The head of the Indiana Department of Child Services is stepping down.

DCS Director Mary Beth Bonaventura notified Gov. Eric J. Holcomb Friday that she will resign her position effective Dec. 27, 2017.

“I am grateful to Director Bonaventura for her service at the Department of Child Services over the past five years. She has demonstrated unwavering commitment to keeping Hoosier children safe and has led this important state agency in the midst of a growing opioid epidemic that has impacted so many families,” Holcomb said.

Bonaventura was appointed by former Governor Mike Pence.

According to RTV 6, DCS has faced criticism for child deaths, staff turnover and violations of state law.

In addition, child abuse and neglect reports are on the rise, records show.  RTV 6 reported,  CHINS (Child in Need of Services) cases, which often involve cases of child abuse and neglect, were up statewide in January 2017, compared to January 2016.  And in January 2017, the Department of Child Services saw 23,120 cases statewide, a 15% increase from January 2016 in which the state had 20,144 CHINS cases

 The governor has begun the search for a new director.