Mental Health Advocacy Service
Child Advocacy Program (CAP)
627 North Fourth Street, Suite 1-322
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802
Telephone: (800) 428-5432
Email: [email protected]
Does not use volunteer attorneys
The Child Advocacy Program (CAP) is a program within the State of Louisiana Mental Health Advocacy Service (MHAS). CAP attorneys are appointed by the Court to represent abused, neglected and at-risk children in Child In Need of Care (CINC) proceedings who have been removed from their homes and/or families, and are in the custody of the State through the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). They also represent children who have not been removed from their families, but who are part of a CINC proceeding in which involvement in family services through DCFS is court ordered. MHAS/CAP has offices in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles, New Orleans, Mandeville, Pineville, Shreveport and Livingston and represents children in 11 judicial districts which include 19 Parish District Courts and 6 City Courts.
CAP employs full-time attorneys with no outside practice allowed. The attorneys are trained to take a holistic approach to the representation of children. That is, what happens in court is only one part of what is happening in that child’s life. The child could be facing difficulties obtaining an appropriate education or getting appropriate services. The behavioral health expertise of the staff is particularly helpful because many of the children have behavioral health needs. Staff attorneys receive extensive training on these and other issues that occur outside of the courtroom. CAP attorneys attend Family Team Meetings, permanency planning staffings, IEPs (individualized education plan), ISC (interagency service coordination) meetings and quarterly residential treatment team meetings. The network of offices around the state makes it possible to maintain continuous contact with a child; CAP staff where the child is placed stay in contact with the child. Over one third of the attorneys have obtained their Child Welfare Law Specialist Certification from the NACC.
Transforming Juvenile Justice Program-Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights
1100-B Milton St.
New Orleans, LA 70122
Telephone: (504) 658-6860
Email: [email protected]
The Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights (LCCR) represents over 90% of children in the city who come into contact with the juvenile justice system. LCCR provides each child with a holistic team – a lawyer, social worker, investigator, and youth advocate – to address both the causes and consequences of an arrest. LCCR also represents the majority of children in Louisiana who are facing or serving life without parole sentences, which the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled unconstitutional in all but the rarest cases. The Transforming Juvenile Justice Program works toward a transformed juvenile justice system that is safe, smart, cost-effective, and fair. The program fights for kids in local government and organizes the Louisiana Youth Justice Coalition to advocate for them at the state legislature.
Southeast Louisiana Legal Services
1340 Poydras St., Suite 600
New Orleans, LA 70112
Telephone: (504) 529-1000
Does use volunteer attorneys
Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS) has offices in Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond, Harvey, Houma, and New Orleans. SLLS provides free legal services for all ages, including children, focusing on areas such as domestic violence, children in the courtroom, housing, medical, and more.