Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Saturday, January 23, 2021

CHINS Filings Stabilize After Surge in Recent Years

From The Indiana Lawyer:

Filings for child in need of services and termination of parental rights cases have swung in opposite directions in the past few years, according to statistics released recently by the Indiana Supreme Court.

The 2019 Judicial Service Report: Judicial Year in Review details updated figures on Indiana’s CHINS and TPR filings during the past five years, revealing that CHINS case filings decreased 11.5% in 2019 alone following a slow drop from an unprecedented surge of filings in 2016 and 2017.

The decrease in CHINS filings since 2015 is encouraging to Andrea Marsh, CHINS and TPR supervising public defender of the Marion County Public Defender Agency.

In the past five years, Marsh said that the Indiana Court of Appeals has offered additional guidance about factors that do not constitute a CHINS case and circumstances that shouldn’t lead to termination of parental rights. Certain categories of CHINS cases rarely come across Marsh’s desk anymore, which she thinks is attributable to federal leadership and calls from DCS director Terry Stigdon to not conflate poverty with neglect.

Read more here.

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