Family is an essential part of societies everywhere, and in Indiana this is no exception. IN families are considered an integral part of the state’s culture, development and future. As a result, the state of Indiana recognizes the need to keep families healthy and children safe by providing an array of services, opportunities and assistance where needed. Such organizations are: the Department of Child Services (also responsible for adoptions), the Family and Social Services Administration with its many divisions, and last but not least, the Serve Indiana program where volunteers provide their kindhearted services for the good of their fellow Hoosiers.

Department of Child Services

The Indiana Department of Child Services is devoted to protecting abused and neglected children and to provide financial support to those who come from low-income or no-income families. The DCS mission is to create a safe, nurturing environment for Indiana children, enabling them to grow, develop and be taken care of by healthy families and communities. Other areas  the DCS focuses on are adoption, child support, foster care and child protection.

Adoption in Indiana

If you would like to adopt a child in Indiana, you will need to complete a series of requirements and meet eligibility criteria as a part of a preparation program. These include background checks, home study, training and education and more in order for the Department of Child Services to determine whether you are eligible to adopt or are the right match for a child. If you pass the preparation process, the DCS will consider  a potential pre-adoptive placement. To adopt a child in Indiana, you have to demonstrate that you are ready to be a full-time parent, listen to and fulfill the child’s needs, love and nurture the child and be a dedicated and positive role model. To find more information on the preparation process, you can call 1-888-25-ADOPT, visit the official Indiana DCS website and fill out an online form, or contact a Indiana DCS local office near you.

Family and Social Services Administration

The Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) is a network of five offices and divisions integrated into one Administration to provide Hoosiers with quality health care, social services, and financial services in order to improve and enhance their lives. The five main agencies that make these goals possible are:

Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning (OMPP) –Responsible for Medicaid programs including the Hoosier Healthwise, as well as Medicaid disability medical reviews

Division of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHA) –Provices support for mental health providers and has six psychiatric hospitals under its wing, as well as addiction treatment funds and programs

Division of Family Resources (DFR) – Processes eligibility for Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and childcare

Division of Aging – Provides funding for the elderly through Medicaid and nursing home care alternatives

Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services (DDRS) –Serves adults and children with developmental disabilities and handles the First Steps rehabilitation program for babies and toddlers

Serve Program

The main goal of Serve Indiana is to create a wide network of communities, organizations and groups to help each other and, with that, to improve the lives of all Hoosiers. This is made possible through grants, funding opportunities, services, volunteering and the many programs and initiatives supporting many different causes, such as Indiana Kids and AmeriCorps*State. Those who would like to volunteer can find several opportunities all over Indiana. Volunteer Engagement Roundtables are held regularly, and, through the Serve Indiana Awards for Excellence, the most devoted and appreciated volunteers are honored and appreciated. is privately owned and is neither operated by, nor affiliated with, any government agency.