Dr. Wesley Church Appointed to Governor’s Task Force on Permanency for Foster Children


Each year, thousands of Louisiana children enter and exit foster homes, sometimes on multiple occasions per year. In August 2016, the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) reported serving nearly 8,000 foster children and investigating nearly 2,000 child abuse cases.

Many foster children are transitioned between multiple foster homes during their time in the foster care system, before being adopted or reunited with their biological families. Dr. Wesley Church, director of the School of Social Work (SSW) in the College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE), was appointed to Governor John Bel Edwards’ task force to recommend better ways in which to facilitate permanency for foster children.

The task force, a product of House Bill No. 482 in the 2016 Louisiana legislative session, intends to study and make recommendations concerning best practices for achieving permanence for foster children. The Foster Care and Permanence Task Force seeks to reduce the number of children who are moved repeatedly into foster homes and adoptive arrangements.

  “I am honored to be part of a task force that holds extreme potential good for our community,” Dr. Church said. “By the task force’s end, I hope that we will have accomplished the goals that have been set forth for the task force.”

The task force will also evaluate the motivations of people applying to be foster parents, examine best practices to encourage recruitment and retention of foster parents, facilitate provision to foster parents and adoptive parents of all available information about a foster child before placing the child in a foster home, recommend means to ensure that adoption subsidies remain sufficient, and recommend a process to mediate conflicts between foster or adoptive parents and child placement agencies or biological parents.

The task force’s end date is January 1, 2016.

“CHSE is proud that Dr. Church was appointed to the governor’s task force on permanency for foster children,” CHSE Dean Damon Andrew said. “As the director of Louisiana’s flagship School of Social Work, Dr. Church will do great work.”

Those interested in becoming foster parents can visit the Louisiana DCFS website to learn more about requirements and the application process.

About SSW
The LSU School of Social Work (SSW) aspires to be a leading graduate school of social work, a vibrant center of intellectual development, a leader in promoting and supporting diverse communities, and an advocate for an integrated and inclusive model of social work, all within a learning environment that supports best educational practices. The Child and Family Studies (CFS) undergraduate degree integrates theory, research, and practice to focus on child development and family dynamics.

Visit the School of Social Work at socialwork.lsu.edu

About CHSE

The College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE) is a nationally accredited division of Louisiana State University. The College is comprised of the School of Education, the School of Leadership and Human Resource Development, the School of Kinesiology, the School of Library and Information Science, the School of Social Work, and the University Laboratory School. These combined schools offer 8 undergraduate degree programs and 18 graduate programs, enrolling more than 1,900 undergraduate and 977 graduate students. The College is committed to achieving the highest standards in teaching, research, and service and is continually working to improve its programs.

Visit the College of Human Sciences & Education at chse.lsu.edu.