Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

April 7, 2014

Report says child death investigations still lag


The Associated Press

Indianapolis — A state ombudsman has told the Indiana Department of Child Services its investigations into child deaths and near-fatalities are sometimes still taking too long.

Ombudsman Alfreda Singleton-Smith is recommending the child welfare agency a plan to speed up its investigation of such cases.

The Indianapolis Star reports that DCS implemented a policy in 2010 to complete such assessments within 180 days. The new ombudsman's report covering 2013 say the agency still isn't always meeting that deadline.

DCS spokesman James Wide says the agency will use the ombudsman recommendations to improve its protection of children from abuse and neglect.

The child fatality recommendation was in response to changes made in 2012, after the ombudsman's office found DCS was taking nearly two years to complete some of those investigations.