INDIANAPOLIS – A proposal authored by State Senator John Broden (D-South Bend) that aims to provide more transparency within the Department of Child Services passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 94-0. The proposal now moves to the governor, who can sign the enrolled act, veto it, or allow it to become law without his signature.

“I am very pleased that this bill was unanimously approved by the Senate and House. I am hopeful that more transparency will prevent future tragedies,” said Sen. Broden.

Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 131 requires the Department of Child Services to report a case when a child incurs a life threatening condition. Reporting requirements would be expanded to include a child’s injuries if categorized as “serious” or “critical” and when a child receives critical care treatment for at least 24 hours in a critical care unit. The legislation also redefines “near fatality” as a child who sustained a severe childhood injury or condition that is certified by a physician as being life threatening.

“It is our job as legislators to ensure the safety of our citizens, especially our most vulnerable. And when that safety is threatened by ambiguity, there’s a need for action to correct our failures,” said Sen. Broden. “Learning from our mistakes will allow us to protect children in the future and improve the department.”

SEA 131 also urges the Legislative Council to assign the topics of medical records confidentiality and medical records disclosure in instances of child abuse or neglect to the Public Health, Behavioral Health, and Human Services Interim Study Committee.


Sen. Broden represents Indiana State Senate District 10, which includes the cities of South Bend and Mishawaka, as well as the University of Notre Dame. For more information on Sen. Broden, his legislative agenda, or other State Senate business call 1-800-382-9467 or visit

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