DCFS says state could do better job coordinating resources for families during disasters

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - As the Gulf braces for another storm, Louisiana leaders are reflecting on lessons learned from last year's flooding, especially when it comes to helping families.

Leaders from the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) told a panel of legislators Friday the state and parishes could do a better job coordinating and streamlining resources, making it easier for people to get access to food and other supplies. In East Baton Rouge Parish, they say getting help with housing and behavioral health remains a problem. The deputy secretary of DCFS, Terri Ricks, says parishes could also do more outreach with storm victims.

"I think we can encourage programming that turns disaster experience into empowerment, in terms of helping be prepared. I saw this with many Louisianians affected, were the first to get together stuff to send to Texas because they knew what they needed," said Ricks.

DCFS says these ideas for improvements come after several meetings with families in five different parishes impacted by last summer's floods, including East Baton Rouge, Iberville, and Ascension Parishes.

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