Language Translation
  Close Menu

Annual Report

Highlights the ongoing partnership between all three branches of state government to safeguard and support Indiana’s children—especially its most vulnerable

Next Meeting

The Commission's next meeting will be on Wednesday, August 21, 10:00 a.m. to noon, at Indiana Government Center South, Conference Room 1&2 (Wabash Hall), 302 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46204.

Latest News & Headlines

Commission Selected for BEST Youth Initiative

The Forum for Youth Investment (FYI) selected Indiana as one of five states to participate in the Building Ecosystems Statewide for Thriving (BEST) Youth Initiative. This three-year technical assistance program will support the Children's Commission, Department of Education (DOE), Department of Health (DOH), Division of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHA), four youth representatives, and a parent representative collaborating on the issue of chronic absenteeism. For more information, read the full announcement.

June Meeting

At the June meeting, the Children's Commission heard presentations from the Department of Health on the 2023 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, LifeSmart Youth on healthy teen relationships, and the Indiana Youth Institute (IYI) on the KIDS COUNT Data Book. The Commission also heard updates on the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Subcommittee, the Bullying and Suicide Prevention and Online Safety Task Force, and the BEST Youth Initiative. For more information, visit the meeting page.

April Meeting

At the April meeting, the Children's Commission heard presentations from the Division of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHA) about suicide, bullying, and social media and the Indiana Youth Services Association (IYSA) about prevention programming. The Commission also voted to approve the creation of a new task force, heard updates on legislative actions during the 2024 session, and discussed future Day of the Child events. The meeting closed with recognition of the passing of Senator Jean Breaux, announcing the Commission internship to be renamed the Senator Jean Breaux Collaboration Fellowship. For more information, visit the meeting page.

Remembering Commission Member Senator Jean Breaux

On March 20th, 2024, we were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of State Senator Jean Breaux. One of the longest serving members of the Commission on Improving the Status of Children, Senator Breaux epitomized our commitment to finding bipartisan and collaborative solutions to the complex problems faced by Hoosier youth and their families.  A statement from Governor Holcomb included the following:

“State Senator Jean Breaux dedicated nearly two distinguished decades of her life serving others. Her passion for representing and helping her constituents, including serving on the Commission on Improving the Status of Children in Indiana and her commitment to public health, was a model and joy to be around. The statehouse will not be the same without her in the chamber, but her spirit and legacy will live on through the countless Hoosiers she inspired.”

Senator Breaux first joined the Commission in 2017 and took part in over 50 actions that helped shape a better Indiana for our children.  Although her contributions will be irreplaceable, Senator Breaux’s legacy of service, civility, and cooperation will be remembered in all of our future efforts.

The “Day of the Child” at the Indiana Statehouse on February 19th

The Commission supported a set of coordinated events at the Indiana Statehouse on President’s Day, Monday, February 19th in celebration of it being proclaimed “Day of the Child” by the office of Governor Holcomb. The Marion County Commission on Youth (MCCOY) welcomed hundreds of young advocates from around the state for the annual Youth Day at the Statehouse. Young Hoosiers had the opportunity to see the Indiana General Assembly in action and share their voices at this engaging event. In the Indiana House of Representatives chamber, the annual State of the Child kickoff event was hosted by the Indiana Youth Institute (IYI).  State, federal, local leaders and youth service providers gathered to learn how Indiana children are doing across the categories of family & community, health, economic well-being, and education. This event kicked off IYI’s statewide State of the Child campaign, which includes more than a dozen in-person and virtual events this February through April to share the 2024 Indiana KIDS COUNT® Data Book. To access the State of the Child video recording, visit the House chamber recordings page.

February Meeting

At the February meeting of the Children’s Commission, members were provided with an update on legislative actions and engagement during the first half of the legislative session. The Commission also heard a presentation from Monica Roose of the Indiana Birth Parent Advisory Board, with recorded contributions from two of its members, discussing the need to ensure parent voices are considered. Review meeting materials and watch video of the meeting video on the February 2024 Commission Meeting Page.

Legislative Session 2024

The Children's Commission tracks legislation affecting children and child-serving professionals and systems. Here is a list of Commission related bills and their status at the end of the 2024 Legislative Session. For more information on chamber and committee activities, visit

December Meeting

At its December meeting, the Children’s Commission finalized its legislative affairs and engagement plan. This listed the legislative topics relevant to the Commission’s strategic plan, additional issues suggested by members, and the activities to increase assistance to lawmakers. The Commission’s coordinator and youth representatives recapped the 2023 Youth/Family Engagement Summit, sharing attendance statistics, highlights, and future plans. View recordings of all sessions at the Summit portal. Next, Dr. Weaver and Kate Schedel presented the importance of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS). Last, the Commission’s Task Force chairs recapped their work from 2023 and discussed future goals and projects. For more information, visit the meeting page.

2023 Youth/Family Engagement Summit: Unmuting Your Authenticity

The Children's Commission hosted a two-day, virtual summit on December 1st and 2nd. The summit had a goal of increasing and amplifying the voices of those with lived experience. Day one of the event focused on how professionals can build and encourage engagement, while day two focused on informing youth, parents, family and community members on how they can use their voices to help make positive change for Hoosier youth. To view all session recordings, visit the Summit portal.

October Meeting

At its October meeting, the Commission approved a set of legislative affairs guiding principles and agreed on the need for future approval of a legislative engagement agenda. Dejuna Rodriguez presented an update on the 2023 Family and Youth Engagement Summit titled “Unmuting Your Authenticity,” which is being planned by herself and Stephaney Knight. Early registration for the December 1st and 2nd Summit is open now. Finally, the Commission heard a presentation from Judge Kimberly Dowling on behalf of the Child Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) subcommittee. For more information, visit the meeting page.

August Meeting

At its August meeting, the Children’s Commission voted to approve the Youth Justice Oversight Committee’s (YJOC) recommendation report. Combining the work of subgroups including Behavioral Health, Data, Diversion, Grants Process, Juvenile Probation Standards, Screening and Assessment, and Transitional Services, while consulting a Youth and Family Advisory group, the presentation also mentioned that the Commission will maintain a relationship in its implementation and staffing. More information on the YJOC report can be found here. Senator Stacey Donato, Chair, and Mark Fairchild, Executive Director, outlined the need for a process and current practice regarding legislative affairs. Mark was tasked with drafting a process to be presented at a future meeting. The Commission’s Youth and Family Engagement Summit, themed “Unmuting Your Authenticity,” is tentatively scheduled for December 1st and 2nd. For more information, visit the meeting page.

June Meeting

At its June meeting, the Children's Commission heard a data presentation from the Indiana Youth Institute, an authentic engagement presentation from Stephaney Knight, and an overview of the recent legislative session and the Commission's budget. Also, two new Youth Representatives were announced and a Coordinator for the Commission was hired. For more information, visit the meeting page.

April Meeting

At its April meeting, the Children’s Commission heard presentations from Dr. Jack Turman regarding housing security and infant mortality risk, Lorraine Cromwell on support for kinship caregivers with The Villages, Justice Steven David on the status of the Youth Justice Oversight Committee, and Julia Stevens on the At-risk Youth and Families Project with the Indiana Public Defenders Council. The meeting also included a brief legislative update. For more information, visit the meeting page.

Commission Appoints New Executive Director

At its February meeting, the Children's Commission appointed Mark Fairchild as the next executive director for the Commission. He brings a wealth of expertise in several areas of child wellbeing and public policy and will begin in the role on March 6, 2023. Read the press release.

Commission Adopts New Strategic Plan

At its February meeting, the Children's Commission adopted a new strategic plan to guide its work over the next three years. The plan continues to focus in four key areas: child health and safety, mental health and substance abuse, educational outcomes, and juvenile justice and cross-system youth.

Information Sharing Guide and App Updated and Re-Released

The Data Sharing and Mapping Committee of the Commission has completed an update to all content of the Information Sharing Guide, which can be accessed for the desktop, as well as iOS and Android devices. The new update includes foster parents as record requesters, distinguishes among health, mental health, and addictions records, and provides information on when a child may receive their own records.