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BATON ROUGE, LA, August 25, 2021 - The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Child Support Enforcement (CSE) program has been awarded a grant of $998,778 for a new initiative to improve the overall achievement of the state's youth by educating them on the financial, legal and emotional responsibilities of parenthood.
DCFS was one of nine child support agencies in the nation to receive a grant from the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to develop programs under the three-year demonstration Charting a Course for Economic Mobility and Responsible Parenting - Cohort 2.
"OCSE is committed to helping parents take care of their children, both financially and emotionally," said Linda Boyer, Acting Commissioner of OCSE. "One way we can help parents be the providers their children need is by helping youth and young adults prepare for parenthood. These projects support state and tribal innovations to help a new generation of parents understand and navigate the rights, realities, and responsibilities."
"This initiative provides a great opportunity for us to educate our youth on the difficulties young parents can experience and the impact these decisions can have on their futures," said DCFS Assistant Secretary for Family Support Shavana Howard. "We are grateful to OCSE for funding this program around the state and look forward to seeing the positive impact education about the child support system can have on our youth."
DCFS CSE's new Educate, Stimulate, Graduate Initiative (ESGI) will help teens and young adults gain the knowledge, skills and access to resources likely to lead to success in their pursuit of life goals, economic mobility and responsible parenting.
Partnering with Louisiana State University and Southern University New Orleans, ESGI will work with university students to serve as peer educators in 8-weeklong programs for teens on the benefits of delayed parenthood. Discussions will focus on the challenges and hardships young parents face and educate them on the services provided by the Child Support Enforcement program.
ESGI will also partner with community-based organizations to reach youths who are already disconnected from education and provide ongoing support through the program to promote economic mobility, build healthy relationship skills, teach parenting skills, reduce unplanned pregnancies, prevent relationship violence and enhance life skills.
The first year of this three-year initiative will be devoted to refining the program design, evaluation plans and curricula; formalizing collaborative partnerships with public and private agencies serving teens and young adults; and pilot testing. Years two and three will be devoted to implementing, tracking, evaluating and refining program activities.
For more information about Louisiana's Child Support Enforcement program, visit www.dcfs.la.gov/cse.
For additional information about the OCSE grant, including a full list of awardees, visit www.acf.hhs.gov/css/grants/current-grants/responsible-parenting.