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Paula Davis Named Adoption Advocate of the Year

LSU School of Social Work Field Education Liaison Paula Davis named the Louisiana Adoption Advocate of the Year

Group photo at the Governor's Mansion; Paula holding certificate

At the award presentation ceremony, left to right, Stephanie Sterling, Kiera Meuse-Cash, First Lady Donna Edwards, Paula Davis, Sandi Gaudin, Jamie Hilton

LSU School of Social Work Field Education Liaison Paula Davis named the Louisiana Adoption Advocate of the Year

November 8, 2023

Baton Rouge, LA — Paula Davis, LSU School of Social Work Field Education Liaison, has been honored as the 2023 Adoption Advocate of the Year by the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). This prestigious award recognizes Paula's exceptional dedication to advocating for children in need of loving homes, as well as her commitment to training and developing best adoption practices and interventions.

The award was presented on November 2, 2023 at the Louisiana Governor's Mansion by DCFS representatives and First Lady Donna Edwards during a ceremony highlighting this year's Adoption Awards and celebrating the 619 adoptions from foster care that took place in the past year.

Paula Davis brings more than two decades of experience in both domestic and international adoption to her role. Throughout her career, she has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to serving the children who are more challenging to place in adoptive homes. As a Field Education Liaison and instructor with the LSU School of Social Work, Paula has shared her expertise and knowledge with the next generation of social workers, equipping them with the skills required to make a positive impact in the lives of children and families involved in the foster care and adoption systems.

Davis has made significant state-wide contributions to building post-adoption services for families. Her efforts have been instrumental in supporting adoptive families in their journey towards providing a stable and loving environment for children. 

One of Davis's most notable contributions has been her involvement in a partnership between DCFS and the national Center for Adoption Support and Education, where she has provided crucial training for social work, behavioral health, and child welfare professionals across the state. This training has equipped professionals with the competencies necessary to meet the unique needs of adoptive children and families, offering them a better understanding of the core issues faced by all people involved in adoptions.

Over the last two years, Paula has generously volunteered her time and expertise to offer this training, with plans to continue in 2024. Her dedication to the cause has made a profound difference in the lives of children and families in Louisiana and beyond.

In addition to her educational and professional contributions, Davis is an active member of the Louisiana Law Institute's Children's Code Committee and the Louisiana Adoption Advisory Board. Her participation in these organizations further demonstrates her commitment to improving the adoption and child welfare systems in the state.

"I am humbled to be recognized for my work in advocating for good adoption practice and in supporting those who have been impacted by adoption - birth families, adoptive families, and adopted people," said Davis.

The 2023 Adoption Advocate of the Year award is a well-deserved acknowledgment of Paula Davis' outstanding contributions and her pursuit of better outcomes for children in the foster care and adoption systems.

Learn more about LSU School of Social Work's Specialization in Children and Youth Services.