In the Greater New Orleans region, there are 400 children in foster care on any given day.
Statewide, the number of foster care cases is on the rise. At the same time, state budget cuts have decreased the number of social workers available to handle these cases. As social workers experience an increase in case load, less time is available for recruiting and supporting foster families. The result is a deficit of suitable foster families in our region. Because of this deficit, social workers struggle to place kids. The deficit of suitable foster families means children in our region face unnecessary placement changes, separation from siblings, and for teens – placement in a group home.
WHAT WE DO
Recruit – In order to best serve vulnerable children in our community, Crossroads NOLA works to increase the number of suitable foster families by recruiting from within the faith community in New Orleans. We partner with local churches to distribute print materials and videos, and host educational events. We have developed tools such as a Heart Gallery – a photo display of children in Louisiana available for adoption. In addition to general recruiting, we recruit specifically to meet the greatest needs – foster homes in rural areas and foster homes for teens.
Develop – Once families have been recruited, Crossroads NOLA continues the process of developing them into certified foster parents. Through a partnership with Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home, Crossroads NOLA provides a state-required orientation and a social worker to guide the family through the certification paperwork and home study process.
Support – Foster parent support is a priority for us. Families who care for children in foster care have unique needs. We help provide stability for these vulnerable children by training and supporting the foster families who care for them. Through our partnership with LBCH, our families have access to a social worker who provides ongoing support and case management. In addition, we work with local churches to recruit volunteers and create the necessary structures needed to support foster families with services such as babysitting, respite care, prayer support, and logistical help. Crossroads NOLA also sponsors foster parent support groups, hosts parents’ night out, and offers other support-based events.
- Louisiana Department of Children & Family Services
- Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home
- Tulane Parent Education Program (TPEP)
- NOBTS Counseling Center
- Our Church Partners