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Programs Serving Youth and Families

Please note that not all programs are available in all regions. Be sure to check your local region for applicable programs.

Gulf Coast Social Services offers a variety of services designed to assist at-risk youth in our community. These programs offer mentoring, training and guidance utilizing skilled and experienced staff, who provide services in classroom  settings, homes or in the community, both one-on-one and through group activities. These programs are designed to address a variety of issues that youth and their families may experience, and to reduce the risk of out-of-home placements.

Therapeutic Foster Care

Specially trained foster parents open their homes to care for abused, neglected, or troubled children, adolescents, as well as for children with physical and/or mental disabilities.  Department of Children and Family Services contracts with Gulf Coast Social Services, to provide a therapeutic environment for children who have been placed in the temporary custody DCFS.  Foster parents provide substitute, temporary care when a child must be separated from their own parents or relatives for a planned period of time. 

MATCH Mentoring (Mentoring, Advising, Tutoring, Counseling and Helping)

The MATCH Mentoring program will pair adolescents, between the ages of 6 and 12, and 16-22, with professional college students (i.e., persons 19 years of age or older) who will offer support, consistency and opportunities for the adolescent to develop the knowledge and skills needed to reach their full potential for personal development and independence into adulthood.  These programs offers services to adolescents who have been diagnosed as having mild to moderate needs related to intellectual development and are at risk of juvenile delinquency, victimization, educational failure, and poor employment outcomes.  With the mentor’s help, adolescents are guided to face different situations that assist in developing self-control, and self-discipline, so that they will learn to avoid bad influences.  Adolescents will be referred by the Metropolitan Human Services District-Developmental Disabilities Services Office.  Youths’ must reside in Orleans, Plaquemines, or St. Bernard parishes.

Child-Adolescent Response Team (CART)

This program delivers immediate quality treatment interventions to families who feel that they are in crisis. Children and adolescents under the age of 18 who are experiencing acute crisis are eligible to receive CART Respite services. These children and adolescents may or may not be an active cases with Office of Mental Health. CART respite services goal is to provide community-based support resolutions and to decrease hospital admissions.

LeCirque Mentoring

This is a youth mentoring program funded by South Central Louisiana Human Services Authority aimed at preventing or reducing youth involvement in acts of delinquency by providing goal directed, highly structured one-on-one mentoring, and group activities.  We offer homework assistance, life-skills training, socialization skills, and recreational and educational outings in the community with trained, experienced staff.

Child-Adolescent Response Team (CART)

This program delivers immediate quality treatment interventions to families who feel that they are in crisis. Children and adolescents under the age of 18 who are experiencing acute crisis are eligible to receive CART Respite services. These children and adolescents may or may not be an active case with Office of Mental Health. CART services goal is to provide community-based support resolutions and to decrease hospital admissions.

Child and Adolescent Case Management

This program is a time-limited Intensive Case Management and Consumer Care Resource that provides assistance to child/adolescent clients of Acadiana Area Human Services District and their families in order to reduce out-of-home placement, out-of-school placement, and hospitalization.

Short-term Respite

Gulf Coast Social Services’ Short-term Respite Care Program provides temporary direct care and supervision for youth in their own home or other community setting.  Services cannot be provided in a facility-based setting (i.e.: overnight in a provider-based facility).  The primary purpose of this service is to provide relief to families and/or caregivers of a youth with a serious emotional disorder (SED), or to provide relief for the youth from a stressful situation.  Respite services help to de-escalate stressful situations, as well as provide a therapeutic outlet.  Respite may be planned or provided on an emergency basis.  Supports are provided in the home, after school or at night.  Transportation to and from school/medical appointments or other community-based activity is available.  Short-term respite care can be provided in the youth’s home or place of residence, or in another community setting, such as at a relative’s home.  Respite can also be provided in a short visit to a community park or some other community location.

Life Skills Training

This program is funded by the South Central Louisiana Human Services Authority to provide an evidence-based program that addresses identified risk behaviors for children in grades 3rd through 6th.  Gulf Coast Social Services collaborates with local schools to focus on selected children who may be at risk for substance use, physical abuse, addiction, compulsive gambling, other high-risk behaviors, and the related legal consequences.  The course is taught over 8-10 weeks, using course materials, and real life examples to address high-risk behaviors that youth face within their own communities.  The program is designed to prevent and/or reduce the risk of the above listed problems. 

Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT)

The Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment Program (EPSDT) is a  Medicaid funded program that provides personal care services to eligible recipients from infancy up to the age of 21, who meet the medically necessary criteria for these services.  Personal Care Services are defined as tasks that are medically necessary as they pertain to an eligible person’s physical requirements when physical limitations due to illness or injury necessitate assistance while eating, bathing, dressing, personal hygiene, bladder or bowel requirements. 


  • Basic personal care-toileting & grooming activities.
  • Assistance with bladder and/or bowel requirements or problems.
  • Assistance with eating and food preparation.
  • Performance of incidental household chores, only for the recipient
  • Accompanying, not transporting, recipient to medical appointments.
  • Does NOT cover any medical tasks such as medication administration, tube feedings, urinary catheters, ostomy or tracheostomy care.

Parent Education and Training

Eligible program recipients are identified and referred by the Department of Children and Family Services.  The program is designed to assist parents who have a substance history which has affected their ability to successfully parent their children.  Recipients participate in training sessions designed to strengthen their own recovery and to build a nurturing family lifestyle.

The Network

This is a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funded program offering a variety of services to homeless individuals and families in need of permanent housing.  Services offered include short term housing assistance, food, transportation and other basic client needs.  This program is also responsible for maintaining and overseeing the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) for the region’s Continuum of Care (COC). Contact our Houma Regional Office for more information


The Tracker Program is a community-based program designed to provide behavioral monitoring and supervision for youth between the ages of 10 and 21 who are at risk of out of home placement. Males or females who are in the custody of or under the supervision of the Office of Youth Services can be referred for tracker services by the State of Louisiana Office of Youth Services/Office of Juvenile Justice.  

Juvenile justice tracking is a one-on-one interaction with program staff and juveniles “at risk” of becoming delinquent, with the aim being to prevent or reduce the juvenile’s involvement in law-violating behavior.

The primary objectives of this program are:

  • To provide for the safety and well-being of the youth, program staff and community. 
  • To provide services aimed at promoting social and emotional adjustment, enhancing life skills and independent living skills; and eliminating destructive behavioral patterns.
  • To provide services, when appropriate, to the youth’s family or guardian in order to facilitate the successful reintegration of the youth into the community.
  • To facilitate appropriate aftercare planning and services directed at reintegration.

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