Indiana Daily Student

Taylor Telford


When DCS steps in to remove a child from their home, it first look to see if any relatives are willing to take them in. If there aren’t, DCS is under the gun to find a foster home with an opening. More than once, the Evans have made the drive from their Mitchell, Indiana, home to IU Health Bloomington Hospital with an empty car seat in the back of their van. “It can be hard, you know, because you never know what these kids have gone through or what lies ahead,” Kristy said. “All you can do is love them as much as you can.”

Broken

As Indiana's foster care system strains beneath the weight of the opioid crisis, foster parents fight to protect themselves and the state's neglected children.

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Amanda's lawyer, Greg Bowes, listens as she describes incidents with her father throughout her childhood. Amanda said she's suing her father so he will finally face consequences for the way he treated her, her mother and sister.

Indianapolis lawyer Greg Bowes has experience with cases similar to Amanda's, where young people were harmed by their caretakers, but he's never seen a case quite like hers. "I am glad to have the skills to help someone who has been hurt like this," Bowes said.

Amanda has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety, which she traces back to her father's abuse. She plays with her green stress ball when she gets anxious.

Amanda Grant looks at one of her old beauty pageant photos. She said she stopped competing because of the effects of her father's abuse. 

Darryl Pinkins calls technology his biggest challenge. "Kids grow up knowing how to work phones and iPads before they know their ABCs and 123s," he says. But to him, his phone is still complicated and confusing. 

Fran Watson and the law students who worked on Darryl Pinkins' case through Watson's innocence clinic traveled to Lake County to see Darryl on the day he was released from prison. Watson lost Darryl's case six times before his conviction was vacated.

Fran Watson, an IU law professor, looks over the original police report on the "bump, rape and rob." The victim told police she was assaulted by young, black men. Darryl Pinkins was 38 at the time.

Darryl Pinkins relaxes in his kitchen on a Sunday morning after having breakfast with his son at Cracker Barrel. He shares the house with his nephew, who is a firefighter and is gone for days at a time. Darryl says it's like living alone.

Darryl Pinkins relaxes in his kitchen on a Sunday morning after having breakfast with his son at Cracker Barrel. He shares the house with his nephew, who is a firefighter and is gone for days at a time. Darryl says it's like living alone.

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