KIDLINE now available 24 hours via phone & text; web chat also offered
Mar. 17, 2017
Parents, victims of child abuse, those who suspect a child is being abused and others who reach out to KIDLINE,
1-800-CHILDREN, can now access a counselor 24 hours a day, as well as have the option to text or chat with a counselor online.
Previously available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 1-800-CHILDREN is now answered around the clock by trained counselors. Texting is also available 24 hours at 225-424-1533, and web chat is offered from 2:30 to 8 p.m. at www.pcal.org/KIDLINE.
KIDLINE, a program of Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana, has been in operation for 20 years, but this is the first time the services have been expanded, according to PCA Louisiana Executive Director Amanda Brunson.
“We want parents in need of support or victims in distress to be able to access KIDLINE as easily as possible, which is why we’ve added these new capabilities,” said Brunson. “The goal is for a counselor to be there when needed, no matter how or when.”
Brunson also said that KIDLINE services are part of the agency’s mission to prevent child maltreatment before it begins.
“Child abuse prevention is making sure parents are supported and have the resources they need to adequately care for their children. KIDLINE offers that anonymously and confidentially, and is another way to ensure that Louisiana’s children have the best chance to grow up healthy and happy,” said Brunson.
A grant from the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement made the new services possible. The grant money also pays for counselors from the Crisis Intervention Center to answer KIDLINE.
“KIDLINE aims to reach parents where they are, and providing online emotional support through the text and chat features reaffirms our commitment to helping those who may be more comfortable reaching out through a non-verbal modality,” said Aaron Blackledge, executive director of the Crisis Intervention Center.
In the weeks to come, Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana will launch a new website that will include a searchable database with local resources for those who need help but are unsure where to find it.
“There are a lot of wonderful agencies across the state providing services, but often families don’t know how to access them,” noted Brunson. “This database will allow a struggling family in Many to find a local food bank, or an adult survivor of abuse in Dulac to access mental health services. Again, we’re trying to meet the needs of the callers where they are.”
Citizens are encouraged to reach out to KIDLINE for confidential emotional support, information on child development, positive discipline tips, resources for child abuse victims, information on local community services or information on Louisiana’s Safe Haven Law, which allows an unwanted infant up to 60 days old to legally be relinquished at a designated Safe Haven facility.
FREE day-long event for profesionals who work with children and families
ACEs to Action
Wednesday, Apr. 26
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Main Street Community Center
708 Main St.
*4 hours of continuing education credit have been approved by NASW-LA
Jan. 26, 2017
The new child maltreatment statistics for Louisiana were released last week. The number of victims increased to 12,631, and more than 85 percent of those cases were neglect.
Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana works to prevent child abuse before it occurs, so that no child suffers.
Be part of that revolution with us!
FREE day-long event for profesionals who work with children and families
ACEs to Action
Wednesday, Feb. 22
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
ULM Student Union Building -
*CEUs will be applied for through NASW-LA
Jan. 13, 2017
This FREE Summit is for anyone in the community who works with children and families. You’ll learn about adverse childhood experiences and trauma-informed care, then discuss ways to apply this new knowledge to helping the children you serve every day.
The day will begin with registration at 8:30 a.m. and "What is Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)?" at 9 a.m. Lunch will be provided as attendants screen the documentary Paper Tigers, which follows the efforts of leaders at an at-risk high school to use trauma-informed care to help their students. In the afternoon, a World Cafe discussion will help you take what you've learned and apply it to the work you do in the community.
Brought to you by Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana, the Children's Coalition for Northeast Louisiana and ULM's School of Behavioral & Social Sciences. Funding provided by the Beaird Family Foundation.
Summits will also be held in Shreveport and Alexandria in the coming months.
To register: http://conta.cc/2j7OO5F
Child abuse increases after natural disasters, studies show
KIDLINE, 1-800-CHILDREN, a resource for stressed parents
Oct. 10, 2016
Research shows that rates of child abuse increase anywhere from three months to one year following a natural disaster, and Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana is encouraging parents suffering from additional stress post-flood to call KIDLINE, 1-800-CHILDREN, to speak with a trained counselor if they need support.
KIDLINE is a toll-free, statewide helpline providing parenting information, crisis counseling, referrals to community resources, help for victims of child abuse and information on Louisiana's Safe Haven Law. The line is currently available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, but will move to 24 hours in January 2017 and will also include web chat and phone text capabilities.
"Natural disasters such as the recent flood we experienced cause us to lose not only our homes and cars, but also our routines and regular sources of support," said Amanda Brunson, executive director of Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana. "Add to that an increased feeling of powerlessness, and parents can become overwhelmed, which is why we want them to know that KIDLINE is a resource available to them."
Children are also experiencing more stress after the flood, but may not be able to verbally express it or process their emotions. This leads to reactions such as bed wetting, complaints of not feeling well and clinginess, which adds to a parent's stress level and increases the risk of maltreatment.
A study conducted in 2000 found that child physical, sexual and emotional abuse increased three, six and 11 months after Hurricane Hugo in South Carolina and the Loma Prieta Earthquake in California.(1) Another study found that intentional child traumatic brain injuries increased in the six months after Hurricane Floyd in North Carolina.(2)
"Knowing this information, we want to start this conversation now, when we're about two months out from the flood. We want parents to be aware of their own stress level and to take care of themselves, as well as take care of their children. And we're calling on everyone in the community who didn't flood to commit to watching out for their friends and neighbors who did," said Brunson.
(1) Curtis, T., Miller, B.C., Berry, E.H. (2000). Changes in reports and incidence of child abuse following natural disasters. Child Abuse & Neglect, 24(9), pp. 1151-1162.
(2) Keenan, H.T., Stephen, W. Marshall, S.W., Nocera, M.A., & Runyan, D.K. (2004). Increased incidence of inflected traumatic brain injury in children after a natural disaster. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 26(3), 189-193.
KIDLINE available to stressed parents as flood recovery begins
Aug. 22, 2016
From Executive Director Amanda Brunson:
As I write this, many parts of Louisiana are beginning the long road to recovery from the historic flooding we've recently experienced. Some parishes are still waiting for the waters to recede. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you during this trying time.
We want to remind you that KIDLINE, 1-800-CHILDREN
(1-800-244-5373) is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. If you're feeling overwhelmed by stress, need access to local resources or want to talk to someone about how to help your children deal with the loss, please feel free
to call this toll-free number and talk to a trained counselor.
We've also updated "By the Numbers: Helping Children Cope of All Ages Cope After a Disaster." This information provided by SAMSHA offers advice for helping children of different ages as they experience this event, as well as signs to look for that indicate they might be having trouble.
The Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations (LANO) has set up a Resources page on their website where nonprofits can network with each other and find resources and assistance to get them back up and running.
For individuals, the state's Emergency page has links to register for federal disaster assistance, as well as links to the Red Cross and state agencies. You can also register for the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) through the state Department of Children and Family Services.
Again, as we move forward to recovery, I wish you and your families the best. If this disaster has shown us anything, it's that the spirit of Louisiana's people is strong. We will continue to pull together until everyone is safe and sound.
Board of Directors announced for Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana
July 29, 2016
Karen Fournet, senior vice president of finance and operations for the Louisiana Lottery Corporation, has been named president of the Board of Directors for Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana.
Other officers are Vice President John Carmouche, a partner with Talbot, Carmouche and Marcello; Treasurer Brad Ewing, a registered representative with Altus Wealth Management, LLC; and Secretary Lana Crump, a partner with Kean Miller LLP.
The remaining members of the Board of Directors are Jayne Anderson, community volunteer; Ann Funes, community volunteer; Valerie Mayhall, senior scientist at Geosyntec Consultants; Edmund Redd, regional manager of the Central Gulf Coast with Vulcan Materials Company; and Dr. Roberta Vicari, chief of Our Lady of the Lake’s Pediatric Residency Program.
Newly trained presenters expand reach of child sex abuse prevention program
June 14, 2016
More adults across the state can learn how to better protect children from sexual abuse thanks to a project led by Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana in partnership with the Louisiana Children's Trust Fund and Child Advocacy Services.
Through a grant from the Louisiana Children's Trust Fund, Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana offered scholarships for 20 professionals and volunteers to be trained to lead Stewards of Children workshops. Darkness to Light's Stewards of Children is a child sexual abuse prevention program, usually conducted as a two-hour workshop, that has been proven to increase adults' knowledge, improve attitudes and change child-protective behaviors. Child Advocacy Services CEO Rob Carlisle led the trainings, which were held in May and June.
"It seems like every day you hear a news story about a child who has been a victim of sexual abuse, and that doesn't begin to take into account the victims who are too afraid to tell, which is why Stewards of Children is needed across the state," said Amanda Brunson, executive director of Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana. "We are grateful to the Children's Trust Fund not only for these scholarships, but also for allowing us to look at where there has been a gap in services and address the need."
|This map of Louisiana shows the parishes in green that have had four or less Stewards of Children workshops since 2007. PCA Louisiana is working to reach these underserved parishes through the newly trained presenters. (click on map to enlarge)|
As part of their scholarship agreements, the newly trained presenters have committed to hold at least four Stewards of Children workshops in the next 12 months and to target underserved portions of the state. According to data collected by Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana and analyzed by Dr. Molly McGraw, a geographer at Southeastern Louisiana University, half of the parishes in the state have had no more than four Stewards workshops offered in the last nine years.
Specificially, those underserved parishes are: Acadia, Allen, Beauregard, Caldwell, Cameron, Catahoula, Claiborne, De Soto, East Carroll, Evangeline, Franklin, Grant, Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Lafourche, La Salle, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Red River, Richland, Sabine, St. Helena, St. James,
St. Mary, Tensas, Terrebonne, Union, Webster, West Carroll and Winn.
"I hope this effort will reach adults in Louisiana who have not yet heard of Stewards of Children. Research shows that every adult trained through the program better protects 10 children from sexual abuse," said Brunson.
If your community group, church, school, nonprofit organization or business would like to host a Stewards of Children training in their community, go to www.d2l.org/Louisiana.
State employees donate nearly $5,500 to child abuse prevention efforts
June 3, 2016
Marketa Garner Walters, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services, presented a check worth more than $5,400 in employee donations to the Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana Board of Directors at their meeting Friday, June 3. DCFS employees choose to donate to the nonprofit organization each April, which is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and display pinwheels to raise awareness of the need for child abuse prevention.
“These donations mean so much because they come from the child welfare workers who see the effects of abuse every day, and who want to give because they truly know that child abuse must be prevented,” said Amanda Brunson, Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana executive director.
Secretary Walters also addressed the Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana Board of Directors about the current trends in child maltreatment, the DCFS restructuring recently signed into law and how budget cuts will affect the agency.
DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters (second from right) presents a check for more than $5,400 in employee donations to (from left): Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana Board Member Jayne Anderson, Board President Lana Crump, Executive Director Amanda Brunson and Board Treasurer Karen Fournet.
We're looking for KIDLINE volunteers!
May 19, 2016
Want to help parents, child abuse victims and other callers who are in need? Then become a trained KIDLINE counselor! The training takes place through the Crisis Intervention Center. Learn more about KIDLINE here; for more info about the CIC or to fill out the volunteer application, visit www.cicla.org. The deadline to apply for the summer training is Wednesday, June 8.
We had an incredible April! Take a look at our Child Abuse Prevention Month activities.
Executive Director Amanda Brunson and Madeline Howe with LSU Kappa Deltas appear on "2une In" to promote the KD's Jambalaya Sale at the St. Patrick's Day Parade and Child Abuse Prevention Month activities
Tuesday, March 8, 2016 WBRZ'-TV "2une In"
Executive Director Amanda Brunson makes media appearances to promote ACEs, ACE survey
Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016 107.3FM
Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016 WAFB-TV
PCA Louisiana offers ACE Survey to help adults address health issues
Counseling available if results indicate help is needed
Monday, Jan. 4, 2016
BATON ROUGE, La. – Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana offers important resources to help adults identify childhood experiences that researchers say contribute to later-in-life physical and mental health problems.
Residents can learn about adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, as well as resources to address physical and mental health issues. A confidential 10-question survey, which takes only a few minutes to complete, is also available. It determines a 0-10 ACE score based on the presence of childhood abuse or neglect, or household dysfunction such as exposure to violence, economic hardship or substance abuse.
PCA Louisiana Executive Director Amanda Brunson says the survey provides guidance rather than a diagnosis.
“ACE-related research shows that adverse childhood experiences affect us the rest of our lives, not just psychologically but physiologically,” says Brunson. “A child’s brain is literally changed by the stress of abuse and trauma. In later life, it can manifest in mental health issues like depression and addiction, and physical ailments such as heart disease and obesity.”
The survey was developed based on the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, a collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Kaiser Permanente’s Health Appraisal Clinic in San Diego. One of the largest investigations ever conducted into the connection between childhood maltreatment and health in later life, the study involved more than 17,000 patients examined from 1995 to 1997. To date, the research has led to more than 50 scientific articles and more than 100 scientific and medical presentations.
Brunson says the ACE survey could be especially helpful in Louisiana, which has some of the nation’s highest rates of health problems.
According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Louisiana ranks fourth among U.S. states with the highest number of overweight adults and children. In addition, a new United Health Foundation report lists Louisiana as the least healthy state in the country. Louisiana also has higher rates of diabetes, smoking and hypertension than national averages.
If the ACE survey indicates that issues are affecting a respondent’s health, PCA Louisiana provides a toll-free number, (800) 244-5373, for confidential emotional support.
“While an ACE score is insightful, PCA Louisiana’s larger role is shedding light on how our past influences our present and enabling residents to get help if it’s needed so the cycle does not continue with ourselves and our children,” Brunson says. “This helps move the conversation from, ‘What’s wrong with me?’ to ‘What kind of help is best for me?’”
VISTAs wanted to help promote the Family Nurturing Center!
Friday, Dec. 18, 2015
Are you interested in helping low-income families have increased access to prevention programs? We're currently seeking qualified AmeriCorps VISTAs with strong organizational, interpersonal and leadership skills to help us in the Lake Charles, Thibodaux and Lafayette regions. Find out more or apply today!
Family Nurturing Center webinar outlines program network
Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015
Family Nurturing Center Director Sheri Logg led a webinar Thursday, Oct. 29 to encourage Nurturing Parenting Program facilitators to become part of the FNC Network. Sheri also reviewed the Nurturing Parenting and Stewards of Children programs and shared upcoming training opportunities. View the webinar or visit our Family Nurturing Center page for more information.
Letters: Political candidates in Louisiana must be prepared to support child abuse issues
Printed in The Advocate, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015
The recent rash of child abuse and death cases in the media should serve as a wake-up call that we as a community, as a state, must pay attention to our children. This is important not only for their current welfare but for their well-being into adulthood and as they themselves become parents.
In the late 1990s, a study conducted at Kaiser Permanente found that children who encounter adverse childhood experiences have lifelong physical and behavioral health challenges. ACEs include: emotional, physical or sexual abuse; loss of a parent through divorce, death or incarceration; exposure to violence or experiencing hunger. As adults, these ACEs led to lost workdays, higher rates of cancer and stroke, increased incarceration rates and an upsurge in depression and suicide attempts.
We must care about early childhood development, because when we create healthier environments for all children, we’re promoting a healthier and more productive state and nation. When we invest in children, we don’t have to pay later as individuals or a society.
During this election season, when Louisianians are deciding who will lead our state for the next four years, it is important that we know where the candidates stand on supporting early child development and child protection. Are they willing to invest in our children now to have a brighter future for Louisiana? Do they understand the costs associated with doing nothing?
It is up to all of us to stand up and say that children must be protected and given the best opportunity to have a happy, healthy childhood.
executive director, Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana
Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana Board, Staff Member Chosen for New Training Program
Sept. 16, 2015
Dr. Roberta Vicari Sheri Hogg
Prevent Child Abuse (PCA) Louisiana Board Member Dr. Roberta Vicari and Family Nurturing Center Director Sheri Hogg have been chosen to participate in the inaugural Louisiana Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Educator Program, a joint project of the state Department of Health and Hospitals’ Bureau of Family Health and the Tulane Institute of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health.
The participants – a total of 28 chosen from a field of 74 candidates – will take part in an ACE Educator Training Series Thursday, Sept. 17 through Friday, Sept. 18 in Alexandria. Prerequisites for involvement included a demonstrated ability to train or teach adults and youth, commitment to developing as an educator and support from employer.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to have trained educators across Louisiana talking about the impact of the ACE study, and I’m so proud that Sheri and Dr. Vicari, one of our newest Board members, were chosen to be a part of it,” said Amanda Brunson, executive director of PCA Louisiana.
The Kaiser ACE Study links the short- and long-term effects of negative childhood experiences to a multitude of health and social problems encountered in adulthood. The participants will be instructed on the science of the ACE Study, the social dynamics related to adverse childhood experiences, adult learning and how to become a trained educator. Once trained, they must agree to present the ACE material at least twice within six months and to conduct a minimum of four presentations annually.
Roberta Vicari, MD, FAAP, is the associate program director of Our Lady of the Lake’s Pediatric Residency Program. She received her medical degree from Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans. She completed her residency in Pediatrics at Earl K. Long Hospital and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Vicari joined the PCA Louisiana Board of Directors in July 2015.
Sheri Hogg is the Family Nurturing Center director for Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana. Celebrating her 10th year at PCA Louisiana, she previously served as the Southwest Regional Director. Hogg has her Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Texas A&M University.
Find out more about the ACE Study.
Since 1986, Prevent Child Abuse (PCA) Louisiana has been dedicated to accomplishing our mission: preventing the abuse and neglect of our state's children. From help with potty training to keeping kids safe from sexual abuse, PCA Louisiana supports parents and children through intensive, evidence-based programs and community-based education.