Harvey survivors head home to Texas
Posted on 9/6/2017 5:30:00 AM.

Hurricane Harvey survivors sheltering in Louisiana are heading back home, as the Department of Children and Family Services is closing the shelters in both Shreveport and Alexandria. Secretary Marketa Garner Walters says Texas authorities are ready to welcome residents back to the Lone Star State.
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Marketa Garner Walters, DCFS, Hurricane Harvey, shelter

DCFS opens second state run shelter to house Texas flood victims
Posted on 9/1/2017 6:14:00 PM.
Michelle Southern reporting. 
The Department of Children and Family Services says they’ve decided to open a second mega-shelter in the state for Texas flood victims, this time in Shreveport. DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters says they’re also taking care of nearly 2000 Lone Star State residents in Alexandria.
Department of Children and Family Services, shelter, Marketa Garner Walters, #Harvey, Texas, flood

Audit uncovers shortcomings in foster care program
Posted on 8/14/2017 12:01:00 PM.

An audit of the state’s foster care program unveiled some not-so-surprising shortcomings. Karen Leblanc with the legislative auditor’s office says they found not all foster care providers had the required criminal background checks. They either had no check, or they were not completed in a timely manner.
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Karen Leblanc, Marketa Garner Walters, DCFS, foster care

First Lady Edwards launches program to support foster parents
Posted on 8/11/2017 12:06:00 PM.

Louisiana foster parents can find support thanks to a new website launched by First Lady Donna Edwards. LouisianaFosters.La.Gov connects parents with businesses, church groups and nonprofits to help meet the child’s needs. 
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Donna Edwards, Marketa Garner Walters, Louisiana Fosters, DCFS

DCFS launches initiative to improve foster care system
Posted on 7/22/2017 9:17:00 AM.

The Department of Children and Family Services launches a program aimed at improving the foster care system. On any given day, there are more than 4,000 Louisiana children in foster care. DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters says they want to raise expectations for foster parents and caregivers through the new Quality Parenting Initiative.
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Marketa Garner Walters, Redna Hodnett, DCFS, Quality Parenting Initiative

Department heads urge lawmakers not to cut their budgets
Posted on 5/3/2017 5:43:00 AM.

Leaders of state agencies are urging lawmakers not to cut their budgets, as the spending plan heading to the House floor is $237 million less than the governor’s budget proposal. The Louisiana Department of Health is facing a $235 million cut. Secretary Rebekah Gee says that means programs like school-based health centers, Zika defenses, and in-patient psychiatric treatment would be eliminated.
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Rebekah Gee, Marketa Garner Walters, Jimmy LeBlanc, budget

DCFS: Baby found in trashcan to remain in state care
Posted on 12/28/2016 5:33:00 PM.

The Department of Children and Family Services says the baby who was discovered in a Walmart trashcan will remain in state care. DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters says baby Oliva will be placed in foster care for the time being, while they assess family members who could provide long term care for the child.
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Marketa Garner Walters, DCFS, Baby Olivia, Kyandrea Thomas

DCFS announces Louisiana broke record for number of children adopted in a year
Posted on 12/7/2016 1:48:00 AM.

Louisiana broke the state’s record for the number of foster children adoptions within a year. 735 children were adopted by 532 families between October of 2015 and September of 2016.
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DCFS, Marketa Garner Walters, foster children, adoption

DCFS receivers federal approval for second month of D-SNAP benefits
Posted on 10/11/2016 5:16:00 AM.

The Department of Children and Family Services has received federal approval for a second month of disaster food assistance for the 11 parishes most heavily impacted by the August flooding. DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters says anyone who received aid last month will automatically have their card reloaded this month.

D-SNAP, The Great Flood 2016, DCFS, Marketa Garner Walters

DCFS launches Quality Parenting Initiative
Posted on 8/11/2016 11:49:00 AM.

The Department of Children and Family Services is launching an initiative to improve foster care by redefining the role of caregivers. DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters says Louisiana has strong confidentiality laws, but we often misinterpret who we need to be confidential with. She says the Quality Parenting Initiative is about having everybody on the same page.
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DCFS, Marketa Garner Walters, QPI

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