How to File a Complaint Against the Indiana Department of Child Services
By Dan Harkins
Updated July 20, 2017
Though every state's department of child services has a noble mission of protecting children from physical and emotional abuse, the caseworkers and other employees that perform this mission aren't always perfect. If you have a complaint to make against the Indiana Department of Child Services, you won't be the first. In 1997, the state legislature created a DCS Ombudsman Bureau to handle the different complaints lodged against the agency in as unbiased a way as possible.
Gather the data you'll need to fill out a formal complaint form with the Indiana Department of Child Services. This includes the case numbers and identifying information of all children and state employees involved.
Call your family case manager and her local office director first and attempt to address the problem in an informal manner.
Navigate to the link in the Resources section, scroll down and click on "Complaint Form." Choose "OK" to open the file with Adobe Reader.
Fill in all the fields identifying all related parties on the form's first page. This includes fully identifying yourself, the allegedly responsible parties, the children in the household and any other adults involved in your complaint.
Write a summary of your complaint on the second page of the form, the agency's actions, the regulations you think have been violated and what you have done so far to remedy the situation. Finish the complaint by acknowledging any court cases or administrative reviews already underway in the case, as well as what you believe would be a satisfactory end to the matter. Use another sheet of paper or two to expand on any area for which the field doesn't provide enough room.
Review what you've written to ensure it properly encapsulates your complaint and includes all requested data.
Print the completed form. Sign and date it, then write our your full name on the last line.
Fax the signed complaint form to 317-232-3154 or mail it to:
DCS Ombudsman Bureau 402 W. Washington St., Room W479 Indianapolis, IN 46204
Wait for the agency to investigate your allegations and make a determination of their merits. The Ombudsman will notify you by letter whether it is accepting or refusing your case for further examination.
Dan Harkins has been a full-time journalist since 1997. Prior to working in the alternative press, he served as a staff writer and editor for daily publications such as the "St. Petersburg Times" and "Elyria Chronicle-Telegram." Harkins holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of South Florida.