Care enough to call: April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

It shouldn't hurt to grow up in Idaho.

Keeping children safe is one of our primary goals at the Department of Health and Welfare. This month is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, so it’s a good time talk about what you should do if you think a child might be neglected or abused. Continue reading

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Flag on U.S. Capitol was flown in honor of foster youth mentor

Falen LeBlanc

Falen LeBlanc worked for DHW’s child welfare program for 15 years. One of the foster youth she mentored worked in Sen. Mike Crapo’s office and arranged for a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol to be retired in her honor.

With the sunset on Feb. 26, a flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol was retired in honor of a Department of Health and Welfare employee whose career with the department also has ended. Child Welfare Program’s Independent Living Program Specialist, Falen LeBlanc, was honored with the Capitol flag by foster youth she has tirelessly advocated for during her 15 year career with DHW’s child welfare program.

Former foster youth Ricky Lewis and Kailamai Hansen, who now co-chair the Idaho Foster Youth Advisory Board, made the arrangements for the Capitol flag through Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo’s office. Sen. Crapo will send the flag to Idaho, along with a personalized congratulatory note to Falen. Ricky, Kailamai and other former foster youth joined DHW staff on a recent Friday afternoon and showed Falen a webcam view of the flag flying over the U.S. Capitol in her honor as they paid tribute to her.

“It was very sweet and moving,” Falen said. “I am going to miss my co-workers, but leaving the kids that I have worked with over the years is the hardest thing. I am so proud of them; they have grown so much and they are so special. ”  Continue reading