There is no longer any excuse for ignoring Louisiana’s children. For anyone who has waited for the condition of Louisiana’s children to hit rock bottom before engaging in solutions, the wait is over. We are there.

The Times-Picayune article, “Louisiana is the worst state in the U.S. for children, report says“, by Danielle Dreilinger, provides information about a report released by the international children’s aid program, Save the Children.

Louisiana is the worst U.S. state for children, Save the Children reported … the international aid group measured five ‘childhood enders’ that cut (childhood) short.”

(If you doubt this, consider decades of child well-being and see how Louisiana has held tenaciously to the average rank of 49th in the nation. If Louisiana were a nation, we would be ranked behind 80 other nations for our infant mortality rate.)

Perhaps the saddest irony is that this was reported while Louisiana’s Legislature was engaged in its annual budget debate over how deeply to cut services Louisiana provides through the Department of Children and Family Services to abused and neglected children in the state’s custody. If Louisiana’s Legislature cannot resolve to provide properly for children removed from parents because of threats to their physical and emotional well-being, there may still be little hope that Louisiana will prioritize the well-being of all children.

There are no excuses.

Rick Wheat, President and Chief Executive Officer
Louisiana United Methodist Children and Family Services

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