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Sen. Holdman: Senate Passes Legislation to Improve Child Services

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 5, 2013) — Legislation authored by State Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Markle) to improve child services in Indiana passed out of the Senate today by a unanimous vote. The proposal originated from the Department of Child Services (DCS) Interim Study Committee, which Holdman chaired.

Senate Bill 164 would allow prosecuting attorneys to file a child in need of services (CHINS) petition with a juvenile court, which sets in motion legal action for the state to intervene to protect a child. Prosecutors previously had the ability to do this, but as of July 2009, that authority belongs only to DCS.

“My legislation would restore that authority to prosecutors and allow them to intervene in situations that need immediate legal action,” Holdman said. “The current structure we have for CHINS petitions could potentially lead to some cases falling through the cracks. Senate Bill 164 would cut out the middle man and let a qualified, experienced individual advocate on behalf of a child in need.”

The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration. Rep. Kevin Mahan (R-Hartford City) is the sponsor in the House.