How Are Our Children Doing?


A Debut of the Called to Care Report

Nearly 100 Louisiana social workers gathered on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 for a debut of Called to Care—CYPB’s report on childhood trauma ordered by New Orleans City Council in 2018. By rallying direct providers around this powerful playbook, together we are pushing back on alarming statistics and towards a vision of New Orleans where children heal, thrive, and meet their potential.

This event overlapped with the National Association of Social Workers (NASW-LA) New Orleans regional meeting. A panel discussion was facilitated by our Childhood Trauma Task Force Co-Chairs, Reverend Torin Sanders, PhD and Dr. Denese Shervington, who recently testified before Congress at the first-ever hearing on childhood trauma.

The discussion kicked off with a screening of The Children of Central City, the multi-part, Times-Picayune series that generated a lot of buzz and served as a catalytic project in exposing the prevalence of youth trauma in New Orleans. Journalist Richard Webster and Phyllis Wheatley Community School teacher Brennan Jacques, who lost two brothers to gun violence and was featured in the series, participated in the panel discussion to share their intentions, experiences, and expectations for how to move forward.

“We need to utilize our programs and resources, and they need to be on every corner. I know it will work for other kids because it worked for me.”
– Brennan Jacques, Phyllis Wheatley Community School Teacher

The issues are complex. The solution will take the entire community. At home, school, and in our neighborhoods, there should be someone who is trauma-informed and prepared behind every doorway that a child passes through. Called to Care is the roadmap for how to get there.

Advancing the Journey

Called to Care intentionally includes not only expert recommendations but also a robust blueprint for their application. However, following a 2017, state-level budget cut of $49M to behavioral health services, the dedication of local funding and the creation of strong partnerships remains a crucial requisite for the plan’s implementation. Institute for Mental Hygiene has dedicated $55,000 to support Called to Care advocacy efforts, and Baptist Community Ministries has pledged $125,000 towards the implementation of its key elements.

Turn Your Compassion Into Action

Pledge your commitment to the Called to Care mission. Volunteer for actionable next steps and champion better outcomes for New Orleans’ 78,000 children.

I commit to building capacity in people, organizations, systems, and communities to help us better understand and more effectively serve children and families impacted by stress and adversity.