members to get to work.

In a recent informal meeting in her chambers, Rush urged other newly appointed commission members to embrace their ambitious challenge: Figuring out how to fix the state’s fractured system of services for vulnerable children.

“It’s rough out there for kids,” Rush said later, in talking about the commission’s charge. “Rougher than it’s ever been.”

The new law that created the commission, effective July 1, came in response to revelations last year of problems at the state’s Department of Child Services and the failings of its statewide child-abuse hotline. A summer study committee found, among things, there were children in danger who were falling through bureaucratic cracks.

But the commission’s mission goes far beyond oversight of the DCS. It’s tasked with taking a deeper look at how well – or more accurately, how poorly – myriad agencies, organizations, and entities are working together to help children in harm’s way.

Rush had been pushing for such a commission for several years, based on concerns of judges like her who’d seen the need for better coordination of services for children who ended up in the court system.

She’d spent 14 years as a juvenile court judge before she was tapped for the high court, and years before that as a court-appointed advocate for children who’d been abused, neglected or abandoned.

She’d seen how the tangle of services and programs aimed at helping children too often failed them, either from lack of coordination or by working at cross purposes.

Of the hundreds of memorable cases she’s dealt with, she talks about one that embodies the problems the commission must face: It involves a teenage girl who grew up in the chaos of mental illness and poverty, and had been shuffled from foster home to foster home and in and out of different schools.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • 7 charged in Howard Co. following prescription drug probe

    Two doctors and five employees of the Drug and Opiate Drug Recovery Network (DORN) on South LaFountain Street were arrested earlier today as part of a long-term prescription drug investigation.

    July 25, 2014

  • Escapee Escapee apprehended in Carroll County

    BURROWS — The inmate who escaped from the Logansport State Hospital Thursday night was apprehended in Carroll County late Friday morning. Carroll County Sheriff's Department Major Tobe Leazenby said Christopher J. Robbins, 23, Medaryville, was appreh

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drug Probe 01 Doctors arrested in cash-for-pills probe Two doctors and five employees affiliated with a Drug and Opiate Recovery Network office on South LaFountain Street were arrested early Friday as part of a long-term prescription drug investigation.The addiction-treatment doctors allegedly wrote pres

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Eric Peters Cross-country mission PERU — Eric Peters is on a 2,700-mile mission.As a 23-year-old Army veteran who served in Afghanistan, Peters is used to missions. But this one is personal.Thirty-five days ago, he started a cross-country trek from his home in Clark, New Jersey, that

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - KT072614 - wagoner mug Former doctor to forfeit $1.2 million Former Kokomo doctor Donald Wagoner, who recently was convicted and sentenced for over-prescribing pain medication, has agreed to pay $1.2 million as settlement in a civil suit brought by the Howard County Prosecutor’s Office.Prosecutor Mark McCann f

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - KT072514 - Gregory Konrath mugshot - CLG Trial set for surgeon accused of plotting murder PERU — An orthopedic surgeon at Dukes Memorial Hospital, who is accused of plotting to murder his ex-wife and make it look like a suicide, is set to face a jury trial.In Miami County Circuit Court Thursday, Gregory Konrath, 48, was scheduled to face

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Deputies arrest four on drug charges Howard County sheriff’s deputies arrested four people on numerous charges after deputies went to a home west of Kokomo to serve a warrant late Thursday.Deputies went to the home at 7610 W. 220 South shortly after 11 p.m. in search of a man wanted on

    July 26, 2014

  • Pence discusses HIP 2.0 at Community Howard Gov. Mike Pence recently visited the Community Howard Regional Health campus, sharing with patients, physicians and staff his administration’s new Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0.The program, which was submitted to the federal government at the end of June

    July 26, 2014

  • Section of Market St. to close Monday Market Street will be closing between Superior and Sycamore Streets in downtown Kokomo Monday beginning at 7 a.m. for a minimum of one week. The closure will allow contractors to work on the Market Street Sewer Separation Project, which includes the

    July 25, 2014

  • Feds plan review over Medicaid backlog INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Federal officials are reviewing Indiana’s procedures for enrolling residents in Medicaid after finding the state had 80,000 low-income residents awaiting approval in May.Cindy Mann, director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicai

    July 25, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries