My Community Cares (MCC) is a community-driven, neighborhood-based approach to strengthening families and preventing child abuse and neglect in the State of Louisiana. MCC envisions communities where all children and families are healthy and safe and have equitable access to services and support. The mission of MCC is to strengthen families and support communities. Launched in four pilot parishes in the fall of 2019, MCC brings together children and families with lived experience in the child welfare system, community members, judges, child advocates, attorneys, the Department of Children and Families Services (DCFS), service providers, schools, businesses, emergency responders, healthcare providers, churches and nonprofit agencies to identify, implement, and connect families to a network of quality services and supports. These services and supports are provided to promote child and family well-being and prevent children from entering foster care. Across the four pilot parishes, Louisiana identified 14 neighborhoods based on child welfare investigation and removal data in which to launch MCC. In those neighborhoods, families and community members have come together to establish relationships, share experiences, support one another, and build community resiliency.
Through the work of MCC, Louisiana seeks to build the capacity of local communities to provide a comprehensive array of services that support families. By creating a parish-wide organizational structure to gather information on available services, make referrals, connect families to services, and make needs and opportunities known, MCC seeks to achieve the following results:
- Decrease in incidents of child abuse and neglect.
- Decrease in repeat incidents of child abuse and neglect.
- Decrease in entries into foster care.
- Decrease in placement disruptions.
- Increase in less restrictive (family-based) placement settings; and
- Decrease time to achieve permanency.
WHAT IS LBF’S ROLE?
The LBF will administer funds for a full-time attorney position fully dedicated to MCC work, up to $75,000 per fiscal year. The attorney must be employed by a non-profit 501c3 agency to provide civil legal aid to eligible Louisiana residents living within 200% of the poverty line, directly referred by MCC Lead Agency(s) designated in the parish. Funds are for salary and benefits for each attorney position, based upon the availability of funding. The types of cases handled in this position may include:
- Domestic Violence and Family Law: Domestic Violence/TROs/POs, Separation, Contested Divorce, Uncontested Divorce, Custody/Visitation, Adoption, Tutorship/Guardianship, Name Change, Child Support, Other Family Law, Wills and Successions.
- Public Benefits: Administrative Law, Medicare Benefits, Unemployment Compensation, Worker’s Compensation, Veterans Benefits, Social Security, SSI, AFDC/Other Welfare, Immigration
- Housing: Real Estate and Housing, Home Ownership/Real Property, Landlord/Tenant, Public Housing, Other Housing, Public Utilities, Bankruptcy, Loan Modification, Debt Relief, Foreclosure Prevention and Mediation, Foreclosure Relief, Principal Reduction, Refinancing, Wrongful Foreclosure
- Consumer Health and Protection: Collection/Repossession/Garnishment, Contracts/Warranties, Liens/Installment Purchase, Unfair Sales Practice, Other Consumer/Finance, Income Maintenance, General Law/Tort Defense, Mental Health, Physically Disabled Rights, Other Health, Job Discrimination, Wage Claims, Other Employment, Civil Rights, License/Acts/Other
DESIGNATED MCC LEAD AGENCIES (as of March 2023)
- Caddo – Volunteers of Youth Justice
- Ouachita – The Wellspring
- Rapides – Fostering Community
- Calcasieu – Educational and Treatment Council
- Lafayette – The Extra Mile
- East Baton Rouge – Empower 225
- Livingston – The Family Village
- Orleans – Boystown
- Terrebonne – Start Corp.
REQUIRED DOCUMENT CHECKLIST
-IRS 501c3 Determination Letter
–Recent IRS 990 Filing
-Current Board of Directors
-Most Recent Audit
An applicant may request funds to provide legal services to more than one MCC Lead Agency and parish. Please call LBF offices with any questions (504-561-1046).