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DCS Director Terry Stigdon leaving agency to join Red Cross

Indiana Department of Child Services Director Terry Stigdon testifies in a House committee. Stigdon is a Black woman with black hair, wearing glasses and a blazer over a red top.
Brandon Smith
IPB News
Terry Stigdon became director of the Indiana Department of Child Services in 2018.

Indiana Department of Child Services Director Terry Stigdon is leaving the agency, effective this Friday.

She is stepping down to become the head of the American Red Cross’s Indiana region.

Stigdon was named DCS director in 2018, after her predecessor left under controversy, accusing the governor of putting children’s lives at risk.

Courtesy of the governor's office
Eric Miller will take over as DCS director starting May 8.

Under Stigdon's leadership, the state says the number of children in foster care has declined by more than half.

That’s possible in part because of the agency’s priority on returning children to their homes or housing them with relatives, although DCS has also been criticized for that practice, with some arguing it’s harming too many children.

Current DCS chief of staff Eric Miller will replace Stigdon as director. He’s worked in state government since 2007 and was previously chief of staff at the Indiana Department of Health.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.