CHINS 6 SEA 164 Passes

One of the hard-fought juvenile legislative battles in 2012 and 2013 was over “CHINS 6“.  SEA 164 is now an enrolled act awaiting Governor Pence’s signature.

CHINS 6 is a statute within the abuse and neglect part of the Indiana juvenile code that allows the judge to declare that the child is in need of services (CHINS) through the child’s own acts that endanger his own health or the health of others.  There is no allegation of wrongdoing by the parent.

In 2008, the statute was changed such that only the DCS attorney could request authorization to file a CHINS 6 petition.  The prosecuting attorney was removed from the statute.  Since that time, DCS administrative policy made it largely impossible to get a CHINS 6 petition in front of a juvenile court judge for consideration.  The result was that mentally ill children were being forced in the juvenile delinquency system, with the collateral consequences that come with it, in order to get access to services.

On July 1, 2013, assuming the bill is signed into law, the prosecutors will again be able to request authorization to file a petition alleging a CHINS 6, as well as the DCS attorneys.

Many, many thanks to the legislators (especially those who also participated in the interim summer study committee), the Indiana Public Defender Council, the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council, the Indiana State Bar Association, IARRCA, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and so many other advocates.

This entry was posted in CHINS, Collateral Consequences, Legislation and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to CHINS 6 SEA 164 Passes

  1. Holly Terchila says:

    So if your child is in need of residential treatment and is a danger in the home how do you get the ball rolling if DCS is unwilling to help?

    • Kaarin says:

      This blog does provide specific advise. The Indiana Code provides that only prosecutors can file juvenile delinquency petitions. After July 1, 2013, both DCS attorneys and prosecutors can file DCS petitions. The National Alliance on Mental Illness is a resource for support.

  2. Holly Terchila says:

    So after July 1, 2013 if you have a situation with a mentally ill child and unable to get help from DCS then can the parent contact the prosecutors office for help with this themselves?

  3. Pingback: Indiana Children’s Mental Health Care Access | Indiana Juvenile Justice Blog

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