INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The Indiana Department of Child Services is backtracking after sending out an order stating fieldworkers should seek action through the courts if parents refuse to give their 5 to 11 year old children the COVID-19 vaccine.
“If a child wishes to receive a vaccination and the parent are not agreeable, DCS should support the child through a court order.” The December 6th, memo reads in part.
For children who are currently being held on a DCS case outside of their home, the DCS memo states “DCS staff should attempt to locate and speak with the child’s parent(s) to obtain consent for the vaccination. If parent(s) cannot be located, DCS may pursue a court order for the child to receive a vaccination.”
REAL News Michiana reached out to DCS to get clarification on the above order. A spokesperson for the agency sent an email saying “The communication dated December 6, 2021, inadvertently adopted language from a previous communication that does not apply to children ages 5 to 11.”
That same spokes person sent an amended order dated December 20th, meaning the above order stood for 14 days before DCS backtracked. RNM replied to the spokesperson asking how many children between the ages of 5 and 11 were vaccinated at the threat of court intervention and if the order applies to any children under the age of 18. As of publication, RNM has not received a response.
The new DCS order reads as follows:
For children who are post-Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) and eligible for the vaccine, DCS staff should consult with the child’s primary care physician for their recommendation and share this information at a Child and Family Team Meeting (CFTM). The CFT should then work closely together to determine the way to proceed that is in the best interest of the child.
If parents of children with an In-Home Child in Need of Services (CHINS) case express interest in having their eligible 5 to 11 year old vaccinated against COVID-19, DCS staff will guide them to the Indiana Department of Health website.
If a party to an Out-of-Home CHINS case is interested in having an eligible 5 to 11 year old child vaccinated against COVID-19, the issue should be addressed at a CFTM to determine the best way Protecting our children, families and future to proceed for the child with the input of the parent(s). If the CFT decides that it is in the best interest of the child to be vaccinated against COVID-19, DCS staff should make efforts to secure parental consent before proceeding.
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