The Whistle Stop is a non-profit organization that cares for the needs of children whose caregivers are involved in custody litigation or foster care services by providing a safe environment for supervised visitation and exchanges. We are committed to serving the needs of children and families in the five parish area through our role as a neutral third party. We provide the structure children need in order to have safe contact with their caregivers, siblings and relatives.
Funding comes from clients, schools, foundations, and individuals. Our sources of charitable giving evolved from Mad Hot Ballroom where our local business community has provided substantial support for everything we do, and as a result of those givings The Whistle Stop has had the ability to give back to the community with our Dancing Classrooms or DanceSport programs.
The Whistle Stop opened its doors in June, 2003, in response to the need for a local supervised visitation center pursuant to La.R.S. 9:361 et.seq. the Post-Separation Family Violence Act. (1)
This act requires supervised visitation in situations where there are possible risks to the children involved in domestic violence, child abuse or neglect. Southwest Louisiana has already seen first-hand a number of tragic, domestic violence cases where mothers have been murdered and children suffered, and at times died, as the result of a domestic violence incident or a contentious custody battle.
The Whistle Stop began with a clear commitment to providing prevention services. In Calcasieu Parish alone, there are approximately 1,200 new divorce cases per year with an estimated 33% of those cases considered “high risk” involving spousal abuse, child abuse or both. (2) Since beginning operations, the Whistle Stop has served hundreds of families, including many with children in foster care, and it continues to grow to serve areas across Southwest Louisiana.
Effects on Children
- La.R.S. 9:361 et.seq.
- 14th Judicial District Court Data
- The Family Place Community Report
- The Heritage Foundation “The Child Abuse Crisis: The Disintegration of Marriage, Family, and the American Community