Indiana Prioritizes Keeping Kids In Families

Friday, April 5th, 2019 8:21am

By Mary Schuermann Kuhlman, Indiana News Service

Child welfare experts say family placement is the best option for kids who must be removed from their parents' care.

(Indianapolis, Ind.) - Indiana is making great progress in placing foster children in family settings and kinship care, according to a new report. 

The Annie E. Casey Foundation research says over the past decade, the number of Indiana foster children placed with a foster or relative family rose 11 percentage points to 93%, compared with a five-percentage-point increase in the nation as a whole. 

Erin Murphy, communications director with the Indiana Department of Child Services, says the state is prioritizing what's best for each child in need of care.

"Right child, right time, right place - and that is the focus for the agency right now," says Murphy. "And when you're removing a child from a home and that is all they know, it is extremely traumatic. Having a support system of family is always the next best option."

Nationally, although most children are still placed in foster families they aren't related to, placements with kin rose by seven percentage points to 32% over the ten-year period.

RELATED: Adoptive Parents Bloggers Highlight Foster Parenting Event May 18

Rob Geen, director of policy and advocacy reform with the Casey Foundation, says despite the overall improvement, older kids still are not being placed with families often enough.

"More than a third of adolescents 13 and above are placed in group settings, and many of those children could be successfully cared for in family settings," says Geen.

Geen adds a new federal law, the Family First Prevention Services Act, provides opportunities for states to ensure that children are in homes that best address their needs, and that their caregivers are supported.

"We can do a lot more to remove barriers, both from relatives and non-relatives acting as foster parents, and to support them better," says Geen. "It's not just a recruitment question - it's how do we make sure they have what they need to succeed as parents?"

The law also includes reforms that encourage agencies to place children in the least restrictive, most family-like settings.


Data Reveals An Unstable Road For Indiana Foster Youth

New Campaign Urges Hoosiers To Adopt Foster Teens

More from Local News


After Losing Her Father And Being Diagnosed With His Condition, 12-Year-Old Kensington Perseveres

Greendale Middle School student Kensington Harrison is helping other children with her genetic disease cope with the life adjustments it requires.

Road Work Will Close Manchester Landing 6-8 Weeks

The City of Aurora says Manchester Landing will close near the intersection of U.S. 50/Green Boulevard and Sunny Side Avenue starting September 23, 2019.

Burglar Strikes Tobacco Shop Once Again

Rocky's Tobacco in Aurora has been burglarized twice in 11 days.

Local Sports Report - September 19

Franklin County girls soccer was led to a win by Jordan Nichols, who had two goals and an assist, Thursday.

Milan's Clark, Deffinger Earn ORVC Weekly Honors

There were plenty of strong performances to go around in the ORVC last week.

Drue Chrisman Earns Big Ten Weekly Honors

In case you were wondering, Drue is one of the best punters in college football.

On Air

Pigskin Pete & Jim Bob playing
Kenny Rogers - The Gambler

Patsy Cline Faded Love 7:50
Oak Ridge Boys American Made 7:45
Statler Brothers Whatever Happened To Randolph Scott? 7:44
Little Texas God Blessed Texas 7:34