More concerns raised about Indiana’s child welfare agency

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A state consultant says Indiana’s child welfare agency is facing a shortage of mental health and substance abuse treatment services as well as attorneys.

The Child Welfare Policy and Practice Group released Thursday an interim report about the Department of Child Services, which has been under additional scrutiny since its former director resigned in December and accused Gov. Eric Holcomb’s administration of spending cuts that “all but ensure children will die.”

The consultants say the problems found are also typical in other states, although they found the number of Indiana children placed in out-of-home care is double the national average rate.

The consultants hired by Holcomb say they’ll seek an interview with former DCS director Mary Beth Bonaventura. Their final report is expected to be released in June.