Centers Collaborate to Influence State Policy and Help Children
Professors and professionals from the law school and the IUPUI campus have combined their efforts to reach out to Indiana state policy makers on the issue of improvements in the state's foster care system, particularly in regard to children with special needs. Last fall, John Krauss, ’76, Director of IUPUI's Center for Urban Policy and the Environment collaborated with Heather McCabe, '03 and Director Eleanor Kinney of the William S. and Christine S. Hall Center for Law and Health to create an issue brief that is intended to raise awareness about disabled children who are placed in foster care. McCabe says, “Children with developmental disabilities and special medical needs are disproportionately represented in the Child Welfare system. As the state of Indiana is examining and making improvements to its current system, this is a good time to bring the specific issues of children who have special needs to the attention of those with the power to make changes.” Indiana’s new Governor Mitch Daniels has decided to create a Department of Child Services, directed by James W. Payne, ’72, which will directly impact the structure of the foster care system.
According to McCabe, this issue brief issued by the centers builds on some of the recommendations made last year by the Commission on Abused and Neglected Children and their Families. McCabe says, “Representative David Orentlicher, who served on that commission, has expressed an interest in this issue and we are hopeful that others will follow suit and make the system safe for all children involved, including those who are most vulnerable.” Orentlicher is not only an elected state representative, he is also Samuel R. Rosen Professor of Law and Co-director of the William S. and Christine S. Hall Center for Law and Health.
The law school is partnering with the Riley Child Development Center and the Indiana Department of Education, Office of Student Services, to host the Third Annual Childhood Disabilities Conference. The conference will be a one-day CLE/CME program on June 17th on the topic of Children with Disabilities in the Child Welfare System at which Payne and Orentlicher will both speak.
For more information about the issue brief or the June conference, please contact Heather McCabe, Assistant Director for Projects at the William S. and Christine S. Hall Center for Law and Health: email@example.com