By the numbers

November 10, 2008

Here’s one of those stories in which the state’s numbers are higher than the nation’s as a whole, and that’s supposed to be bad:

Child Services removed 7,712 Indiana children from their parents in 2007 — 369 more than the previous year — according to the study based on data that states submit to the federal government.

Since 2004, the number of Indiana children removed each year has risen by 10 percent while dropping by 4 percent nationwide, the report said. That increase came despite the hiring of 800 new caseworkers and a commitment to preserving families as part of a reform effort started in 2005.

Most would agree that children should be left at home or removed from the home based on whatever is in the best interests of the children’s safety and well-being. If the state is, in fact, fulfilling that obligation, the number removed can’t be too high. If it isn’t — if it is too quick to assume removal is the best option without any real evidence — then the higher the number the worse. But we can’t really know just by statistics. Later in the story, it is said that, while the number of removals has increased, the reports of abuse haven’t gone down. That suggests, at least, that the state isn’t as careful as it should be about who is removed and who isn’t.

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One Response to “By the numbers”

  1. Bob G. Says:

    When I saw those numbers I was also like “OK, so WHY aren’t the kids that NEED to be removed not, and those that should not be are”?

    I can cite instances where kids are “left to their own devices”, i.e. roaming the streets to all hours (for one example).

    Where are the “parents”, you ask?

    Haven’t a clue…I haven’t really seen an honest-to-God parent in this area for QUITE some time.
    All I see are quasi-adult people that happen to live in the same house…that’s all.
    A very disturbing story on many levels.

    B.G.


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