DCFS launches Safe Haven Facility Locator website to prevent newborn abandonment
Posted on 10/17/2017 3:22:00 AM.

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  louisianasafehaven.com to find a place where they can give up a child less than 60 days old.
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DCFS, Safe Haven, Mona Michelli

DCFS: Number of babies exposed to drugs in the womb triples from 2008 to 2016
Posted on 9/20/2017 12:12:00 PM.

The State Department of Children and Family Services reports that the number of babies born in Louisiana who are exposed to alcohol and drugs while in the womb has tripled from 2008 to 2016. Assistant Secretary for Child Welfare Rhenda Hodnett says last year, that number reached nearly 1,700.
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DCFS, Rhenda Hodnett, substance abuse, newborns

DCFS receives grant to increase child welfare workers
Posted on 9/19/2017 11:06:00 AM.

The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services has received a grant to increase the number of child welfare workers. DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters says her staff has decreased by 600 employees over the last 10 years and this is an opportunity to address the high turnover rate.
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DCFS, grant, child welfare

Harvey survivors head home to Texas
Posted on 9/6/2017 5:30:00 AM.

Hurricane Harvey survivors sheltering in Louisiana are heading back home, as the Department of Children and Family Services is closing the shelters in both Shreveport and Alexandria. Secretary Marketa Garner Walters says Texas authorities are ready to welcome residents back to the Lone Star State.
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Marketa Garner Walters, DCFS, Hurricane Harvey, shelter

DCFS announces $530K in child support payments made through MoneyGram this year
Posted on 8/21/2017 10:40:00 AM.

The Department of Children and Family Services announces over half a million dollars of child support payments have been paid through MoneyGram in the first six months of the year. Child Support Enforcement Director Lydia Scales says they’ve seen an increase in participation after allowing electronic payments.
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Lydia Scales, DCFS, MoneyGram, child support

Audit uncovers shortcomings in foster care program
Posted on 8/14/2017 12:01:00 PM.

An audit of the state’s foster care program unveiled some not-so-surprising shortcomings. Karen Leblanc with the legislative auditor’s office says they found not all foster care providers had the required criminal background checks. They either had no check, or they were not completed in a timely manner.
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Karen Leblanc, Marketa Garner Walters, DCFS, foster care

First Lady Edwards launches program to support foster parents
Posted on 8/11/2017 12:06:00 PM.

Louisiana foster parents can find support thanks to a new website launched by First Lady Donna Edwards. LouisianaFosters.La.Gov connects parents with businesses, church groups and nonprofits to help meet the child’s needs. 
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Donna Edwards, Marketa Garner Walters, Louisiana Fosters, DCFS

DCFS launches initiative to improve foster care system
Posted on 7/22/2017 9:17:00 AM.

The Department of Children and Family Services launches a program aimed at improving the foster care system. On any given day, there are more than 4,000 Louisiana children in foster care. DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters says they want to raise expectations for foster parents and caregivers through the new Quality Parenting Initiative.
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Marketa Garner Walters, Redna Hodnett, DCFS, Quality Parenting Initiative

DCFS advises parents of water safety during summer months
Posted on 7/6/2017 4:16:00 AM.

A two-year-old boy is now the fourth child to die in a rash of drownings in Tangipahoa Parish. The state Department of Children and Family Services is advising parents about water safety during the summer months. Mona Michelli with the DCFS Division of Child Welfare says this is a time to be vigilant.
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DCFS, Mona Michelli, drowning, water safety

DCFS encourages residents to pre-register for disaster food stamps
Posted on 6/14/2017 3:13:00 AM.

The Department of Children and Family Services encourages Louisiana residents to pre-register for disaster food stamps in preparation for hurricane season. Kim Matherne with DCFS says pre-registering gets your information in the system and makes things move smoother following a disaster.
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Kim Matherne, DCFS, DSNAP, hurricane season, food stamps

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