My Community Cares: A Multitiered, Multidisciplinary, and Neighborhood-Driven Approach to Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect

Written by the Honorable John C. Davidson, 9th Judicial District Court, Alexandria, LA, and Michelle Gros, J.D., special projects coordinator, Pelican Center for Children and Families and Louisiana Court Improvement Program

Parents with lived experience with the child welfare system are informing and codesigning prevention efforts in four Louisiana parishes (Caddo, East Baton Rouge, Livingston, and Rapides). They are being asked, “What would have helped prevent the child welfare agency from getting involved with your family?”

Two parents replied with the following:

“Before they went and just took my kids, I just needed someone to sit down with me and help me problem solve how to get out of the cycle of poverty, substance abuse, and depending on the government and get my life on track so that I could care for my kids.”
“Resources are hidden in the community even though there seems to be a lot out there. If you’re lucky enough to find one, you either don’t have transportation to get there or aren’t bad enough off yet to be eligible. I wish I would have had something like a CASA for parents before my kids were taken from me. Someone who could relate to me and help me find what I needed to have a good home for my kids.” Children’s Bureau Express CLICK HERE

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