The Louisiana Court Improvement Program, a federally funded initiative, serves the best interests of the more than 4,000 children who on any given day are in the Louisiana foster care system by working with judges, court administrators and staff, attorneys, Court Appointed Special Advocates and other child welfare stakeholders on the successful implementation of the federal Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 and the concomitant Louisiana law.
Court Improvement Program efforts focus on:
- Protecting rights of the parties, while determining the best interests of the child
- Avoiding unnecessary separation of children and their families
- Reasonable efforts to enable a child’s return to the family, if removed
- When reunification is not possible, ascertaining the availability of alternative permanent homes for children
- Timely decision-making at court hearings
- Providing safety and permanence in the life of a child
- Acceptance of the judge’s leadership role
The 2021 Louisiana Court Improvement Program (CIP) Strategic Plan can be viewed here.
The Louisiana Court Improvement Program (CIP)/Children’s Advocacy Resource Effort (CARE) provides statewide guidance and assistance to a wide range of stakeholders in the child welfare system. This support includes:
- operating an online legal resource center containing legal materials and information, including contributions provided by practitioners around the state;
- maintaining online communication methods allowing stakeholders to collaborate with their respective colleagues; and
- facilitating positive court improvement efforts relating to ASFA and safety, permanency and well-being of children that enter the Louisiana judicial system.
The Children’s Law Advocacy Resources Online (CLARO) website will help to facilitate these services by providing an effective means of communication between and among organizations trying to improve child protection processes within Louisiana.
The Louisiana Court Improvement Program’s mission is to improve case outcomes for abused and neglected children by enhancing the quality of legal services they receive. The most important decisions about an abused or neglected child’s future are made in court. This website will help ensure that those decisions are the right ones for the child.
To download a brochure about Pelican Center for Children and Families and the Louisiana CIP program, click here.
The Louisiana Supreme Court CIP website section can be accessed at https://www.lasc.org/ChildrenFamilies.
The Pelican Center for Children and Families’ website can be accessed at https://pelicancenter.org.
The Together We Can Conference is a collaborative annual conference for all stakeholders in the child welfare arena. It is usually scheduled within the first week of November. For more information, go to http://www.latwc.org.