INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Measures to protect older Hoosiers and younger ones went before a legislative committee Monday at the Statehouse.
The House Committee on Family and Children Services unanimously advanced three bills on Monday morning. The full House and Senate would have to approved the measures before they gets consideration to become a law from Gov. Eric Holcomb.
Elder abuse registry
A proposed bill could help protect older Hoosiers from people looking to take advantage of them.
The state projects 1 out of every 5 Hoosiers will be 65 or older by 2030.
Chris Naylor with the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council said Monday to lawmakers, “That’s a growing marketplace for those who may be looking to take advantage of vulnerable adults.”
Kristen LaEace with Indiana’s Association of Varying Agencies on Aging said the state has investigated thousands of suspected elder-abuse cases. Of those, she said about 20 percent were for battery and roughly 22 percent were for exploitation.
“We certainly want to make sure that none of those folks can go on to positions of responsibility or contact with older and endangered adults,” LaEace said.
“If you want to hire someone to be a caregiver, you can check and see if they’re on there,” the Logansport Republican said. “A nursing home, for instance, that is wanting to hire someone can check and see if the applicant is on there. This will help everyone.”
“I think that sounds like a good idea,” said Julie Arbuckle, of Carmel, who was just outside the Statehouse. “Provide some accountability and reassurance to people who are looking for that.”
Quinn Drozd of Fishers said, “More information’s always useful. I think something like that would be probably good.”
Child fatality report
The state Department of Child Services said in 2016 that 59 children died statewide from abuse or neglect.
Republican state Sen. Jean Leising wants the state’s annual child fatality report to specify if a child dies in foster care or in their biological parents’ care.
“I don’t want to see any child die in Indiana,” the Republican from Oldenburg said Monday. “I just want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to protect kids that have been placed or that live in vulnerable situations.”
Sex offenders and child care
The Democrat from Hammond wants to ban registered sex offenders from providing child care or babysitting.
“I have very strong feeling about anybody that abuses young children,” Mrvan said.
Outside the Statehouse on Monday, Fishers resident Drozd said, “I just think you need to be really strict when it comes to kids. Kids in particular, like, need to be cared for the most.”