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Adrift in the System: Louisiana's Children in Crisis (1999)



Genre: Documentary

Place Covered: Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority, Louisiana Supreme Court

Date Issued: 1999-03-31

Duration: 00:26:50

Subjects: Child welfare | Foster home care | FOSTER CHILDREN | Adoption


  • LaFleur, Donna Narrator
  • Baker, Diana Producer
  • Godoy, Al Associate Producer
  • Fortenberry, Rex Q. Photographer
  • Bewley, Darlene Interviewee
  • Winston, Diane Interviewee
  • Causey, Lynette Interviewee
  • Gray, Ernestine Interviewee
  • Speed, Mary Interviewee
  • Valteau, Brenda Interviewee
  • Ewing, Randy Interviewee
  • Ezell, Billy Interviewee
  • Roper, John Interviewee
  • Bagneris, Madlyn Interviewee
  • Foster, Mike Interviewee


This documentary from March 31, 1999, explores the complex issues surrounding foster care in Louisiana. It touches on: the former federal policy of rehabilitating abusive parents and family reunification; foster children being forced to move from foster home to foster home; the emotional and behavioral problems of foster children; foster children aging out of the system at age 18 and becoming homeless; the child-centered changes made in the federal Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997; and the judicial system and social service reforms that need to be made in order to move children through the system quickly. It also features the stories of two Louisiana children and their contact with the foster care system – Jamie, who aged out of the system, and Abby, who was adopted by her foster family. It includes interviews with: Darlene Bewley, attorney; State Representative Diane Winston; Lynette Causey, clinical psychologist; Judge Ernestine Gray of Juvenile Court; Mary Speed, social worker; Brenda Valteau, foster parent; Senate President Randy Ewing; Judge Billy Ezell of Family Court; John Roper, adoptive parent; Secretary Madlyn Bagneris of the Louisiana Department of Social Services; and Governor Mike Foster. Narrator: Donna LaFleur