Indiana Department of Child Services goes $284M over budget

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The Indiana Department of Child Services has gone over budget by $284 million with two months left in this fiscal year.

The Journal Gazette reports that the state Budget Committee heard about the issue Tuesday.

Lawmakers gave the agency $125 million more for the 2018 fiscal year than in previous years. The Indiana Office of Management and Budget identified $324 million in excess dollars that could be shifted to DCS if needed.

State Budget Director Jason Dudich says the Family and Social Services Administration and Medicaid reserves have been providing most of the excess funds.

The DCS doesn’t have enough family case managers to oversee the high numbers of abused and neglected children. It’s also in the midst of an outside review after the abrupt departure of its former director, who criticized Gov. Eric Holcomb for service cuts and management changes that she said would harm children.

DCS Director Terry Stigdon says the agency will have a better idea of what resources it needs after the report is completed in June.