Yesterday, Monday, June 2, was the last day of Louisiana’s 2014 Legislative Session. With legislative politics set aside for another year, Louisiana’s 2015 gubernatorial race now begins in earnest.

Today, June 3, Louisiana United Methodist Children and Family Services releases the first in a series of child advocacy papers designed to draw the attention of Louisiana’s gubernatorial candidates toward significant issues related to Louisiana’s children and families. Each paper will address a matter which will require the active attention of Louisiana’s next governor.

The first paper, “Louisiana’s Children are Being Placed Out of State”, addresses the shortage of residential treatment services for children and adolescents. Without sufficient services available in Louisiana, children must be placed in treatment facilities located in other states.

An example of the service shortage: according to DHH/Mercer estimates, Louisiana requires 275 beds in at least 35 Therapeutic Group Homes located throughout the state so that services will be located close to families. Louisiana has only 16 beds in 2 Therapeutic Group Homes.

These advocacy papers will include specific questions for consideration by Louisiana’s 2015 gubernatorial candidates. The goal is to provide information to candidates about the issues significantly impacting Louisiana’s children and families. In this way, we believe Louisiana’s gubernatorial candidates will have opportunity to consider how, if elected, they will address the needs of children and families.

Download: Advocacy Paper 1 – Louisiana’s Children are Being Placed Out of State

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