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Poverty and Family Studies

Months before Cecil Picard’s untimely death from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), he spoke publicly about his vision for the Picard Center. His vision included creating a division to study poverty and families, and their effects on childhood development in Louisiana.

Louisiana has the second highest rate of childhood poverty in the United States, ahead only by Mississippi. Poverty can have immeasurable impacts on the development of a child, such as a lack of high-quality early childhood education, underachievement on high stakes testing, greater likelihood of dropping out of high school, and increase in welfare dependence and crime. In fact, the percentage of the population not completing high school explains 40% of the variation in poverty rates among Louisiana parishes.

Through a collaboration with the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University, the Picard Center has created customized information on family budgets for several Louisiana parishes. These tools can help decision makers decide how to best use government supports to help families escape generational poverty. Check out examples of these tools below.

Our experts also serve as consultants to many organizations, such as the Louisiana Poverty Prevention Council, who work to increase the quality of life for Louisiana’s citizens through effective interventions and programs.

To contact a member of our Poverty and Families division, please call (337) 482-1567 or (337) 482-1562.