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Child abuse and neglect is a leading factor in the staggeringly high rates of child mortality in Louisiana. In 2017, Louisiana had 44,793 total referrals for child abuse and neglect of which 19,851 were investigated (CWLA, 2019). Child abuse and neglect can have multiple detrimental effects on a child’s physical, psychological, and behavioral health. Effective prevention efforts are critical to ensuring the immediate and long-term safety and well-being of children in Louisiana. Each year, LCTF selects high-quality proposals and funds a range of prevention efforts to protect children, strengthen family well-being, and educate the public about children’s safety. Local, national, and global events have greatly impacted our communities since 2020. These events included various social, economic, political, and medical crises. Events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, led to political, social unrest and the resulting business closures have caused a great deal of instability in communities around the state. It has taken a toll on individuals’ mental health and well-being. The Child Welfare Information Gateway (2022) says that family wellbeing is an important factor in reducing the likelihood of child abuse and neglect. These events do not impact everyone equally. However, difficult times for some can be felt more severely by other, even more so for the most marginalized populations in our community. Understanding the broader context of how policies and events have impacted our communities is important. These events have caused many to examine bias, resources available for families at risk, and how communities and individuals are making decisions for their children. It has also identified barriers that prevent some children and families from seeking the opportunities and accessing the resources they need to thrive.

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