Representative Thomas Dermody


Contact: Matt Tusing
Phone: 317-232-9805
Email: mtusing@iga.state.in.us
For Immediate Release: Feb 22, 2005
Rep. Budak Protects Hoosier Children
Local Legislator looks to bring profound positive changes to Indiana’s Child Caseworkers

(STATEHOUSE) Feb. 16, 2005 – State Representative Mary Kay Budak (R-District 20) took a closer step to achieving her goal of a safer environment for children by adding child caseworkers across Indiana. Today, House Bill 1743, authored by Rep. Budak, passed out of the Family, Children, and Human Affairs Committee with a 7-0 vote.

“We have paid attention to the needs of Hoosier children, reached across party lines, and worked hard to create a feasible solution to Indiana’s broken child services programs,” states Rep. Budak. “I am convinced that by increasing the number of child caseworkers, it will bring safer surroundings and greater care to many of Indiana’s youth.”

Since 1988, Rep. Budak has authored a bill every legislative session that would increase the number of child caseworkers. This week, the Indiana House passed a state budget that will add 400 caseworkers and provide additional funding for training. House Bill 1743 completes Rep. Budak’s work by establishing maximum caseloads for child protection and welfare workers, requiring local child protection services to maintain sufficient staff at all times to comply with the maximum caseloads.

“Over the last few years, I have been strongly pushing for change to our system in order to better protect Hoosier children,” states Rep. Budak “This legislation will bring positive changes for the future of child services and for state of Indiana. I am grateful that Governor Daniels’ administration believes this legislation is important and I look forward to continuing to work on child safety issues with Judge Payne.” Judge James Payne, former Marion County Juvenile Court Judge, is the new director of the Indiana Department of Child Services.

The bill now heads to the full House, where it is expected to pass overwhelmingly.

Appointed by the Speaker of the House, Rep. Budak resides as Chairperson for the Family, Children, and Human Affairs Committee. Rep. Budak wishes for any community members with questions, comments, or concerns, to contact her at h20@in.gov, or by phone at 1-800-382-9841.

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