Special Emphasis: Louisiana is Creating Ombudsman Services for Children
Child advocacy works! On June 7, 2023, Louisiana’s Legislature passed Senator Regina Barrow’s bill (SB137), creating the Louisiana Office of the State Child Ombudsman. This new office will open in January 2024 and have people who will hear the complaints of parents and caregivers about Louisiana’s services for children. Until now, Louisiana has lacked what most states have: an objective state official who hears, resolves, and reports on the complaints of children and parents related to state services for children. Creating an Office of Children’s Ombudsman is a significant step forward in creating Louisiana’s child well-being infrastructure.
An ombudsman is an independent official who investigates and resolves complaints made by members of the public about government agencies or organizations. Louisiana’s Children’s Ombudsman will investigate and resolve legitimate complaints made by or on behalf of Louisiana’s children and families about the services they do (or do not receive) from state agencies. To ensure the Ombuds’ independence, the Legislature placed the Office of State Child Ombudsman in the Office of the Louisiana Legislative Auditor.
Learn more about the work to create an Office of Children’s Ombudsman at our child advocacy website, LouisianaChildAdvocacy.com.
Louisiana’s Children Need Strong Advocates
Worse than the effects of coastal erosion on our state’s future is the relentless erosion of childhood in Louisiana. The erosion of children destroys lives today and damages Louisiana’s future.
Throughout Louisiana’s history, our children have lagged the nation. Compared to the persistent abrasion of their well-being, restoration efforts have not kept up.
Louisiana’s children who have no voice, no political sway, and not authority of their own, require strong advocates who engage in work to stop the erosion of child well-being in every area of their lives. Louisiana’s children need YOU!
Surprised? Louisiana Child Death Rate from Assault is More Than Twice the National Average
2021-02-15: Download first fact sheet in new series: “Louisiana, Is This Who We Want to Be? Child Deaths by Assault“.
From 1999 to 2019, Louisiana’s child death rate from assault, 4.6 per 100,000, was more than two times the national average of 2.11.
KIDS COUNT? Yes. But Do They Count in Louisiana?
Looking for a handy report of more than three decades of annual headlines about Louisiana’s rank in the KIDS COUNT Data Books? For more than 30 years, Louisiana’s newspapers have faithfully reported our state’s annual rank for child well-being. KIDS COUNT? Yes. But Do They Count in Louisiana?: An Historical Bibliography of Louisiana Newspaper Headlines Regarding Annual KIDS COUNT Reports Since 1990, released by the Child and Family Advocacy arm of Louisiana United Methodist Children and Family Services, reports that the well-being of Louisiana’s children is – and has been – public knowledge.
Alarming Facts About Louisiana’s Children
Why Louisiana’s Children Need Adults to Speak on Their Behalf
Louisiana’s children (23.4% of Louisiana’s citizens) are without a public voice of their own. Children cannot vote, have no political voice, do not make political contributions, and have no legal standing as adults do. Louisiana does not have an Office of Child Ombudsman.
Consequently, children’s needs are easily ignored.
The consequences of inattention to children’s needs have harmed repeated generations of Louisiana’s citizens.
Ranked 48th in the nation on child well-being in 2020, Louisiana’s children need strong advocates. Louisiana’s children need you! Join us in our work of advocacy which seeks to build and sustain a sense of urgency in Louisiana about the well-being of our state’s children.
Louisiana’s Children Lack an Ombudsman
Are you aware that Louisiana has no Children’s Ombudsman Office?
Did you know concerns on behalf of Louisiana’s children (ranked 49th in the nation for child well-being) are not systematically collected, evaluated, or reported to our Legislature or to the public?
Unfortunately, Louisiana lacks what most states do possess.
Louisiana does not have a Children’s Ombudsman Office to impartially address complaints about government actions or provide our elected officials with the information they require to make wise decisions on behalf of our children and families.
An ombudsmen as “an independent, impartial public official with authority and responsibility to receive, investigate or informally address complaints about government actions, and, when appropriate, make findings and recommendations, and publish reports.”
A Children’s Ombudsman Office is not a new concept. In fact, the National Conference of State Legislatures provides guidance to states interested in doing right by their children and has published a very helpful introduction to Children’s Ombudsman Offices.
The information from the National Conference of State Legislatures is at: