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




CACLA Louisiana CASA CLARO - Children's Law Advocacy Resources Online BCBS Louisiana Foundation Child Welfare Information Gateway
















































October 2013


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.


September 2013


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


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.

August 2013


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.

July 2013


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. 
Read more here.





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.

June 2013

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.

May 2013


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.

April 2013


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.

March 2013


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.

February 2013


"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.

January 2013


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

CASA staff and volunteers from Youth Service Bureau in Covington participated in the 22nd JDC's National Adoption Day celebration. You can read more about the event here.



Why CACs?

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.

December 2012


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

November 2012


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!  


  • Board Member of the Year: Kerry Andersen – Lake Charles, LA  
  • Community Partner of the Year: Vicki Richard with Visually Speaking – Hammond, LA  
  • Leader of the Year: Jill Dugas – Hearts of Hope CAC in Lafayette, LA  
  • MDT Member Award: Det. Casey Barfield – Lafayette, LA
  • Staff Member of the Year: Lorrie Brennan – New Orleans CAC in New Orleans, LA 

October 2012


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.

September 2012


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

August 2012


"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.

July 2012


"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



(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

Children's Advocacy Centers Respond to Penn State Sanctions



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. 

June 2012


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.


Congressman Vitter 12



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:

  • Slow down. Avoid strenuous activity. If you must do heavy work, do it during the coolest part of the day.
  • Stay indoors as much as possible. If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor, out of the sunshine. Try to go to a public building with air conditioning each day for several hours. Remember, electric fans do not cool the air, but they do help sweat evaporate, which cools your body.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflect away some of the sun's energy.
  • Drink plenty of water and fluids regularly and often, even if you do not feel thirsty. Your body needs water to keep cool.
  • Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them. They can make you feel good briefly, but make the heat effects on your body worse. This is especially true about beer, which dehydrates your body.
  • Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid foods that are high in protein, which increase metabolic heat.
  • Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
  • Although any one at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on:
  • Infants and young children
  • People aged 65 or older
  • People who have a mental illness
  • Those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure
  • Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent supervision.
  • NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially children. Parents and caregivers can make a safety plan to ensure that children or other passengers are not forgotten in car. For instance, if you are transporting a child or passenger when it is not part of your normal routine, have a spouse or family member call to make sure everything went according to plan.

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.

May 2012


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.

April 2012


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.

March 2012


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.

February 2012


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.

January 2012


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.

December 2011


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.



Southern Connections

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.

  1. Recurrent physical abuse
  2. Recurrent emotional abuse
  3. Contact sexual abuse
  4. An alcohol and/or drug abuser in the household
  5. An incarcerated household member
  6. Someone who is chronically depressed, mentally ill, institutionalized, or suicidal
  7. Mother is treated violently
  8. One or no parents
  9. Emotional or physical neglect

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.

November 2011


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.

October 2011


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.

September 2011


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.

August 2011


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.



July 2011


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.

June 2011


CASA of NELA recognized by National CASA

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Read more about it here.

May 2011


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.

April 2011


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.

January 2011


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.

November 2010


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

Since opening in 2006, CAC has conducted over 1,000 forensic interviews and was featured recently in a News-Star article. Click here to read more.

October 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

July 2010


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.

June 2010


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




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.

May 2010


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

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that federal officials can indefinitely hold inmates considered "sexually dangerous" after their prison terms are complete.



May declared CASA Month by Governor Jindal

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

CASA Month Press Release



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.

October 2009


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.

July 2009


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.  

June 2009


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.