Faith, hope, and love… a saying you usually would see on a soccer mom’s kitchen wall by her coffee pot, but Patrick Blanchard, a retired medical lawyer, takes those words to heart. Blanchard is the Director of the Methodist Children’s Home, a 120 year old organization that started in Ruston Louisiana. The Children’s Home is a Boy’s Home that has grown to three different locations: Ruston, Sulphur and now Loranger, Louisiana.
Not only does this organization foster these children but they provide much needed therapeutic trauma counseling for abused and abandoned children.
Judge Blair Ewards, a judge in the juvenile court system, passionately spoke on the issue that rages throughout Louisiana,” They need therapeutic treatment and this facility is one where children can go, they can feel safe, they can go through all kinds of treatment. Whether it be sexual trauma, whether its physical trauma… domestic violence. Being in the middle of substance abuse in the home. All of these things change the architecture of the brain.”
Children who go to the Children’s home are provided with support, counseling, affection, and care that they never experienced. Blanchard said, “A child will come to us with very little child-like behavior and after a certain amount of time you can see that little child coming out again. If they can regain some of the innocence that’s been taken away from them in a facility like this and then change their trajectory into something bright in the future rather than something dark like they came from, it’s just a wonderful thing, not only for them, but for me as well.”
As her courts fill up with abused children from across her district, Edwards said, “ I submit to you, that it is a costly thing to allow children to continue hurting. Because hurting people hurt people.” Ewards also believes that the Methodist Children’s Home stops children from getting put in detention centers and prisons as they continue to grow up.
Louisiana is known for its less than stellar child well-being rating. The state sits at 47th in the country for child abuse after being stagnant at 49th in the country according to dcfs.louisiana.gov. Although the state still sits low in the ranks for children, Blanchard, Edwards and the rest of the Tangipahoa community have put their best foot forward to ensure that the children of Louisiana have somewhere where it is perfectly alright to play dress up, read fairy tales and learn that being a child is something that they were meant to be all along.