Dozens of frustrated parents and social workers hope state lawmakers will take their advice on how to fix Indiana's Department of Child Services.
They packed a meeting in South Bend, Thursday night, and for some it was their only opportunity to share their thoughts.
There were so many stories in the room -- each one, very different.
And so it was not an easy task for state senators John Broden (D-South Bend) and Carlin Yoder (R-Goshen) to take it all in and try to find some answers to the problems that many people say plague DCS.
“We're here for solutions at this point, we need to get things fixed,” said Yoder.
“It is so sporadic how they decide what action they're going to take, we never know. They'll show up to school sometimes and we don't even know that they're coming,” said Rose Clark, a social worker, who was among several people to testify.
“I'm very concerned with children being interviewed in the presence of parents, in the presence of people who are the perpetrators,” said Jan Beutter, a school social worker.
“I don’t think there's appropriate oversight, and as designed there’s really no balance of power or authority,” said Bruce Greenberg, president and CEO of Family and Children's Center in South Bend.
Greenberg suggested the state create a DCS oversight committee, made up of professionals across Indiana, who would help decide how the agency handles cases.
More than one person said their reason for attending Thursday’s meeting was that they were moved by the Tramelle Sturgis case, where a South Bend boy died after enduring months of abuse at the hands of his father.
The Indiana General Assembly is currently studying DCS, taking public comments as part of that study.
There have been some complaints that public hearings on DCS have all been taking place during business hours in Indianapolis, limiting the number and diversity of people who can attend.
Thursday’s meeting in South Bend was not part of the DCS study, but the senators say the stories they heard will help guide their decisions once they return to the capital.