DCS still has improvements to make

Sep 24, 2012

Republican lawmakers will offer legislation next session aimed at solving problems with the Department of Child Services’ abuse report hotline.  

The DCS centralized hotline has been a chief focus of criticism in the last few months, leading to a legislative study committee’s investigation into DCS practices.  Complaints include long hold times on the hotline and a failure to respond to reports of abuse. 

Markle Republican Senator Travis Holdman, one of the committee’s co-chairs, said he and fellow co-chair Cindy Noe of Indianapolis have developed a series of recommendations aimed at solving those problems.

"To hire more workers and put technology in place with the goal of reducing caller wait tome to zero in the current centralized hotline system," Holdman said.

Holdman said the plan also keeps the centralized hotline in place while creating separate hotlines in local communities to provide direct access to law enforcement, school personnel and medical professionals. 

Anderson Democratic Senator Tim Lanane said the solutions are a good start but don’t go far enough.

"One central hotline, I think, is the problem," Anderson said. " It’s just too unwieldy and bureaucratic."

Holdman said the plan is just a starting point and input is needed from DCS and other lawmakers in developing legislation for the 2013 session.