SENATE BILL No. 353
DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL
Citations Affected: IC 4-2-9.
Synopsis: Office of the child advocate. Establishes: (1) the office of
the child advocate; and (2) the duties of the child advocate, which
include taking all possible action to ensure the legal, civil, and special
rights of children. Requires the governor to appoint the child advocate.
Requires the child advocate to submit an annual report.
Effective: July 1, 2008.
January 14, 2008, read first time and referred to Committee on Commerce, Public Policy
& Interstate Cooperation.
Second Regular Session 115th General Assembly (2008)
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between statutes enacted by the 2007 Regular Session of the General Assembly.
SENATE BILL No. 353
A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning state
offices and administration.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana:
SOURCE: IC 4-2-9; (08)IN0353.1.1. -->
SECTION 1. IC 4-2-9 IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE AS
CHAPTER TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY
Chapter 9. Office of the Child Advocate
Sec. 1. As used in this chapter, "child" has the meaning set forth
in IC 31-21-2-3.
Sec. 2. As used in this chapter, "office" refers to the office of the
child advocate established by section 4 of this chapter.
Sec. 3. As used in this chapter, "person" has the meaning set
forth in IC 4-2-6-1.
Sec. 4. (a) There is established the office of the child advocate.
The office consists of one (1) child advocate.
(b) The governor shall appoint the child advocate. The child
(1) shall be appointed for a term that expires on the earlier of:
(A) the date on which the term of the governor who
appointed the child advocate expires; or
(B) the date the governor leaves office;
(2) may only be removed from office by the governor for:
(A) neglect of duty;
(C) malfeasance; or
(D) nonfeasance; and
(3) is entitled to receive compensation set by the governor and
approved by the budget agency.
If the governor is reelected, the governor may reappoint the child
advocate for an additional term. The child advocate's
compensation may not be reduced during the child advocate's
continuance in office.
Sec. 5. (a) The child advocate shall do the following:
(1) Take all possible action, including the establishment of
programs of public education and legislative advocacy, to
secure and ensure the legal, civil, and special rights of
(2) Periodically review relevant policies and procedures with
a view towards the rights of children.
(3) Refer a person making a complaint or report under
IC 31-33 or IC 31-34 to the department of child services and,
if appropriate, to an appropriate law enforcement agency.
(4) Recommend changes in procedures for investigating and
overseeing the welfare of children.
(5) Make the public aware of the services of the child
advocate, the purpose of the office, and information on
contacting the office.
(6) Examine policies and procedures and evaluate the
effectiveness of the child protection system, specifically the
respective roles of the department of child services, the court,
the medical community, and law enforcement agencies.
(7) Review and make recommendations concerning
investigative procedures and emergency responses.
(8) Submit an annual report described under subsection (c) to:
(A) the governor; and
(B) the legislative services agency;
not later than July 1 of each year. The report submitted to the
legislative services agency must be in an electronic format
under IC 5-14-6.
(b) The child advocate may not commence or participate in a
court action regarding a child.
(c) The child advocate shall include the following information in
the annual report required under subsection (a)(8):
(1) The child advocate's activities.
(2) The general status of children in Indiana, including:
(A) the health and education of children;
(B) the administration or implementation of programs for
(C) any other issues, concerns, or information concerning
Sec. 6. (a) Except for information declared confidential under
subsection (b), records of the office are subject to public inspection
under IC 5-14-3.
(b) All records of the office pertaining to the care and treatment
of a child are confidential, including the identity of a person
seeking assistance from the office on behalf of a child. Information
contained in records of the office may not be disclosed in a manner
that identifies a person.