Bangert: As DCS roils in Indy, local advocates for neglected kids ‘soldier on’

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Journal & Carrier on 01/06/2018 by Dave Bangert

LAFAYETTE, Ind. – By all accounts, it was just a normal day Wednesday in the fourth-floor courtroom of Tippecanoe Superior 3, where the county’s child neglect cases are heard.

Sixty miles to the south, Indiana House and Senate leaders were gaveling in the 2018 General Assembly session Wednesday afternoon with a vow that they weren’t going to get caught up this session with a crisis brewing in Indiana’s child neglect and welfare system.

What they’d read and heard since the December resignation letter from Mary Beth Bonaventura surfaced – specifically the former Department of Child Services director’s claim that cuts under Gov. Eric Holcomb’s administration “all but ensure children will die” – wasn’t enough for the legislature to jump in right away.

Or, maybe it was too big for one 10-week legislative session.

“The same stories that we all heard from case workers in the past, I’m still hearing,” Sen. David Long, the Senate president, said. “It’s not Gov. Holcomb’s fault – it’s a systemic issue.”

Business as usual, in other words.