Waynedale Political Commentaries


Children thrive when they are in safe, caring environments. One of my top priorities as a lawmaker is to protect Indiana’s children and help ensure that they are given every opportunity to succeed.

Since the creation of Indiana’s Department of Child Services (DCS) in 2005, Indiana has taken great strides to better protect children from abuse and mistreatment. State lawmakers have worked closely with DCS to expand the number of call centers for Indiana’s child abuse hotline (1-800-800-5556) and ensure that DCS workers are adequately trained and proficient when handling each case.

However, there is still more work to be done in protecting some of our most vulnerable citizens. In 2011, Indiana recorded an alarming 151,442 reports of child abuse. Sadly, each year since, the number of reports has continued to increase with 177,539 in 2012, and 187,465 in 2013.

These increases in child abuse reports prove that too many of our young people are facing the pain of emotional and physical abuse or neglect. However, we can be thankful that individuals are taking notice and reporting this terrible treatment.

To better inform Hoosiers of the signs of child abuse and how to report it, DCS has recently launched a free, online public-training course. This new training program educates individuals on how to recognize and report child abuse and neglect. Participants also learn the steps taken by DCS after it receives a report.

*Child abuse occurs whenever the mental or physical condition of a child is seriously impaired or endangered due to one of the following:

*Neglecting to supply the child with necessary food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education or supervision;

*Injury to the child as a result of an act or oversight by the parent or guardian;

*Drug manufacturing or drug use in the home; and

*Sexual offenses.

All Hoosiers — especially school teachers, nurses, counselors and principals — are strongly encouraged to visit www.reportchildabuse.dcs.in.gov and complete the training course.

If there are any suspicions or reasons to believe a child is being abused, call the hotline at 1-800-800-5556. As adults, we are responsible for the safety of all children.

As always, please contact me with your thoughts and concerns by email at Senator.Long@iga.in.gov or by phone at 800-382-9467.

David Long - IN Dist. 16 Senator

David is a former Republican member of the Indiana State Senate representing the 16th district which encompasses Waynedale. He served as the President Pro Tempore of the Indiana State Senate. David writes the "Straight From The Senate" column for the newspaper. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer