The Federal Child & Family Services Review (CFSR) of Louisiana:What You Should Know About It and Why It Is Important

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Louisiana is about to undergo a federal review designed to help states enhance child welfare services and improve outcomes for families and children in the areas of safety, permanency, and well-being. The Children’s Bureau, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), administers the review system, known as the Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs) in partnership with the state child welfare agency staff. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico undergo these reviews.

Learning Objectives:

  • Become familiar with the Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) process.
  • Understand how the CFSR and the resulting Program Improvement Plan (PIP) affect the Louisiana child welfare system and organizations involved in the system.

Christine S. Kiesel, Esq., Legal/Judicial Child Welfare Specialist, Children‘s Bureau Contractor

Christine S. Kiesel is an attorney who has made a career out of improving child welfare outcomes for children and families by focusing on improving the systems that surround those families. Christine works as a Child Welfare Specialist for JBS International where she aids the federal Children’s Bureau in supporting legal and judicial integration into the Child and Family Services Review. Previously, Christine was the Coordinator of the New York State Child Welfare Court Improvement Project. Christine came to that position after presiding over a best practice permanency part as a judicial officer in a New York State Family Court. Christine served as a Court Attorney to and as the First Assistant Public Defender for the Oneida County Public Defender’s Office – Civil Division. Privately, she represented many children both in best interest and stated interest representation models. Christine provides training on child welfare topics and supports child welfare system change work across the country.

Mark Harris, JD, Executive Director, Pelican Center for Children and Families Mark Harris is the Executive Director of the Pelican Center for Children and Families.

He formerly served the Louisiana Supreme Court as the Project Coordinator for the Louisiana Court Improvement Program for 15 years and has been formally recognized by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services for outstanding efforts in promoting the safety, permanency, and well-being of Louisiana’s at-risk children. Mark Harris previously served as the Adoption Opportunities Grant Coordinator for Orleans Parish. He holds BA degrees in English and History from Tulane University and a JD from Loyola University.