New Resources and Important Information

The Children’s Bureau (CB) is aware of questions and concerns regarding a number of child welfare issues in light of the COVID-19 public health emergency, including whether CB can waive statutorily required judicial proceedings. As discussed and delineated below, CB cannot waive these statutory requirements but expects that courts and states will work together to determine how best to balance child-safety related statutory requirements against public-health mandates. But as delineated below, as situations require, courts can and should use flexible means of convening required hearings.
The Children's Bureau has released a memorandum for child welfare professionals with guidance on COVID-19 response and the courts. Please review and follow the guidance with your court cases. Click here.
A joint statement on Child Welfare Courts from Child Welfare Partners:
In this time of profound uncertainty, child welfare systems face unprecedented challenges to ensuring safety, wellbeing, and permanency for young people. As the public health crisis persists, it is incumbent upon courts and legal professionals to critically assess and safeguard the needs and rights of every young person and family member experiencing dependency court involvement. Judicial officers, attorneys for children, parents, agencies, and tribes, CIPs, CASAs, and court administrators should resist reactive, sweeping policies and insist upon thoughtful consideration of each child’s and each family’s individual circumstances, promoting decisions based on current information, informed by medical expertise, and anchored in due process values. Specifically: Click to read the full statement. Very important resources and contacts shared within the document. 

Since July, 2005 the Louisiana Supreme Court Division of Children and Families has been collecting and maintaining information received from attorneys pursuant to this Rule.  This list is a compilation based on information submitted to the Supreme Court and includes those attorneys qualified for appointment as counsel for children in child abuse and neglect cases as of the day indicated in the update notice. It is the continuing responsibility of each attorney to provide documentation of his/her qualifications to the Division of Children and Families.  Any attorney who has not submitted, prior to January 31 each year, evidence of attendance of at least six hours of approved continuing legal education in the past calendar year will no longer be considered as qualified under this Rule. Questions or comments about the list of qualified counsel for children in child abuse and neglect cases?  Please e-mail Curtis Nelson, Director, Division of Children and Families, Louisiana Supreme Court: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

Thursday, 19 November 2020 10:53


Written by Jerry Milner - November 17, 2020, Rethinking Foster Care Blog: 

I used to say that I grew up in Nowhere, Alabama. 

Nowhere was an unincorporated expanse of farm land and cotton fields that stretched as far as I could see, punctuated by the county school that I attended for eleven years of my life. 

Nowhere was full of climbing trees, swinging vines, and wading streams rife with salamanders and minnows.

Nowhere was much poorer than not and had few, if any, formal social institutions beyond church and school.

Nowhere is Reeltown, Alabama.  I haven’t been back there in too many years to count, but an old friend recently sent me a blog post about Reeltown, written by Sean-of-the-South Dietrich, that flooded my senses and challenged me to acknowledge the tremendous influence that my community had on my development and on my life.

The blog told the story of Sean encountering an elderly man in Reeltown who, based on the laws of probability, is most likely related to me somehow.  He and his wife were selling tomatoes from a stand on the side of the road.  The man and his wife told Sean about their lives of volunteer service to a poor community in a place that was a long way from Reeltown.  He said all he wanted was for his “whole life to belong to people who just need to know someone loves ‘em.”  He told Sean about receiving an e-mail from a now middle-aged man with a healthy life thanking him for showing him kindness and support in a time of need when he was a boy. The old man said, “that one email made our little lives seem worth it.  Reckon life really is about showing people you care about ‘em.”

Sean’s blog force-fed my mind with memories of the kind people I had known growing up in Reeltown.

My third grade teacher who comforted me when my father died.

My school bus driver who always came searching for me when I repeatedly ran away from school.

The old man up the road who taught me how to re-roof my leaky house when I was a teenager.

My mother’s friends who cleaned my house and cooked for me after my mother died.

Others . . .  

Absent many of those kindnesses and those kind people, my life could’ve been very different.

Our families and children in the child welfare system have not always known such kindness and support.

They do know frustration, loss, anger, and hopelessness, without feeling that “someone loves ‘em.”

They often know clinical interventions designed to fix their troubling life circumstances, that an old man up the road, or a neighbor across the street, or a man selling tomatoes at a road-side stand might have helped them to avert.

They often do not know the power of a caring community and the healing that comes from feeling valued and worthy of kindness.

I no longer say that I grew up in Nowhere, because I understand that my community was always a place where lives were nurtured and people were kind.

As people who care about other people, we must move with all haste and urgency to create a family well-being system, not a child welfare system as we know it, that is set up to prevent trauma, to build the resilience of parents and children, and to enable them to thrive even in the face of inevitable adversity.

We have the power to do that - to change programs and policies and funding - to change lives.

Prevention has many faces.

It works best when it shows up in the faces of the people who know and care about us.

It works best when it is present in the communities where we live.

It works best when it is delivered with kindness.

Wednesday, 15 July 2020 19:00

Click the attachment to read the Executive Order issued on June 24, 2020 concerning the Child Welfare System.

Wednesday, 03 June 2020 17:29

This resource provides thoughts and guidelines for talking about these complex issues of racism and equality in age-appropriate ways with children aged two to five years of age. These are difficult and uncomfortable discussions for which there is no recipe. You will know how to adapt these ideas in a way that reflects your unique situation and the individual needs of your child. You might also find it helpful to seek input from your family and trusted sources like religious and other community leaders. Click to access the resource guide.

Thursday, 23 April 2020 11:34

We have a collection of adult learning documents that we want to share with you. Click on the title of this segment to see the links to access the documents. 

  • Knowle's Adult Learning Theory Infographic
  • Conducting Training Evaluation
  • Designing and Developing Effective Training Programs
  • Developing a Theory of Change
  • Five Moments of Need


Tuesday, 07 April 2020 17:33

The COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing requirements have required courts to be flexible and creative in continuing to carry out essential functions. The Children’s Bureau has encouraged, and many courts have adopted, the use of technology to conduct child welfare hearings remotely when they cannot take place in-person. Although there are some challenges to holding a hearing via technology, these hearings are essential to address important issues affecting children and families, to litigate and allow the court to make key decisions impacting safety, permanency and wellbeing, and to ensure due process and access to justice for families. The following guide distills some best practices and other recommendations for remote or “virtual” hearings. Please note that courts across the country are using several programs and platforms for video conferencing. This guide provides general guidance without regard to the specific platform being used.

Tuesday, 07 April 2020 17:28

In a world where “social distancing” has become a necessary practice and the primary preventative measure for reducing the spread of coronavirus, we must remember that children in foster care and their families have already been “distanced” from each other.

Protecting family integrity may seem like an expendable effort – something to be put aside until the world changes. The fact is, every day that goes by with restrictions on family time, reduced availability of treatment or other services for parents and delays in reunification efforts is a threat to family integrity.

When children are removed from their parents, even when necessary for their safety, and artificial visiting arrangements are imposed that prevent parents from being parents and children from being children, they become distanced and that can be harmful to parents and children alike. The effects of such distancing shows up in trauma responses, in hopelessness, in destructive behaviors, in increasing needs for clinical interventions, and in repeated cycles of difficulty within families.

Read the full article by Jerry Milner, Associate Commissioner of the U.S. Children's Bureau and David Kelly, Special Assistant to the Associate Commissioner at the U.S. Children's Bureau. April 6, 2020. Article in Chronicle of Social Change.

Friday, 03 April 2020 13:28

The daily changes and constantly updated information on the COVID-19 crisis can be overwhelming. However panic cannot and should not drive our work off course. Children, foster parents and birth parents deal with incredibly challenging personal crises every day. They are the pros and know how to deal with challenges one day at a time. We need this knowledge more than ever. Quality Parenting Initiative sites have to hold onto our values so that all of our decisions continue to support excellent parenting everyday.

Over the next several weeks we will be sharing "Covid-19: The New Normal", a set of QPI based resources created to support parents, birth resource foster and kin, youth and staff, connected to the child welfare system. These will include a weekly webcast and daily online resources distributed to our QPI community via email and social media. This series is particularly focused on meeting the needs of families, who are often hard to reach. We don't want to add to your workload, but we would appreciate your sharing information about the series with families, birth foster and kin in whatever way you can. We will also be grateful for any ideas you have about how to reach this audience. Below is a schedule of webinar topics as part of our QPI-based resource series, COVID-19: The New Normal. As the situation around COVID-19 continues to evolve, please know there is a possibility that the following topics may be subject to change.

  • Tuesday, March 31st: The Power of Connection: How Resource Families Can Support Adolescents Through COVID-19 Crisis-Register here<>
  • April 7th and 9th (a two-part series!): Child development specialist on using media effectively with children and virtual visitation. Click here for April 7th and then Click here for April 9th. This is a two part series!
  • Week of April 12th: Keeping teens connected to friends and family using tech.
  • Week of April 19th: Ensuring youth who receive special education obtain services and maintain educational progress.
  • Week of April 26th: Keeping older youth on track for college including SAT, college applications, coursework issues.
  • Week of May 3rd: Coordinating with Qualified Legal Services Provider (QSLP) on employment issues and unemployment insurance.
  • Week of May 10th: Supporting young children and their families.
  • Week of May 17th: Maintaining relationships between children and families over distance
Friday, 18 January 2019 14:13

Benchcards for Judicial Safety Decision Making

These benchcards were published as an accompanying tool to the book Child Safety: A Guide for Judges and Attorneys. They are also referred to during the Safety Decision Making course presented by the Pelican Center for Children and Families - Court Improvement Program training.  The book can be accessed online. Click hereAuthors: Theresa Roe Lund MSSW and Jennifer L. Renne  Date: 2009

Monday, 21 May 2018 12:00

There is a newly updated APP available for Apple and Android devices that was developed by the Louisiana Children's Justice Act Taskforce. This APP has national, state and parish level resources for those who work in the field of child welfare. It also has the state's Safe Haven locations listed by parish. Please share the APP flyer so that more people begin using the APP.