INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Department of Child Services is investigating whether employees at a subcontractor falsified drug screening results, possibly resulting in children being taken away from their homes.
The information came to light via a letter written to the Muncie Bar Association by Delaware County Prosecutor Eric Hoffman. CBS4 has obtained a copy of the letter.
The company, Tomo Drug Testing, is a subcontractor for Redwood Toxicology Laboratory. Tomo was responsible for arranging drug screenings and collecting samples.
But Hoffman, citing a meeting with a juvenile judge, said Tomo had an issue with “voided screens,” which meant the person who was supposed to take a drug screening failed to appear to give a sample.
At least two employees are accused of entering false information about the screenings, possibly leading to adverse consequences for a parent or guardian, such as removing children from homes or terminating parental rights.
According to the letter, the employees sometimes scheduled drug screenings without notifying the person who was going to be tested. The employees then reported that the individual failed to appear for their drug screening.
In other cases, according to the letter, individuals arrived for their drug screening but the employees didn’t show up to take the sample. The employees then falsely reported that the individuals didn’t appear for their appointments.
Such incidents happened in multiple Indiana counties, according to the letter, including Delaware County, between March 2020 and August 2020. Approximately 100 Delaware County CHINS (child in need of services) cases were affected, the letter said.
DCS, Redwood and Tomo are conducting internal audits into the situation. It was unclear how many cases were affected statewide. The Department of Child Services provided the following statement:
DCS discovered that drug-screening records may have been falsified by employees of Tomo Drug Testing, which is a subcontractor of Redwood Toxicology Laboratory. DCS immediately notified Redwood and stopped all referrals. Redwood is conducting a comprehensive audit and internal investigation to determine the impact to individual cases. The audit will be completed by mid-November, and DCS will work with individual courts and other impacted parties as appropriate.
It was unclear how many cases were affected statewide; DCS said it wouldn’t know the specific number until the audits were finished.
The full letter can be read below: