Indiana panel looks to improve child protection

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

A legislative panel is considering ways to increase oversight of Indiana's embattled child protection agency and decentralizing a statewide child abuse hotline that has been criticized as unresponsive.

But lawmakers, judges and others on the committee will have to judge how much the state may be willing to pay to improve the safety of children.

The committee that's scrutinizing the Department of Child Services discussed a range of options at a meeting Thursday, including setting up a permanent commission to oversee the agency. The agency has drawn attention from lawmakers following a series of child deaths and complaints about its statewide child abuse hotline.

Members also discussed returning the hotline operations to local child protection offices, which could cost as much as $56 million a year.

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