BATON ROUGE, LA (WVLA) — 43 pictures lined a table in the state capitol rotunda Tuesday. The ages and stories of the 43 kids who died last year in louisiana from child abuse and neglect were listed on the pictures.
"Those 43 lives were cut short and they have to there was no reason. We could have protected those children we could have kept them from harm. Unfortunately we didn't have the infrastructure or the services to do that," John Wyble, PhD. , Executive Director of Louisianachildren.org, said.
Child advocates urged state lawmakers to "Geaux Blue for Kids," and join in the fight to end child abuse and neglect.
"There is a tremendous need in Louisiana," Wyble, said. "We rank near the bottom unfortunately in child well being the ability to raise our children in a healthy thriving environment."
"Today is really about awareness and what kinds of policy are good for children and families and what is support us to help steward that next generation. "
Displays and a photo booth helped attract attention to the cause, but advocates say it takes more than just state officials to help fix the problem.
"that really is the responsibility of all of us as stewards of the next generation who will become our future leaders," Brunson said.
"We don't expect one person to do it all, but everyone can do something... do one thing," Wyble said.
Advocates say they're not going to give up until all of Louisiana's children are safe.
"Our mission is to take that number from 43 to zero. Until it's zero we can't stop," Wyble said.
Meanwhile,. A proposed law that would remove the Department of Children and Family Services from the list of 20 executive branch departments passed the full house.
The new law would make DCFS an agency under the Department of Health and Hospitals. If passed the change would take affect Aug. 1.
Child advocates say that's a bad move.
"That the merger House Bill 1256 that would merge the Department of Children and Family Services under the Department of Health and Hospitals is not good policy and not good practice for Louisiana's children," Wyble said.
The proposed law still has to pass the senate.