Cass County Child Advocates

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System Updates and News

Information Sharing Guide

Mobile app provides guidance on sharing children’s records

May 30, 2017 by Court Times

Do you know how to obtain children’s educational, court, or health records? Do you know under what circumstances you can share these records with others? There is a mobile app to help you with these complex questions: the Information Sharing Guide.

The Commission on Improving the Status of Children’s Data Sharing and Mapping Committee asked these and other questions in a 2015 survey to child welfare stakeholders. Most participants agreed on the need to obtain information on children in order to gain a full understanding of the child and to allow them to meet the needs of children and families.

However, many participants lacked a clear understanding about confidentiality laws such as “HIPAA” (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and “FERPA” (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act). When may they share information with other entities who are working with the same children and families? When may they only share information after obtaining a release or a court order?

The ISG is a 200-page white paper containing a summary of various areas of law regarding the confidentiality of children’s records. The experts working on the ISG wanted to make this information readily available to workers in the field, such as teachers, probation officers, police officers, and Department of Child Services family case managers. The ISG is a user-friendly mobile app that is accessible without an internet connection, after downloading.

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Hidden Victims: The Impact of Opioid Use on Children and Families

The news offers daily reminders of the complex challenges our communities, state and country face in the opioid crisis. Governor Eric Holcomb made attacking the drug epidemic a pillar of his inaugural policy agenda. Indiana University has announced its Grand Challenge to respond to the addictions crisis, committing $50 million to finding solutions. Indiana’s social service, emergency service, criminal justice, health care, and public health providers are working to respond to the relentless array of ongoing, interconnected needs arising from the crisis. Collaborations among local, state and federal agencies are developing new cross-cutting partnerships and interventions. At the Indiana Youth Institute, we are concentrating on identifying and addressing the short- and long-term consequences of the opioid crisis on Hoosier children.

Read the full article from IYI here

21.2% of children in Cass County live in poverty, which matches the state average.

10.4% of Children in Cass County don't have health coverage, which can lead to health issues, and neglect of care from parents.

Over 30% of the children assigned to our program are reunified with their parents.

CASA volunteers make a measurable difference in these children's life, 

but there is more than one way to give these children what they need.

CASA Strong

Leaders, volunteers turn out for CASA Day at the State House

A sea of about 350 volunteers in matching blue shirts filled the North Atrium of the State House on March 7, for CASA Day, an annual rally that connects CASA volunteers with lawmakers.Governor Mike Pence and Chief Justice Loretta Rush made remarks to an impassioned crowd, and thanked the volunteers for their work on behalf of abused and neglected children.CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) volunteers advocate on behalf of abused and neglected children whose families are involved with the child welfare system.There are 3,470 CASA volunteers in 78 Indiana counties advocating on behalf of 23,524 children. The volunteers thanked lawmakers for the recent funding increase for GAL/CASA programs and shared information about how the programs are working to recruit more volunteers.

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