1,200 Children Impacted by Foster Care in Livingston Parish
Livingston Parish has had a shortage of foster families for years. Livingston Parish News reported on the issue in 2011, and in 2014, data from DCFS placed Livingston as one of the Parishes with the highest number of children in state custody. The 2016 flood exacerbated the problem further by displacing families. With the distraction of flood recovery, more children than ever were left out of a stable home environment as current and potential foster parents dealt with rebuilding their homes.
Awareness of the issue within the parish is the first step in giving Livingston Parish children the care they need. That awareness was tackled by the Leadership Livingston Project Team - Foster Care Awareness.
The project effort can be found in the Leadership Livingston project group. We encourage you to take a few minutes to watch what they learned and how they championed the project. Denham Springs Chief of Police Womack, James Adam McCants, Kacie Stewart, Patti Kline, Cory Landry, Jessica Canning, Betty Boney.
In addition to themoving awareness campaign, the group set up meetings with DCFS and CASA to determine how they could best serve the foster care community.
They decided to partner with local organizations like The Foster Care Village, a new nonprofit that accepts donations to equip families to care for foster children, and help them get the word out at EXPO. They also scheduled a mock trial to educate people about what CASA does and how it works. They organized a mentoring event and invited children aging out of care to join a round table discussion. Finally, the Denham Springs Police Department opened up its classroom for mandatory training that foster families have not been able to attend in the Parish since the 2016 flood. Classes will resume this fall.