When children are at serious risk of harm, removal and placement is necessary. This usually occurs when the parents’ own problems are so severe that they are incapable of providing even minimally adequate care. Removal of these children is not left solely to the discretion of the children services worker. In the majority of emergency removals, an Ex Parte Order granting the removal of the child is requested from the Marion County Juvenile Court or from a juvenile court judge referee. The following business day, a shelter care hearing is held in order for the court to determine whether continued placement is necessary pending the hearing on the complaint that is to be filed. The Marion County Health Department provides a registered nurse to provide the initial communicable disease exam of the child within three days of placement.
The least restrictive, most family-like setting that meets the child’s best interests and special needs is the most desirable form of placement. There must first be an attempt to locate a relative who would be willing to care for the child. If no appropriate relative is available, a friend of the family is considered next, followed by a traditional foster home.
If the child is exhibiting severe emotional, behavioral, or mental health problems, a placement in our IMPRINT Treatment Foster Care Network would next be considered. If the child’s behavior or emotional problems are too severe to be managed in our Network’s care, a placement outside of the county in a residential treatment foster care program is made.