The Advocacy Center is Louisiana's protection and advocacy system. Federal law requires that a protection and advocacy system operate in every state to protect the rights of persons with mental or physical disabilities. The Advocacy Center is also funded by the state to provide legal assistance to people residing in nursing homes in Louisiana, as well as to residents 60 years and older of Orleans, Plaquemines and St. Tammany Parishes (counties); and to advocate for the rights of group home residents. Among the diverse services offered are legal representation, information and referral, outreach and training.
The organization is a tax-exempt, private non-profit corporation organized in 1978 and governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. It is based in New Orleans with branch offices in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and Shreveport.
The Advocacy Center is a network of people including a staff of approximately 60-member paid staff including lawyers, paralegals, advocates, social workers, ombudsmen, and support and administrative personnel; a 20-member Board of Directors, representing the various geographical areas of the state as well as different disability and aging interest groups and related professions; a 10-member Advisory Council, which gives input and advice to our mental health advocacy program; volunteers; clients, and other supporters.
We are people with and without disabilities. Some of us are family members of people with disabilities. Some of us are elderly.