Indianapolis family says toddler found not breathing while in care of state-approved caregiver

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- A family is facing a decision no parent should face, whether to stop life saving efforts for their 17-month-old toddler, Major Maxie.

Maxie's family said doctors declared him brain dead days after he was found not breathing and slumped over in his car seat when a worker for Lifeline Youth and Family Services brought him to a supervised visit with his father.

DCS said it's worked with the company since 2006. The department says it works with more than 300 community based providers for a number of different services.

"We have a great team, but it takes more, it just takes, it takes additional help, it takes additional people, it takes additional services, it takes specific services to really give all these kids what they need to get the best care we can possibly provide," said Jeannie Keating with DCS.

DCS said in order to get a contract with them, a provider must be in good standing with the state of Indiana, submit a proposal through an open DCS request for proposals and be awarded a contract.

"The whole idea is to have them aware of what our requirements are and then through a vetting process, that's how we get our different providers," Keating said.

DCS said once a vendor is awarded a contract, part of its requirements are completing background checks on employees before providing services to children and families.

The CEO of Lifeline Youth and Family Services, Mark Terrell, said its employees go through a thorough vetting process laid out by DCS, including background checks, interviews and comprehensive assessments.

"Our prayers are just for that family," Terrell said.

Terrell said this is his staff's worst nightmare. He said they're conducting their own investigation and cooperating with authorities.

"I think there's still enough information out that we still don't know what the cause was but it doesn't really matter, we're worried about that family," Terrell said.

DCS said when there is a situation with a provider, it requests an internal investigation and conducts its own review to figure out if a vendor violated a contract or rules. Anytime there is a fatality or near fatality for any child under the age of 3, DCS said it conducts an investigation into that.