Indiana child abuse cases nearly double in 10 years

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Child abuse and neglect cases filed in Indiana courts have increased by 97.4 percent in the last decade.

The (Northwest Indiana) Times reports data recently released by the Indiana Office of Court Services show that nearly 17,500 child in need of services cases were opened in the state in 2015, up from nearly 8,900 such filings in 2006.

Such cases have increased significantly in both Porter and Lake counties. LaPorte County saw a drop in 2015 after hitting an all-time peak in 2014.

Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush says she believes the hike in cases is directly related to the increase in opioid addictions in the state. Rush says Indiana’s juvenile courts don’t have enough resources to keep up with Department of Child Services requests for abused children to be removed from unsafe homes.