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louisiana child distress news

In the Fall of 2019, I quit thinking of Louisiana’s Children in terms of well-being. A better lens is that of distress.

No one calls an emergency department a “wellness center”. Similarly, with Louisiana holding tenaciously onto an average 49th position among the states when ranked for “Child well-being” (for more than 31 years!), it seemed time to change the language. Compared to all the states and most nations on earth, one can only evaluate the condition of Louisiana’s Children in terms of Child distress.

Then COVID-19 began spreading.

All of us in Louisiana understand our state’s long history of poor Child well-being. Our history could pale compared to what Louisiana’s Children and families may experience in the future. All of humanity is impacted by the most socially catastrophic period of our lifetimes.

Even states rich with resources will strive to maintain good conditions for their Children. States like Louisiana will struggle even more to do right by our Children.

datenews article
01/21/2021"Louisiana schools leader decries plunge in reading scores: 'I am alarmed'" - Will Sentell, The Advocate
10/14/2020"LA ACT scores fall for third consecutive year" - Matt Doyle, Louisiana Radio Network
09/06/2020"Louisiana has 8th most underprivileged children" - Bernadette Lee,
06/26/2020"Why is Louisiana the worst place in US for children? This report breaks it down" - Leigh Guidry, Shreveport Times
02/14/2020"Report: Louisiana ranks 50th for economic well-being of its children" - David Jacobs, The Center Square
11/09/2019"Mentally ill children in Louisiana do not receive adequate services through Medicaid, lawsuit says" - Emily Woodruff, Times Picayune
11/04/2019"Louisiana ranked second highest in the nation for rates of early births in 2018, a ten-year high" - Kaylee Poche, Gambit
10/31/2019"New survey shows vaping is increasing in Louisiana’s students, names JUUL as brand of choice" - Emily Woodruff, Times Picayune
08/12/2019"Church offers prayers for all Calcasieu school employees" - American Press Lindsay Halpin
08/12/2019"New Louisiana law aims to prevent suicide in schools across state" - Drew Marine
07/05/2019"In La., new youth prisons to replace outdated ones" - Daily Comet Grace Toohey
06/27/2019"New Orleans schools seek better discipline process as expulsions drop but suspensions rise" -|Times Picayune Wilborn P. Nobles, III
06/26/2019"Schools chief John White: Early education funding boost still not enough for Louisiana's children" - The Advocate Della Hasselle
06/19/2019"Families of 1,400 Louisiana children will soon be added to child care assistance program" -|Times Picayune Wilborn P. Nobles, III
06/17/2019"Louisiana’s child population drops by 100k over last 3 decades" -|Times Picayune Wilborn P. Nobles, III
05/30/2018"Former foster kids make impassioned pleas for legislative support for improvements in state system" - The Advocate, Elizabeth Crisp
03/01/2018"Louisiana sees 77 percent rise in juvenile human trafficking" -, Amber Smith
01/21/2018"Mentoring LC youths: City's juvenile crime rate has risen by 25 percent" - The American Press, John Guidroz
10/23/2017"Report: Louisiana too quick to toss troubled, especially black students; alternative schools not helping" - The Advocate, Will Sentell
10/17/2017"New Safe Haven Set to Reduce Newborn Abandonment" - KEDM

The state Department of Children and Family Services has posted an online mapping tool called Safe Haven Facility Locator in an effort to prevent newborn abandonment. Child Protective Services Program Manager Mona Michelli says a mother can visit to find a place where they can give up a child less than 60 days old.
08/24/2017"Beauregard Parish Needs More Foster Homes" - Beauregard Daily News, Chris Schoonover
08/23/2017"North Shore woman 'stores' hope for foster children" -, Karen Baker
06/09/2017"Without fanfare, governor's ban on paddling disabled students expanded" - The Advocate, Will Sentell
06/05/2017"Louisiana is the worst state in the U.S. for children, report says" - | The Times Picayune
05/30/2017"Foster children need special help at 18" - The American Press
05/18/2017"Study shows alarming impact of opioid epidemic on babies born into addiction" - WAFB, Elizabeth Vowell
05/16/2017"Deep-seated student poverty cited as root of Louisiana's education problems" - The Advocate, Charles Lussier
05/03/2017"Reduced funding, low salaries put state’s most vulnerable children at risk" - Louisiana Budget Project
05/03/2017"Louisiana's learning-disabled students graduate at low rates, report says" - | The Times Picayune, Danielle Dreilinger
05/02/2017"Shortage of foster homes" -, Britney Glaser, Anchor
05/01/2017"New study shows just how much Louisiana parents struggle to balance children, careers" - The Advocate, Andrea Gallo
04/14/2017"Paddling Louisiana students with disabilities? Governor says make it illegal" - The Advocate, Will Sentel
04/12/2017"Former Orleans judge: Time to stop sentencing children to death by prison" - Times Picayune, Judge Miriam Waltzer (retired), letter to the editor
04/12/2017"Take the time to help protect a child" - The Shreveport Times, James E. Stewart Sr., letter to the editor
04/12/2017"Lack of early education severely limits a child's future: A letter to the editor" - The Times Picayune, Major Gen. (Ret.) Maynard "Sandy" Sanders, letter to the editor
04/06/2017"State education officials are investigating an incident in which a 9-year-old was handcuffed at school" - The LENS, Marta Jewson
04/04/2017"Organization raises money for child abuse prevention" - Daily Comet, Jordan Legendre
03/21/2017"Plan to End Children's Mental Health Program Faces Pushback" - U.S. News and World Reports, Melinda Deslatte
02/14/2017"Offering a Valentine for Louisiana Children Facing the System Alone" - Ebony, Gina Womack
12/13/2016"Corporal punishment causes controversy among Louisiana parents" - The Town Talk, Miranda Klein and Lex Talamo
12/12/2016"Family services agency looking for help at the local level" - The Town Talk, Miranda Klein
12/11/2016"Analysis: Social services agency struggles under budget cuts" - Melinda Deslatte - Associated Press
11/30/2016"Feds ask Louisiana to ban paddling in school" - Danielle Dreilinger,, The Times-Picayune
11/28/2016"DCFS: Rate of drug addicted newborns tripled since 2008" - Louisiana Radio Network
11/23/2016"Kids in Crisis: Human trafficking victims ending up in state's care" - FOX8 WVUE, Kimberly Curth
11/21/2016"Kids in Crisis: Number of babies born to mothers on drugs skyrockets in Louisiana" - FOX8 WVUE, Kimberly Curth
11/21/2016"Louisiana ranks #1 for best anti-trafficking laws" - The TownTalk, Lex Talamo
11/16/2016"Corporal punishment causes controversy among local parents" - ShreveportTimes, Lex Talamo
11/16/2016"Kids in Crisis: What happens after foster care?" - FOX8 WVUE, Kimberly Curthr
11/11/2016"Kids in Crisis: Budget cuts leave DCFS scrambling to protect the most vulnerable" - FOX8 WVUE, Kimberly Curth
10/18/2016"45 arrested, 3 rescued in Louisiana as part of FBI-led child sex trafficking crackdown" - WDSU, Juan Sanchez
10/03/2016"Floods threaten the mental health of children" - National Resources Defense Council, Juanita Constible
10/01/2016"Mental Health Transition Update" - ShreveportTimes, Lex Talamo
10/01/2016"WATCHDOG: Louisiana children sent out of state for psychiatric care" - ShreveportTimes, Lex Talamo
09/30/2016"Louisiana once spent little to help care for the youngest children; now it’s spending less" - The Advocate
09/29/2016"Struggling for Childcare in Louisiana" - Louisiana Budget Project
09/07/2016"Judge's Football Team Loses, Juvenile Sentences Go Up" - The Atlantic
08/19/2016"NEW LBP REPORT: Fund diversions erode Louisiana’s safety net, leave needy children vulnerable" - Louisiana Budget Project
08/11/2016"Louisiana among the worst states for underprivileged children" -
08/08/2016Louisiana is Putting Children Behind Other Goals” – The Advocate, Editorial
07/12/2016"Louisiana churches work to get children out of poverty" - Houma Today, Kevinisha Walker
07/05/2016"How caring adults save teens in foster care" - [225] Magazine, Jennifer Tormo
07/02/2016"The Jindal effect takes a huge toll at DCFS" - FOX8, WVUE, Lee Zurik
05/10/2016"The foster care system is pushing college students into homelessness: When your 18th birthday is like walking the plank" - The Hechinger Report, Andre Perry
12/10/2015Edwards announces Children and Family Services Committee” –
12/10/2015Edwards: ‘Children must be No. 1 priority’” – TheNewsStar, Greg Hilburn
11/13/2015"Thousands of Louisiana children in desperate need of foster parents, state says" - The Times-Picayunne, Michelle Hunter
11/05/2015Louisiana Graded F for Number of Premature Births in 2015” –, Tyana Daquano
08/17/2015"Other States Significantly Improve Child Well Being" - The Lafourche Gazette, Rick Wheat
07/03/2014"In New Orleans, a case study in how school, health care decentralization affect neediest children" - The Hechinger Report, Sarah Carr
03/14/2011"Louisiana Children, Poverty, and the Faith Community" - Fr. Fred Kammer, SJ. Presented to the for Louisiana Interchurch Conference, 41st Annual Assembly on March 14, 2011, in Lafayette, Louisiana.
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