Be the Difference for Youth in Foster Care
The Department of Children and Family Services hopes more families will make a difference in 2022 by becoming foster caregivers for youth in the State’s custody.
There are approximately 800 Louisiana teens in foster care on any given day. These youth account for 1 in 4 of the total population of children in Louisiana foster care. Only 6% of the State’s current foster families provide homes specifically for teens. When there aren’t enough families available for teens, it means teens must leave their schools, friends, activities, and communities. It means disconnection and instability at a time in their lives when young people most need consistency and support.
Fostering a teen in your community will help ensure stability for that young person as they continue to grow and develop. You can encourage and build the solid and supportive relationship they need to reach their fullest potential.
Foster caregivers can also support biological parents of teens by working together through Quality Parenting. The Quality Parenting Initiative focuses on caregivers, agency staff, and birth parents working as a team to support children and youth. When parents and caregivers work together in the best interest of children and youth, we see much more excellent outcomes, including more timely permanency and less re-entry into the foster care system.
You can be the bridge between a youth’s present and future. You can be their difference.
DCFS provides ongoing support and training to equip foster caregivers to meet the needs of youth in their care and reimbursement towards the costs of the teen’s clothing, food, and a medical card to cover the costs of doctors, prescriptions, and therapy.
And thanks to the support of Rep. Michael T. Johnson and others in the Legislature, that financial support for foster caregivers is even greater. For the first time in more than a decade, the State increased the board rate paid to foster caregivers this past year – by about 25%, from an average daily rate of $15.20 to $19. The last increase had been in 2007.
Rep. Johnson, R-Pineville, led the charge on the amendment to House Bill 1 that included the raises and made sure his fellow legislators understood the importance of the increase and what it would cover.
Louisiana Fosters also connects foster caregivers to resources and supports in their communities.
To learn more about how you can become a foster caregiver for youth, visit www.louisianafosters.la.gov.