The Louisiana Institute for Children in Families (LICF) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to raising awareness about the needs of children without families, and removing policy barriers that prevent children from knowing the love and support of a "forever family."
Through three distinct programs, we connect child welfare service providers, policy makers and political & community leaders with those who are directly impacted by child welfare policy, all in an effort to improve outcomes for families.
Our vision is a world in which every child knows the love and support of a family.
There are many collaborative efforts across Louisiana and around the country to improve the lives of foster youth, but the fact remains that roughly 250 kids in Louisiana and 25,000 kids nationally "age out" of our foster system each year. For this reason, we have convened a regional coalition of like-minded advocates to mobilize around a common agenda of better connecting foster children with permanent, loving, families in the NOLA-BR region. Our group piloted the first state chapter of CCAI in an effort to provide greater strategy and stronger focus to securing nurturing families for all Louisiana foster children, whether it be through reunification, kinship care, or adoption.
The Louisiana Institute of Children in Families’ Foster Youth Intern Program is an effort to make a difference in the life of a child who spent time in the foster care system while simultaneously making a tremendous impact on the future of child welfare in Louisiana. Through an internship with a legislative member, legislative committee or state agency, LICF engages policymakers at the highest levels of state government on the unique challenges and issues surrounding life in foster care.
Going beyond a meaningful personal and professional enrichment experience for the intern, state policymakers who participate in our discussions are shown firsthand the experiences of youth in foster care. The desired result is a new awareness and call to action to deploy their new knowledge to inspire legislative change and to grow advocates for improving the foster care system in Louisiana.
Effecting positive change for children in need of safe, loving and permanent families is a critical mission of the Louisiana Institute of Children in Families. LICF’s Legislative Resource Program directly engages policymakers on key issues in the child welfare arena through education and policy support.
Through multiple policy sessions, legislative briefings, and sharing key data and information from child welfare organizations in our state and nation, the Legislative Resource Program empowers legislators and other policy makers with access to the most current, relevant and meaningful body of work to support improvements in the laws, policies and procedures used in foster care and adoption in Louisiana.
The LICF Legislative Resource Program is not a one way street. In addition to providing information to legislators, the program enables dialogue and idea exchange on very complex issues with experts in the fields of attachment, early childhood brain development, trauma informed care, permanency, aging out of care, and many others.
In October of 2015, Representative Walt Leger and Senator Ronnie Johns agreed to form and co-chair an informal, bipartisan, bicameral Adoption and Foster Care Caucus in the Louisiana Legislature.
At any given time in Louisiana, there are over 4,000 children in our foster care system. These are children who have been abused or neglected by those who are supposed to love them, and the State of Louisiana has stepped in, in an effort to protect them. But, so often, the needs of these children go unmet, and they suffer numerous foster care placements, some aging out of care with no family to call their own. These children have no lobbyists and no ability to scream for help for themselves, their families, their case workers or their foster parents.
With this knowledge and understanding, Representative Leger and Senator Johns began working with a committed group of stakeholders who have come together to form The Louisiana Institute for Children in Families (LICF). This non-profit was designed to bring policymakers together with individuals who have direct foster care or adoption experiences.
Through these interactions, legislators see the faces of those affected by orphan and child welfare policy, compelling them to become more engaged in the issue and work to bring about sustainable change.
LICF believes that there are no unwanted children, only unfound families. Each child in Louisiana deserves the right to a permanent, loving family, and the Adoption and Foster Care Caucus was formed to work for this cause.