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Thursday, July 24, 2014
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Informer: Hotline takes reports of child abuse, neglect

Last Modified: Saturday, July 27, 2013 8:31 PM

By Andrew Perzo / American Press

Who do I contact to report abuse or neglect of children?

Call the state Department of Children and Family Services’ 24-hour child abuse hotline at 855-452-5437.

“Each report received by the hotline goes through a multi-level quality assurance process to determine whether it meets the criteria for a child protection investigation and how quickly the investigation needs to be initiated,” DCFS Secretary Suzy Sonnier said in a news release issued Friday.

“This ensures that all reports of abuse across the state are evaluated by the same standards and urgency.”

Under Children’s Code Article 1003, “abuse” refers to any of the following:

“The infliction or attempted infliction, or, as a result of inadequate supervision, the allowance or toleration 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.”

“The involvement of the child in any sexual act with a parent or any other person, or the aiding or toleration by the parent or the caretaker of the child’s sexual involvement with any other person or of the child’s involvement in pornographic displays, or any other involvement of a child in sexual activity constituting a crime under the laws of this state.”

The law defines “neglect” as “the refusal or 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.”

The provision makes allowances for parents who choose to forgo medical care for their children in favor of “a well-recognized religious method of healing which has a reasonable, proven record of success.”

But it notes that “nothing herein shall prohibit the court from ordering medical services for the child when there is substantial risk of harm to the child’s health or welfare.”

According to the DCFS news release, 95,457 of the 200,000 or so calls the hotline has gotten between its launch nearly two years ago and May “met the criteria for child abuse intake, and were further evaluated as reports of child abuse or neglect.”

Online: www.dcfs.louisiana.gov.



Charter trustees get no compensation

Do Gene Thibodeaux and the other members of the charter school board of trustees receive salaries?

No.

As per the bylaws of both charter schools’ governing foundations, board members receive no compensation, but they do get reimbursed for “reasonable expenses” related to travel, Thibodeaux said.

Online: www.lakecharlescharter.org; http://swlouisianacharter.org.

• • •

The Informer answers questions from readers each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. It is researched and written by Andrew Perzo, an American Press staff writer. To ask a question, call 494-4098, press 5 and leave voice mail, or email informer@americanpress.com

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