Prevent Child Abuse in Louisiana
What is child abuse and neglect in Louisiana?
The Louisiana Children’s Code provides the following definitions of abuse and neglect by a parent or caretaker:
“Abuse” means any one of the following acts which seriously endanger the physical, mental, or emotional health and safety of the child:
The infliction, attempted infliction, or, as a result of inadequate supervision, the allowance of the infliction or attempted infliction of physical or mental injury upon the child by a parent or any other person.
The exploitation or overwork of a child by a parent or any other person, including but not limited to commercial sexual exploitation of the child.
The involvement of the child in any sexual act with a parent or any other person, or the aiding or toleration by the parent, caretaker, or any other person of the child’s involvement in any of the following:
Any sexual act with any other person.
Any sexual activity constituting a crime under the laws of this state.
- A coerced abortion conducted upon a child.
- Female genital mutilation as defined by R.S. 14:43.4.
“Neglect” means the refusal or unreasonable failure of a parent or caretaker to supply the child with necessary food, clothing, shelter, care, treatment, or counseling for any injury, illness, or condition of the child, as a result of which the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health and safety is substantially threatened or impaired. Neglect includes prenatal neglect.
According to the Child Welfare League of America, there were 10,356 victims of abuse or neglect in
Louisiana, a rate of 9.3 per 1,000 children in 2017. Of these children, 85.9% were neglected, 15.2%
were physically abused, and 5.2% were sexually abused.
Who is a mandated reporter according to LA state requirements?
The following individuals performing their occupational duties are mandatory reporters in LA:
“Health practitioner” is any individual who provides health care services, including a physician, surgeon, physical therapist, dentist, resident, intern, hospital staff member, podiatrist, chiropractor, licensed nurse, nursing aide, dental hygienist, any emergency medical technician, paramedic, optometrist, medical examiner, or coroner who diagnoses, examines, or treats a child or his family.
“Mental health/social service practitioner” is any individual who provides mental health care or social services diagnosis, assessment, counseling, or treatment, including a psychiatrist, psychologist, marriage or family counselor, social worker, member of clergy, aide, or other individual who provides counseling services to a child or his family.
“Member of the clergy” is any priest, rabbi, duly ordained clerical deacon or minister, Christian Science practitioner, or other similarly situated functionary of a religious organization unless not required to report a confidential communication as defined in the Code of Evidence Article 511.
“Teaching or child care provider” is any person who provides or assists in the teaching, training and supervision of a child, including any public or private school teacher, teacher’s aide, instructional aide, school principal, school staff member, bus driver, coach, professor, technical or vocational instructor, technical or vocational school staff member, college or university administrator, college or university staff member, social worker, probation officer, foster home parent, group home or other child care institution staff member, personnel of a residential home facilities, a licensed or unlicensed daycare provider, or any individual who provides such services to a child in a voluntary or professional capacity.
Police officers or law enforcement officials.
“Commercial film and photographic print processor” is any person who develops exposed photographic film into negatives, slides, or prints, or who makes prints from negatives or slides for compensation.
“Mediators” appointed pursuant to Children’s Code, Chapter 6 of Title IV.
“Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)” is any CASA volunteer under the supervision of a CASA program appointed pursuant to Chapter 4 of Title IV.
“Organizational or Youth Activity Provider” is any person who provides organized activities for children, including administrators, employees, or volunteers of any day camp, summer camp, youth center, or youth recreation programs or any other organization that provides organized activities for children.
“Coach” is any school coach including but not limited to public technical or vocational school, community college, college or university coaches and coaches of intramural or interscholastic athletics.
Mandated reporters must create an LCWTA eLearning account to access the mandatory reporter online training.
How do I report child abuse in Louisiana?
You can report child abuse and neglect that requires immediate attention by calling the toll-free 27/7 DCFS Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline at 855-4LA-KIDS (855-452-5437).
To report alleged abuse/neglect that does not require immediate assistance, you may fill out the Mandated Reporter Form online. (DCFS recommends using the Google Chrome web browser to access the online form.)
DCFS Centralized Intake
P.O. Box 3318
Baton Rouge, LA 70821
How do I get free online child abuse training for my organization?
Use the code STAYSAFE to enroll in Creating Safe Environments for Organizations, a free online training class. Leaders in organizations use this free online course to explore child abuse prevention best practices and help prevent child abuse in Louisiana.
How do I get online child abuse training for myself?
How do I contact the LA Department of Children and Family Services?
Contact the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services
Disclaimer: Please ensure the information and courses meet requirements for your organization and circumstances and align with what your state Department of Children and Family Services requires. The state requirements and child abuse and human trafficking statistics listed on this page are current as of May 13th, 2021 to meet the best information available. State requirements may change and it is your responsibility to know your state mandated reporter requirements and the process for online child abuse prevention training. Compass Child Protection Training can not guarantee acceptance by your school, organization, or state Department of Children and Family Services . If there is a child abuse emergency, call 911 immediately.