Court: Suit challenging child-welfare workloads can proceed

(WISH Photo, file)
(WISH Photo, file)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Court of Appeals says a lawsuit challenging the workloads of Indiana’s child-welfare case managers can move forward.

A Marion County judge had dismissed Mary Price’s lawsuit in February, finding she had no right to bring her claim against the Department of Child Services.

But the appeals court reversed that ruling Monday in a 2-1 decision that allows her suit to proceed and calls Indiana’s caseload maximums “a clear and definite number to attain.”

Indiana law sets a maximum caseload of 17 children for family case managers. Price’s lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana said her July 2015 caseload was 43 children, a number it contends puts youngsters at risk.

ACLU legal director Ken Falk says DCS managers’ important societal role “cannot be overestimated.”