LouisianaChildren.org is a member-focused organization whose mission is to support evidence-based programs and services for vulnerable families. LouisianaChildren.org is the statewide association for Child Advocacy Centers and CASA of Louisiana
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Child Abuse in the USA
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
NowSourcing.com has created an infographic on the severity of child abuse in the United States and child abuse warning signs. To view this infographic, please click here.
Senator Landrieu Introduces "Children in Families First"
Monday, October 21, 2013
U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu has introduced the Children in Families First Act (CHIFF) emphasizing the importance of finding safe, permanent families for children in care. The act will restructure federal responsibility in intercountry adoptions to build capacity and support for other governments child welfare systems. You can learn more here.
Save the Date - Louisiana Child Well-Being Summit
Friday, September 27, 2013
Louisiana Child Well-Being Summit:
A Developmental Framework to Serving Abused & Neglected Children & Youth
SAVE THE DATE: APRIL 16 – 17, 2014 BATON ROUGE, LA.
The social, emotional, and physical well-being of our children is crucial to the well-being of our State. Organizations and agencies throughout the country are learning more about the negative impact of abuse and neglect on health and mental health outcomes for our children and are implementing evidence-based interventions that can positively affect their well-being. In the wake of disasters such as Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Isaac, the economic downturn, and the BP Oil Spill, Louisiana families find themselves at a heightened risk for significant problems, including abuse and neglect. On April 16–17, 2014, the child welfare, legal, medical, mental health, and law-making communities will converge in the State Capital to share scientific knowledge, address the need for increased public awareness, and propose changes in policies and practices that can counteract the high level of risk for Louisiana’s children in order to socially and economically benefit the State.
Geaux Blue for Kids Newsletter
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Check out the latest edition of “Geaux Blue - Solutions on the Geaux for Louisiana's Children,” featuring back to school safety tips, DCFS’ new online mandated reporter training, and more.
Sen. Landrieu Recognizes Multi-Disciplinary Child Welfare Trainings
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
East Baton Rouge Parish Juvenile Court Judge Kathleen Richey received a letter from US Senator Mary Landrieu praising the Louisiana District Attorneys Association, the Louisiana Public Defenders Office, the Louisiana Juvenile & Family Court Judges Association, Louisiana District Judge Association, Louisiana CASA, and Louisiana Supreme Court Court Improvement Program for putting together a collaborative training to further educate everyone involved in the child welfare system on achieve the best outcomes for children in foster care. In the letter she stated, "these trainings allow participants to discuss issues specific to the area of foster care and create realistic action steps to resolve the issues faced by both those in the legal system and the children and families involved in the process. This effort emphasizes the efforts of all stakeholders in the child welfare system to recognize and address problems in the field." Thank you Senator Landrieu!
Louisiana CASA Receives Grant to Strengthen Advocacy For Youth In Foster Care
Monday, July 22, 2013
Recently, National CASA and Senator Mary Landrieu joined Louisiana CASA Association (LACASA) to announce a federal grant to support recruitment and awareness of the need for CASA volunteers to advocate on behalf of youth in foster care. Funds from the grant will support recruitment through partnerships with local media so more children in Louisiana's foster care system can be served by CASA volunteers. To learn how you can become a CASA volunteer visit www.louisianacasa.org or call 888.567.2272.
6 Children Recovered in New Orleans in Nationwide Prostitution Sting
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Authorities rescued 105 children who were forced into prostitution and arrested 150 pimps and others in a three-day law enforcement sweep in 76 American cities, the FBI said Monday. The victims, almost all girls, range in age from 13 to 17. For more on this story, please click the link found HERE.
August 1 Brings Changes to Louisiana Safe Haven Law
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is reminding parents that effective August 1, parents can now relinquish a child under Louisiana's Safe Haven law up until they are 60 days old, increased from 30 days under the previous law. 28 infants have been relinquished under the law since 2004. "Louisiana's designated Safe Haven facilities are any licensed hospital, public health unit, emergency medical service provider, medical clinic, fire or police station, pregnancy crisis center or child advocacy center." You can read more here.
DCFS Warns of Safety Risks Associated with the Summer Months
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
"With summer temperatures consistently in the mid 90s across Louisiana, the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) reminds parents and caregivers to take extra precautions with summer safety, particularly regarding the risks of heat stroke and drowning. Since 1989, DCFS has investigated 22 deaths of children suffering from hyperthermia, or heat stroke. The deaths were the result of a child being left in a car or climbing into a vehicle and becoming trapped." You can read the full press release here.
CASA Volunteers are Needed in St. Mary Parish
Thursday, June 6, 2013
In St. Mary, there are 45 active volunteers serving 85 foster children, according to Robin Hedge, Executive Director of CASA of the 16th JDC. There are 210 children in foster care in the area covered by the 16th judicial district which is St. Mary, Iberia and St. Martin parishes. Read more: StMaryNow.com - Court advocates needed for St Mary Parish children To find out more about becoming a CASA volunteer in your local area click here.
Geaux Blue for Kids Day at the Capitol
Friday, May 3, 2013
Hundreds of child advocates joined LACASA, CACLA, and PCAL at the Capitol on April 18th for "Geaux Blue for Kids" Day at the Capitol, as part of Child Abuse Prevention Month. “While we are here to hold our leaders accountable for making children and families a priority in Louisiana, we also recognize that every individual citizen has a responsibility to do his or her part. We are not asking any one individual to bear the burden alone but, together, we can and we will make a difference for children when everyone makes a commitment to “GEAUX BLUE!,” offered Dr. John Wyble, executive director of CAC and CASA of Louisiana. You can read the full press release here. Watch coverage of the press conference below:
Mandatory Reporter Training
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Want to help protect children in your community from abuse? Click here and get trained and become a certified mandatory reporter.
"Wanted: Parents to Foster or Adopt"
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Hundreds of children across Louisiana are looking for a place to call home. "It’s important that we have foster families in all parts of the state, so children… experience minimal movements," Department of Children and Family Services Secretary Suzy Sonnier said. DCFS's new "Faith in Families" initiative is aimed at reducing the number of children in foster care, and the length of time it takes them to get to permanency. You can learn more about becoming a foster parent here. Read more: StMaryNow.com - Wanted Parents to foster or adopt.
Elizabeth Smart to Speak in Lafayette
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart will share her story of survival and hope with Lafayette residents May 2 as part of an educational outreach by Hearts of Hope, an advocacy and counseling center for children and sexual assault victims. For more information please click here.
BCBS Louisiana Partners with Child Advocacy Services
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana has partnered with Child Advocacy Services to reproduce their "Recognize, React, Report" resource, a child and family friendly guide for protecting children and preventing child abuse. Child Advocacy Services CEO Rob Carlisle stated, "We are very proud of our continued partnership with BCBSL and their commitment in keeping children safe. This grant is a great example of how companies can participate in our work for children and dedicate their in-kind resources to helping us in our mission to give Voice, Healing, and Security to Children!" You can read the full article here.
Summit on Child Abuse in Sports
Thursday, March 12, 2013
A summit will be held on March 19th and 20th to tackle the prevention of child abuse in sports. Attending the meeting will be child-abuse experts, youth service workers, coaches, and over 50 youth serving organizations. The summit will be streaming live for the public and questions or concerns can be posed through Twitter and Facebook throughout the summit. Click here to read more about this summit.
DCFS Rolls Out New "Faith in Families" Initiative
Friday, March 15, 2013
The Department of Children and Family Services is touring the state this month unveiling it's new "Faith in Families" initiative, aimed at ensuring permanency for all children who go through the foster care system, and reducing the length of time it takes to get there. DCFS Secretary Suzy Sonnier stated, "Our kids that age out of foster care at age 18 often are at risk of homelessness. They are unemployed, some of them re-enter the criminal justice system, and we want to prevent that." Rapides CASA Executive Director Wade Bond said of the partnership "I think this will hopefully be the start of a stronger community that is not reliant on one entity to address all of the needs, but will pick the strengths of each entity, and work together to make the best." You can read the full article here.
Geaux Blue for Kids
Thursday, March 28, 2012
Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana, Child Advocacy Centers of Louisiana and Louisiana CASA are partnering to launch a statewide initiative – GEAUX BLUE FOR KIDS!, developed to inspire and encourage Louisiana citizens to stand up and speak out for children who have been abused and to prevent more children from ever experiencing abuse or neglect. Check out the announcement below for more information on this exciting new initiative, and visit to see the calendar of Geaux Blue events taking place all across Louisiana.
"One Billion Rising" Campaign
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Anoushka Shankar, daughter of legendary sitarist Ravi Shankar, has thrown her weight behind an online campaign demanding an end to crime against women, in the wake of the Delhi gang rape. Click here to read the article and find out how you can help in this great cause.
Super Bowl Brings Attention to Human Trafficking
Thursday, February 14, 2013
In the year leading up to the 2013 Super Bowl in New Orleans, local law enforcement and non-profit agencies worked to raise awareness of the widespread sex trafficking that accompanies such a large scale event, using such tactics as leaving bars of soap in hotels with information about how to get help. To continue reading click here.
Resolve to Get Involved in 2013
Monday, January 7, 2013
CASA programs across Louisiana are looking for more volunteers in 2013 to serve the nearly 7,000 abused and neglected children statewide. Find out how to get involved with the local CASA program in your area here.
Ways to Stop Child Sexual Abuse "Epidemic"
Monday, January 7, 2013
A Task Force in Springfield, MO has put together a list of 22 recommendations for changes in their state that could help decrease the child sexual abuse epidemic. Click here to read the article and get helpful tips for your community.
Tips to Help Protect Children from Sexual Abuse
Thursday, January 10, 2013
The American Academy of Pediatrics has put together a list of tips to help parents and other adults minimize a child's risk of being sexually abused. If you would like to read the article click here for the list and more information.
YSB CASA Celebrates National Adoption Day
Monday, January 17, 2013
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Great article on the importance of Child Advocacy Centers and all of the good work that they do. Click here to read the article and refresh your knowledge on CAC's.
Family and Youth Announces Pinnacle Light of Hope Award Recipients
Friday, December 7, 2012
Click here to read the article.
Louisiana Cases Among Boy Scout Investigation
Monday, December 3, 2012
The link below is to a recent story involving abuse of children in the Boy Scouts’ organization. While tragic it is yet another opportunity to educate communities and stakeholders on the dangers to children and how your agency is working to protect children from similar danger. Special kudos to Stacie Leblanc and the New Orleans CAC for being referenced in the article. http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2012/12/70_louisiana_cases_among_the_b.html
CACLA Recognizes 2012 Award Winners
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
The Children’s Advocacy Centers of Louisiana, in partnership with its member programs, recently held its 2012 Awards of Excellence. Honored that evening were five “CAC Heroes,” consisting of CAC staff, community partners, and board members who have made extraordinary efforts in serving Louisiana’s abused and neglected children. Over 200 people attended this catered event at the Lafayette Hilton. Dr. John Wyble, CACLA Chapter Coordinator, hosted the event and assisting in the presentation of the awards was Alexandra Hazlaris, CACLA Program Support Coordinator. Congratulations to our 2012 CAC Heroes!
Capital Area CASA Celebrates 20th Anniversary
Monday, October 1, 2012
Capital Area CASA was featured in "The Advocate" this weekend in a piece celebrating the programs 20th anniversary. Since their first volunteers were appointed on September 29, 1992, they have grown from just two advocates, to having trained 968 volunteers who have advocated for over 1,800 kids in Baton Rouge. They currently have an advocate assigned to every case of abuse in East Baton Rouge Parish. You can read the full article here.
Child Abuse Injuries have Risen
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
MONDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Despite government agency reports suggesting a decrease in child abuse cases, new data show that the number of children hospitalized due to serious abuse-related injuries actually increased slightly from 1997 to 2009. http://www.wafb.com/story/19682981/child-abuse-injuries-have-risen-study-finds
Gingerbread House 2012 Luncheon featuring Elizabeth Smart>
Monday, October 22, 2012
Last week the Gingerbread House in Shreveport had the honor of having Elizabeth Smart as the guest speaker for their 2012 Luncheon. Elizabeth was a great speaker with an unbelievable story to tell. Gingerbread House had an amazing turnout allowing many people the opportunity to hear her story. It was a wonderful opportunity for everyone that could attend, thank you to Gingerbread House for such an amazing event. Shreveport Times Article.
Annie E. Casey Foundation- KIDS COUNT
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
A national and state-by-state effort to track the well-being of children in the United States, by providing high-quality data and trend analysis. KIDS COUNT seeks to enrich local, state, and national discussions concerning ways to secure better futures for all children. http://www.aecf.org/MajorInitiatives/KIDSCOUNT.aspx
Sen. Landrieu Recognizes Collaborative Efforts on behalf of Foster Children
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
4th JDC Judge Sharon Marchman received this letter from US Senator Mary Landrieu praising LA Public Defenders Office, LA Juvenile & Family Court Judges Association, LA District Judges Association, LACASA, and the LA Supreme Court Court Improvement Program for putting together a collaborative training to further educate everyone involved in the child welfare system on achieve the best outcomes for children in foster care. Thank you Senator Landrieu!
Advocacy Center brings safety, healing and justice to McKinney and beyond
Friday, September 28, 2012
Twenty years after serving all of Collin County from Plano, the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County is expanding its services to the north with a satellite office due to open next month. http://www.scntx.com/articles/2012/09/24/news_update/6735.txt
"Foster Care Falls Short"
Thursday, August 16, 2012
National CASA CEO Michael Piraino joined Sanaa Lathan, Marc Lamont Hill and other advocates for children in foster care to talk about the shortcomings of the system on HuffPost live yesterday. Look for Michael around the 8:45 mark. You can view the full conversation here.
Preparing Children for Hurricanes
Monday, August 27, 2012
As we all make preparations for Hurricane Isaac in South Louisiana, it can be an especially emotional time for young children. Child Advocacy Services has developed a guide, "Prepared, Not Scared" to help parents talk to their children about the anxiety that often comes with an impending storm. You can learn more about the guide and preview it here.
"Law Shields Child Abuse Deaths"
Monday, July 2, 2012
Capital Area CASA Executive Director Liz Betz provided perspective in an article in The Advocate on confidentiality in child abuse death cases, and Xzayvion Riley an 8-year-old who died from abuse earlier this month. She stated, ìthe bottom line is that there needs to be accountability and oversight. The real question is, can that be done without divulging the identity of innocent children?î You can read the full article here.
CASA Selected as Finalist in Wal-Mart, Sam's Club Associate Choice Program
Friday, July 6, 2012
CASA SELECTED FINALIST FOR WAL-MART, SAMíS CLUB ASSOCIATE CHOICE PROGRAM
(BATON ROUGE - JULY 6, 2012) Louisiana CASA (LACASA) is a finalist in the 2012 Associate Choice Program, an online campaign where Wal-Mart and Samís Club associates vote directly for a nonprofit to receive funding in their home state. LACASA could receive $50,000 to further its mission of supporting CASA programs in their efforts to recruit and train community volunteers who speak up for abused and neglected children. The online voting by Associates began June 30 and will last through August 6. Associates who work at Wal-Mart stores, Samís Club warehouses, and Wal-Mart distribution centers are eligible to vote. Thousands of children enter the Louisiana foster care system each year. A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer works to ensure that abused and neglected children in the Louisiana legal system have a voice in court speaking up on behalf of the their best interest. In 2011 alone, nearly 2,000 volunteers served over 3,800 abused and neglected children. CASA volunteers positively impact the lives of children in foster care as trained advocates who provide strong voices on behalf abused and neglected children in the stateís care.
ìOur volunteers are the backbone of CASA and represent ordinary citizens, from all walks of life, doing extraordinary volunteer work for children,î stated Dr. John Wyble, executive director, LACASA. ìEven with the incredible number of volunteers we have now, we desperately need more volunteers so every child in the foster care system can have a CASA volunteer. Our partnership with Wal-Mart and their associates would be a tremendous boost to our efforts and for children.î
Note: the following is provided as supporting information. Please contact us with any questions or for more information.
Volunteering with CASA The CASA program positively impacts the lives of children by training volunteers to speak up for the childís best interest. Many times there is not one consistent adult who is a voice in the childís life. CASA volunteers are men and women who want to help the children in their community. They come from all walks of life ... have a variety of backgrounds ... young and old ... working and retired ... are all volunteers ... and they all have the same desire ... to make a difference in the life of an abused or neglected child. The volunteer gets to know all aspects of the childís life and then lets the judge and others in the system know the childís perspective as well as the childís needs. Following training, being a CASA volunteer only takes 8-10 hours of time each month. A CASA volunteer provides individualized one-on-one advocacy and works with all agencies and parties involved to gather information and to provide an independent report for the Court with recommendations based solely upon the childís best interest. Without CASA volunteers, many abused children spend their lives moving from one foster home to another, never having a family to call their own. Louisianaís children are in urgent need of CASA volunteers; please call today. To become a CASA in your parish or to learn more about CASA, call 1-888-567-2272 or visit www.louisianacasa.org.
CACLA Responds to State Sanctions
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
CASA Volunteer Wins 2012 Angel Award
Thursday, July 26, 2012
CASA Jefferson volunteer, and LACASA board member, Michael G. Hackett has been named one of Blue Cross and Blue Shields 2012 Angel Award Winners. Congratulations, Michael.
Local CASA Programs Reach Out for Volunteers
Friday, June 1, 2012
Youth Service Bureau marked May as "CASA Month" by reaching out to the Washington and St. Tammany Parish communities to enlist volunteers. CASA Director Mary Slazer said “These foster youth range from infants born exposed to drugs, to teenagers who have been abandoned and find themselves in the system through no fault of their own. Each of these children would benefit from a trained, caring volunteer advocate to be their voice in court.” You can read the full article here. To find CASA programs in other parishes across Louisiana, check the map on our Locate a CASA page.
Safety Risks for Children Left Unattended in Cars
Monday, June 11, 2012
The Department of Children and Family Services issued a press release reminding Louisianian's of the dangers of leaving children unattended in cars in the heat of the summer. 21 children in Louisiana have died from heat stroke as a result of being left unattended in a hot car since 1989, 6 last year alone. And it is not just dangerous, it's illegal. Leaving a child unattended in a car can carry a fine of up to $5,000 or jail time for repeat offenses. You can read their full press release here, and get tips on how to keep kids safe around vehicles.
Advocates and Staff Meet with U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Yesterday, as part of the National CASA Conference in D.C., CASA advocates and staff from across Louisiana met with U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu to recognize her for her efforts in making children a priority in Louisiana, and across the country. Sen. Landrieu stated on her facebook page "Truly an honor to be recognized by CASA advocates from Louisiana. We discussed the need for greater advocacy on behalf of foster children. They do great work for children needing a forever family." Recently Sen. Landrieu spoke on the Senate floor to mark May as Foster Care month, you can view that speech here.
CASA Staff Meets with Senator David Vitter
Monday, June 25, 2012
While in Washington D.C. for the National CASA Conference, Louisiana CASA Executive Director John Wyble and Program Coordinator Amanda Rasmussen and Child Advocacy Services Executive Director Rob Carlisle had the opportunity to present Senator David Vitter with an "I am for the Child" certificate. Staff and advocates also had the opportunity to discuss improving outcomes for children with Senator Mary Landrieu earlier in the week.
DHH and DCFS Remind Residents to Stay Safe in Summer Heat
Thursday, June 28, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 27, 2012Contact: Trey Williams (225) 342-9640 (o)
DHH and DCFS Remind Residents to Stay Safe in Summer Heat Record heat puts Louisianians at Risk
BATON ROUGE - Louisiana is experiencing record-breaking high temperatures. The heat, coupled with high humidity, can cause potentially deadly heat-related illnesses. The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals and the Department of Children and Family Services encourage residents to take simple precautions to ensure their safety in the summer heat:
Since 1989 DCFS reports that in cases investigated as abuse or neglect, 21 children have died of hyperthermia (heat stroke) as a result of being left unattended in a car. Last year alone, DCFS investigated cases involving six children resulting in three deaths and three children with serious or permanent injuries including brain damage, blindness, kidney failure and second degree burns. According to State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry, people suffer from heat-related illness when their bodies are unable to cool themselves properly. "The body normally cools itself by sweating, which is why it is so important to rehydrate by drinking plenty of fluids. Under some conditions, sweating just isn't enough," Dr. Guidry said. Warning signs of heat stroke include extremely high body temperature; red, hot and dry skin; rapid, strong pulse; throbbing headache; and dizziness, nausea, confusion and/or unconsciousness. Any of these can be signs of a life-threatening emergency. If someone you know is experiencing these symptoms in the heat, try to bring the person's body temperature down immediately by bringing him or her to a shady area and cooling the person's skin rapidly with water. Make sure to monitor the person's body temperature and, above all, do not give him or her alcohol to drink. Seek professional medical attention immediately. If you see a child left unattended in a vehicle, contact local law enforcement or dial 911. The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state citizens. To learn more about DHH, visit http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov. For up-to-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow DHH's blog, Twitter account and Facebook.
First Focus Campaign For Children
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
First Focus is a bipartisan advocacy organization dedicated to making children and families a priority in federal policy and budget decisions. First Focus takes a unique approach to children’s advocacy, engaging both traditional and non-traditional partners in a broad range of efforts to increase federal investments in programs that address the needs of our nation’s children. In all of our work, we seek to raise awareness regarding public policies impacting children and families and to ensure that related programs have the resources necessary to help children grow up in a healthy and nurturing environment. To read more about First Focus, please visit their website: http://www.firstfocus.net/about.
"CASA Volunteers Changing Lives" in South Louisiana
Thursday, May 3, 2012
"The Daily Advertiser" did a piece on CASA of SOLA, their volunteers, and the children their services have helped. Blake Safarik, a former foster child, said of his CASA volunteer, "He has done a lot for me, he helped me save up for my very first vehicle, helped me with my finances, showed me the ropes of growing up." You can read the full article here.
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer Seeks Support of Bill To Curb Child Abuse
Friday, May 4, 2012
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer was at the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County in Fulton, calling on the U.S. House of Representatives to follow the Senate’s lead and pass the Violence Against Women Act of 2012 which would help beat back the growing scourge of child abuse in Oswego County. For more on this story, please visit: http://oswegocountytoday.com/?p=86372.
Wal-Mart Association Presents Check to the Family & Youth Counseling Agency
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
The Wal-Mart Associates' Choice Program named CACLA it's 2011 award winner. Wal-Mart store manager Colin Buller presents check to FYCA. Read more here.
House Budget Committee Proposal Jeopardizes Children's Funding
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Today, the House of Representatives will vote on the FY 2013 proposal, which will cut tens of billions of dollars of vital funding for child welfare programs. Contact your legislators and ask them to protect children. Visit First Focus for more information.
Senator Mary Landrieu Marks National Foster Care Month
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
To recognize Foster Care month, Louisiana's U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu gave remarks on the Senate floor. She stated, "we want to say one thing very loud and clear to the country – foster children are not criminals, they’re not delinquents. They are children that are in desperate need of love, care and support." You can read the full press release here and watch her remarks below.
Are You One With Courage?
Friday, April 13, 2012
A call to action to support National Child Abuse Prevention Month was recently posted on the Huffington Post. Click here to check out the article.
CASA Program Gives Children a Voice
Monday, April 16, 2012
The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia wrote an in-depth article in their "Good News" magazine about Sister Donna Fread's work as a CASA volunteer, and the impact she has made in finding safe, permanent homes for abused and neglected children, while respecting the rights of the parents. She stated "I am always looking out for the children but I also try to empathize with the parents who are struggling." You can read the full article here.
Baton Rouge CAC VISTA Videos
Monday, April 16, 2012
CACLA is very proud of the amazing work that our Americorps VISTAs do for CAC's across the state. Please visit the link below to see a couple videos done by the wonderful VISTAs and staff at the Baton Rouge Children's Advocacy Center. http://www.youtube.com/user/BRCAC1.
Early Childhood Adversity Ages Children's DNA
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
A recent study has found that exposure to violence in early childhood can alter DNA in a way similar to premature aging. Kids exposed to two or more types of violence could be at risk for developing heart attacks, memory loss, and other diseases associated with aging 10 years earlier than their peers. You can read the full article here.
Message from National CASA on the Impact of Federal Funding Cuts
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
National CASA CEO Michael Piraino wrote a blog post on the impact of ending federal funding for the Victims of Child Abuse Act, which provides funding to National CASA. He states, "The ratio of expenses to overhead for CASA is among the best in the nonprofit world. A single dollar invested in CASA programs yields $23.40 in savings in the foster care and child welfare system. So why would anyone allow the $12 million in funding CASA receives through the Victims of Child Abuse Act to just disappear? Sure, $12 million sounds overwhelming when you think about your family’s budget. But in terms of the Administration’s proposed budget, $12 million amounts to about 3 ten thousandths of one percent of federal expenditures. Put another way: the elimination of funding for CASA advocacy is meaningless in terms of federal deficit reduction." You can read the full blog post here.
Child Abuse and Neglect Cost U.S. $124 Billion Yearly
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
A recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) study on "The Economic Burden of Child Maltreatment in the United States and Implications for Prevention" found that the lifetime cost associated with just one year's worth of confirmed cases of child maltreatment is approximately $124 billion. The lifetime cost for a single victim who survives child maltreatment is $210,012. Each death costs $1.3 million in estimated income had the child survived. As highlighted in the CDC press release, "given the substantial economic burden of child maltreatment, the benefits of prevention will likely outweigh the costs for effective programs." You can read the full report here.
Human Trafficking Law Passes in Time for the Super Bowl
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Indiana passed a new human trafficking law just in time for the Super Bowl. The new law closes previous loopholes in the definition of human trafficking and the prosecution of human traffickers. It also provides training to hotel employees and cab drivers to be aware of potential warning signs in possible victims. To read the entire article click here.
U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu Resolution on Permanency Passes
Friday, February 17, 2012
Louisiana's U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu authored a Senate Resolution on the rights of children to find a safe, permanent and loving home February 14th. She states, "Valentine’s Day reminds us of a simple idea of love: Every child has a right to be cared for within a safe and permanent family. The first call I made Tuesday morning was to my husband and kids to wish them a happy Valentine’s Day. But sadly there are millions of children who may not have received a call or valentine from a parent because they are orphans." You can read her full press release on the resolution here, the full text of the resolution here, and watch youtube highlights of her speech here.
Child Advocacy Services "Voices for Children" Video
Monday, February 27, 2012
Child Advocacy Services has produced a new video to promote the services they provide through their CASA and CAC programs. Special thanks to AmeriCorps VISTA member Alexis Champagne for all of her efforts with this project. The work Alexis put in on this project is a prime example of the lasting impact AmeriCorps VISTA's can have on the programs that they serve with.
Wal-Mart Grant Funds Presentation
Friday, January 6, 2012
Child Advocacy Services out of Hammond was recently featured in an article from The Advocate. CAS was hosting an open house for its new location in Denham Springs where they were also presented with their Wal-Mart Grant award. To read the entire article click here.
Earmark Ban Cuts into Funding for NCAC
Monday, January 9, 2012
A 2010 ban on Federal earmarks will result in a significant funding cut for the National Children's Advocacy Center according to a recent article out of The Hunstville Times. This ban could result in cuts to prevention services and medical exams at NCAC. To read the full article click here .
CASA of St. Landry Seeking Volunteers
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
CASA of St. Landry Parish is currently seeking new volunteers and board members as they work to rebuild their presence in the 27th Judicial District. Executive Director Tonya Bolden-Ball was recently interviewed by the local newspaper, The Daily World. You can read the article here.
Programs Help Foster Youth Achieve College Success
Monday, January 23, 2012
Research shows that 70% of youth who are aging out of foster care plan to attend college — but between 3% and 11% complete a bachelor's degree. More states are finding ways for former foster youth to attend and to succeed in college. You can read the full article here.
National CASA CEO on CNN
Friday, December 2, 2011
National CASA CEO Michael Piraino has appeared on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" and "ABC World News with Diane Sawyer" to discuss the use of psychotrophic medications by children in foster care. One study has indicated that foster kids may be medicated at 13 times the rate of other children. You can view the two specials below. Part 2 of the Diane Sawyer special will be airing tonight (Friday, December 2nd) on ABC. Anderson Cooper 360 Too Many Meds for Foster Kids?.
Child Sexual Abuse: Four Steps America Must Take
Monday, December 5, 2011
A recent article out of the Washington Post outlines the 4 steps America needs to take to raise awareness and urge responsible action to end the culture of silence about child abuse in the United States. To read the full article click here.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Check out the Southern Regional Children's Advocacy Center's Fall Newsletter. The 2012 Core Training Schedule and Course listing is included as well as some important procedural changes. Southern Connections December 2011
The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Bridging the gap between childhood trauma and negative consequences later in life.
What's an ACE? Growing up experiencing any of the following conditions in the household prior to age 18: The ACE Study is an ongoing collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kaiser Permanente. Led by Co-principal Investigators Robert F. Anda, MD, MS, and Vincent J. Felitti, MD, the ACE Study is perhaps the largest scientific research study of its kind, analyzing the relationship between multiple categories of childhood trauma (ACEs), and health and behavioral outcomes later in life.
The ACE Score The ACE Study used a simple scoring method to determine the extent of each study participant's exposure to childhood trauma. Exposure to one category (not incident) of ACE, qualifies as one point. When the points are added up, the ACE Score is achieved. An ACE Score of 0 (zero) would mean that the person reported no exposure to any of the categories of trauma listed as ACEs above. An ACE Score of 9 would mean that the person reported exposure to all of the categories of trauma listed above. The ACE Score is referred to throughout all of the peer-reviewed publications about the ACE Study findings.
What's YOUR ACE Score? Help me calculate my ACE Score. The ACE Study is based upon data collected from over 17,000 adult participants, and no new study participants are being accepted. However, you might like to know your own ACE Score, so that the information you read about the Study is more meaningful to you.
Louisiana CASA Among 116 Winn-Dixie Grant Recipients
Monday, December 19, 2011
Louisiana CASA was one of 116 non-profits across the southeast to receive funds from the Winn-Dixie Foundation. As part of their commitment to giving back to the communities they serve, Winn-Dixie is investing $1.4 million in these programs to empower them to expand the vital resources they provide in their communities. You can read the full press release here.
Landrieu Priorities for Vulnerable Children Pass Congress
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., founding Co-Chair of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, today announced that the U.S. Congress has passed key provisions for vulnerable children, including the creation of the Families First Pilot Program. This program will provide up to $4.5 million for partner governments to improve their programs for children living outside of family care. These provisions were included in year-end federal funding legislation, which passed the Senate today. It has already passed the House and now must be signed into law by the President. “Children living outside of a family may be found living on the streets or in institutions, toiling under exploitative labor conditions, or suffering from sexual and other forms of abuse. Today’s youth will inherit the world we leave behind, so it is imperative that U.S. investments abroad successfully provide vulnerable children with opportunities to reach their full potential,” Sen. Landrieu said. “The Families First Pilot Program will allow the U.S. to partner with foreign countries to improve their child welfare programs, helping children around the world live happier, safer and more productive lives.” You can read the full press release here.
The Forensic Interview Process in National News
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
In a recent news clip from the Today Show, Julie Donelon of a Child Protection Center in Kansas City, Missouri was interviewed about the Forensic Interview process. The process is described by reporter Peter Alexander in this Today Show Clip. To watch the video click here.
Rapides CAC in the News
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
The Rapides CAC was highlighted in an article about the 2010 givings of the United Way of Central Louisiana. To read the enitre article click here.
Reporting Child Abuse or Neglect
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Child abuse and neglect should never go unreported. If you suspect a child in Louisiana is being abused or neglected, call the DCFS child protection hotline at 855-4LA-KIDS (855-452-5437) toll free 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. For more information on reporting, signs and symptoms of child abuse and neglect visit the DCFS website.
LA Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Hotline
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Child abuse and neglect should never go unreported. If you suspect a child in Louisiana is being abused or neglected, call the DCFS child protection hotline at 855-4LA-KIDS (855-452-5437) toll free 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can find more information on spotting abuse and neglect here.
Turn Anger at Child Abuse into Support
Friday, November 11, 2011
In the wake of recent national events, CACs nationwide are being highlighted for their efforts to treat children who have been sexaully abused and their effort to improve the community’s response to child abuse. The New Orleans CAC was featured in a report which highlights the objective of CACs. The York Daily Record featured an article that give great tips for recognizing the signs of child abuse and how to talk to your children. Also the York Dispatch featured an article that stresses the importance of reporting suspected child abuse.
Youth Services Bureau CASA Director Featured in Times Picayune
Monday, November 14, 2011
CASA Program Director for Youth Services Bureau in St. Tammany Parish and 2011 Louisiana CASA Director of the Year winner Mary Slazer was featured in the Times Picayune last week. You can read the full article at the link below: St. Tammany Youth Services Bureau executive director named best in the state.
Bikers Against Child Abuse Raises Awareness for National Adoption Month
Monday, November 14, 2011
Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA) and several Alexandria area organizations teamed up to host a motorcycle ride to raise awareness for National Adoption Month. Wade Bond, Executive Director of Rapides CASA, spoke at the event. You can read more about the awareness ride in The Town Talk.
National Children's Advocacy Center Responds to Penn State Scandal
Thursday, November 17, 2011
National Children's Advocacy Center issued a press release in response to the recent Penn State Scandal. To read the press release click here. You can also visit NCAC's public awareness campaign, "We Are. You Can." to learn more about how to build strong and prosperous communities for children.
America's Child Death Shame
Monday, October 24, 2011
Check out "America's Child Death Shame," a BBC News report by Natalia Antelava. The focus of the report is on the untold story of child abuse, particularly child abuse deaths in America.
2011 Heroes Recognized in Local Newspaper
Thursday, October 27, 2011
2011 Louisiana CASA Heroes Terrebonne Chief Judge Randy Bethancourt and Thibodaux Child Protection Investigator Cidney Ordoyne were recognized in two local newspapers. You can read the articles below: Houma Today and the Daily Comet.
CASA Program Advocates for Youths
Friday, September 30, 2011
The Youth Service Bureau's CASA program in St Tammany was featured in an article on NOLA.com. The CASA program was recently featured at the East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce Fourth Friday Breakfast. To read the full article click here.
Country Singer Jimmy Wayne's "Project MMH"
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Country singer Jimmy Wayne was one of the nearly 30,000 youth who age out of the foster care system every year. Knowing from his own experience the difficulties that foster children face when they turn 18 and are suddenly no longer eligible for services, he founded "Project Meet Me Halfway" to raise awareness for aging-out foster youth. Through the project, Wayne released a documentary chronicling his 1700 mile walk from Nashville, TN to Phoenix, AZ highlighting the extreme poverty and homelessness aged-out foster youth often fall into. In March 2011, Wayne was introduced as a spokesperson for National CASA Association at the 2011 National Conference. You can watch a clip from the beginning of his walk across the country below.
CASA Makes Positive Difference
Monday, July 18, 2011
A letter to the editor written by Louisiana CASA Executive Director John Wyble was recently published in The Shreveport Times. "CASA's mission is to advocate on behalf of the best interests of children who are already placed in Louisiana's foster care system. CASA volunteers, supported and guided by CASA staffers, gather information about the child's circumstances then provide this information along with recommendations to the judge during court proceedings. After considering all the information provided by attorneys for the parents, attorneys for the child, CASA and state Department of Children; Family Services staffers; the judge makes the final determination regarding the child's future." You can read the full article here.
CASA of NELA recognized by National CASA
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Read more about it here.
From Disparity to Equality
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
A panel of experts met for a Q&A session at the National CASA Annual Conference in March to discuss the issue of disproportionality. Click here to read the full article and view the discussion on youtube.
Forgotten Children Campaign
Friday, May 20, 2011
Louisiana CASA will be hosting the 3rd Annual "Forgotten Children" event on Thursday, May 26, 2011 at the Louisiana State Capitol Building from 9a.m. to 3p.m. The purpose of the event is to focus attention toward the needs and challenges children in foster care must endure. National CASA CEO, Michael Piraino will be attending to recognize Louisiana for its outstanding leadership and support of CASA and acknowledge our CASA programs as a model for other states.
American Legion Article Spotlights National CASA
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
The latest issue of The American Legion Magazine features an in-depth article about the work of the CASA network, including a profile of former foster youth Laura Nunes and Sally Payne, her volunteer from CASA of Santa Barbara County, CA. Read more in The American Legion Magazine.
CASA of Plaquemines Parish Approved for Full Membership
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Congratulations go out to CASA of Plaquemines Parish for their recent approval as full members in the National CASA Association. We know it took a great deal of hard work to reach this major milestone and we admire you and your community for focusing on the needs of our most vulnerable citizens.
CASA of Lafourche Approved for Full Membership in National CASA
Friday, January 7, 2011
Congratulations to CASA of Lafourche for recently being approved for full membership in the National CASA Association! We know you have worked very hard to achieve this major milestone.
New Orleans CAC Plays Role in Training Entire School Staff to Detect Child Abuse
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Bridgedale Elementary School in Metairie is the first school in Louisiana to have their entire staff trained to detect child abuse. The training was conducted by New Orleans CAC and the Audrey Hepburn Care Center of Children's Hospital. To read an article about the training, please click here.
Leesville JAG Students Give Back to the Community by Supporting CASA
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Leesville High School JAG (Jobs for America's Graduates) students recently learned what it felt like to give back to the community and to help children in need. Click here to read more.
Louisiana CASA Child Advocate of the Year Named at Ceremony during Together We Can Conference
Friday, November 5, 2010
Mr. Merkle "Skipper" Kornegay became a Volunteer with CASA of Terrebonne, along with his wife, Hilda, in 2006. CASA of Terrebonne Executive Director, Stacey Martin, recounts that when the Department of Children and Family Services asked for an advocate for a very troubled teen male, first thoughts were of Mr. Kornegay. That decision proved be to a very important one in the life of this teen, who maintains a relationship with Mr. Kornegay some two years after her "aged out"of the foster care system. Mr. Kornegay devoted much time to building a relationship with the teen and his foster parents. When the young man became involved in some delinquent activity, his CASA, was right there, calling DCFS and attorneys, writing letters to the Judge and visiting him in the jail. He tirelessly advocated for the young man until he received the help he so desperately needed. Mr. Kornegay devotes his time, effort and expertise to the mission of CASA in other ways, as well. He sits on CASA of Terrebonne's Board and Fundraising Committee and represents CASA at public speaking engagments. Thank you for your devotion to the children we serve and congratulations on your accomplishments.
Center for Children and Families, CAC has reached a major milestone
Monday, November 8, 2010
Two-week-old Male safe in Foster Care After Mother Utilized LA's Safe Haven Law.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Click on the link to learn more. Safe Haven
Louisiana strengthens laws against sex offenders
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
BATON ROUGE - Today, Governor Bobby Jindal signed five bills into law from the Governor's 2010 legislative package to strengthen the ability of law enforcement to track down and punish sexual predators that prey on children. Full article click here.
TV Coverage of CASA at the Capital
Thursday, June 3, 2010
The TV segment of our day at the legislature and press conference on the Capitol steps will begin running on Thursday, June 3, 2010, 6:30 p.m. on Louisiana's News Magazine on WBTR-TV Ch. 19 on Cox cable in the Baton Rouge area, Ch. 41 for those without Cox. Click the link below for a preview of the report. LACASA on YouTube
CACLA ACHIEVES CHAPTER ACCREDITATION WITH NCA
Thursday, July 8, 2010
The Children's Advocacy Centers of Louisiana (CACLA) was recently awarded Chapter Accreditation by the National Children's Alliance (NCA) in Washington, D.C. Chapter Coordinator, Dr. John Wyble, attended the NCA Leadership conference in D.C. where he learned of the news. CACLA is a statewide association of 15 local CAC's providing services to child victims all over Louisiana. To locate a CAC near you, visit the local program page/.
To learn more about the requirements for accreditation with NCA visit their website Also attending the NCA Leadership conference from Louisiana were Jill Dugas, Executive Director of Hearts of Hope in Lafayette and Rob Carlisle, Executive Director, Child Advocacy Services CAC in Hammond.
1,000 by September 1 !!
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Louisiana CASA has recruited 542 members to its Facebook cause! Help us reach 1,000 by September 1 !! Why? Because tonight over 5,000 Louisiana children cannot go home. Tomorrow, you can be the voice for 1 of these abused children. Because as you know anyONE can change the world! Each year thousands of children in every Louisiana parish enter into foster care because they were innocent victims of abuse or neglect. You can be the 1 to help an abused child in YOUR parish. A Court Appointed Special Advocate or CASA helps an abused child by learning about his or her case and speaking up for the child's best interests. Everyday people can be a CASA. Help us spread the word.
Shaken Baby Cases Rose During Recession
Friday, May 14, 2010
The stressful effects of a faltering economy, skyrocketing unemployment and precarious personal finances can be dire. People take up smoking or use alcohol to cope, they become depressed or suicidal, and they develop stress-related illnesses like heart disease. Now researchers report that the harm may be spreading to children. Read more: here.
CAS CASA Featured in Currents Magazine
Friday, May 14, 2010
Read the article: CAS CASA in Currents Magazine.
U.S. Supreme Court: Sex Offenders can be Held Indefinitely
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
May declared CASA Month by Governor Jindal
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
From Homeless to Graduate
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
As an outsider peering in, you can't see the pain 18-year-old Julia Vailes has carried all her life. She's candid about her atypical childhood, most of which played out in several foster homes between Shreveport and Minden. Click here to read the full story.
CASA has been Nominated for Encore Louisiana's Top 50 for 50+ Initiative
Thursday, October 1, 2009
On October 1 2009, the Office of Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu and the Encore Louisiana Commission unveiled Encore Louisiana magazine, EncoreLouisiana.com, and The Top 50 for 50+ initiative at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. This magazine and its website contain a wealth of information on communities, attractions, and activities for the 50 and above age group. The Top 50 for 50+ initiative is Encore Louisiana's first annual program celebrating the best of the best - places and programs that make life in Louisiana at 50+ so unique and fulfilling. With over 800 applications submitted, CASA statewide was selected as one of 200 nominees across 10 categories for Best Volunteer Opportunities. Of the 200 nominees, 50 will be selected to be the Top 50 for 50+ through an online survey. Voting begins October 1st and ends November 15th and the winners will be announced in December. Top winners in each category will be promoted in magazines, online and other media sources. This is a great opportunity to spread the awareness of CASA programs in our communities. You can help CASA by clicking this link, http://www.encorelouisiana.com/top-50/, registering, and voting. The survey should take ten to fifteen minutes to complete. Anyone may take this survey, but only the surveys of individuals 50+ will be counted. As an added incentive, Ten lucky individuals (50+) will win a Louisiana travel package worth up to $500, and all you need to do is register and take the survey. Remember to vote for CASA in the category of Best Volunteer Opportunity to help promote awareness of CASA.
NELA CASA Standing Up for Children
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Below is an scanned copy of NELA CASA's article in the Ouachita Citizen. The event that covered is "Stand Up for a Child So They Can Stand a Chance" NELA CASA staff and volunteers stood among 200 cardboard cutouts of children from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The goal of the event was to spread awareness about the children in the community who need someone to stand up for them. NELA CASA in the Ouachita Citizen.
CASA Volunteers Devoted to Children
Thursday, July 16, 2009
This is a sample from the article. The full article can be read here.
HAMMOND — Since becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate more than eight months ago, Susan Norris has made it her mission to speak up for abused and neglected children. As a mother of four, Norris said she believes it’s her duty to help those who can’t help themselves. Norris became a volunteer after reading a local newspaper article asking for people in the community to step up to the challenge for Child Advocacy Services. Child Advocacy Services is a private, nonprofit umbrella agency that provides services through the CASA program, Children’s Advocacy Center program, and other services supporting their mission to give voice, healing and security to children. According to http://www.childadv.net, Child Advocacy Services offers advocacy and clinical services for children and families in 10 southeastern Louisiana parishes including Ascension, Assumption, East and West Feliciana, Livingston, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John and Tangipahoa parishes. CASA recruits, trains and supervises volunteers who serve as powerful voices for abused and neglected children as they navigate through the court system. CASA volunteers are community members appointed by a judge to advocate, on a one-on-one basis, for children in need of care. CASA volunteers also report to the judge and others in the child welfare system on the child’s behalf with the primary goal of helping them reach a safe and permanent home. Currently, the agency has more than 40 active volunteers assigned to cases, but it’s not enough to meet the demand for CASA services, officials said. Child Advocacy Services’ goal is to have a volunteer on every case. Since becoming a volunteer, Norris has worked on two cases, one involving ages 6-8 years olds, and another involving a 16 year old. “The first time I got the case, I cried,” Norris said. “The second time I read it, I cried. On the visit, I cried.” However difficult, Norris said she believes it is her job to make sure the children are safe. “At the end of the day, that’s what matters,” Norris said.
Louisiana CASA Awarded Grant by Winn Dixie Foundation
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
On July 29, 2009, The Winn-Dixie Foundation held a press conference to award Louisiana CASA and Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center grants for $10,000 each in a Winn-Dixie in Prairieville. Below are pictures from the event. You can click on each image to enlarge.
CASA Searches for Advocates
Monday, June 1, 2009
Below is an article found in the Newsstar.com here:
To meet the demand for child advocates in our area, CASA of Northeast Louisiana is searching for community members to speak up for abused and neglected children. Each year, thousands of children in Louisiana are victims of child abuse, neglect or abandonment. By volunteering as an advocate with CASA you become the voice of a child who is desperate to speak out. Advocates become the eyes and ears of the court, providing important information about a child in need so that the best possible home for that child can be found. Advocates with CASA are trained by CASA's friendly and professional staff so that an Advocate is prepared for any and all situations involving a child who has suffered from abuse or neglect. If you are interested in joining the efforts of securing a safe and permanent home for every child in northeast Louisiana, join the next Advocate Training Class beginning 6 p.m. June 11. Call Anna Thomas at 398-0945 or visit www.cfcfnela.org.