Our Mission

The mission of the New Orleans Children and Youth Planning Board is to prepare a comprehensive plan for services and programs that address the needs of the children and youth of New Orleans in order to encourage positive development and diversion of children and youth from the criminal justice system.


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Meet our Inaugural Executive Director

Karen Evans has spent the past 15+ years in various nonprofit child welfare leadership roles seemingly preparing for her new role with CYPB.

A recent New Orleans, LA transplant from Pasadena, CA, Karen has spent much of her career committed to the pursuit of positive outcomes for vulnerable children, youth and their families.  With a strong value for collaboration and partnership, Karen actively participated in various systems change efforts and upgrades in service quality intended to yield measurable improvements in safety, well-being and permanency for those receiving care and services in Los Angeles County.  This complex work across a complex county and its systems was exercised while holding a number of leadership positions which included:

  • Chief Operating Officer; Chief Strategy Officer; Director of Program Development Boys & Girls Aid Society of Los Angeles County/Five Acres
  • Commissioner, Northwest Commission of Pasadena; Community Capacity Building, Planning and Development City Council Appointment/Volunteer; City of Pasadena
  • Vice President, Community Based Programs; Assistant VP, Community Based Programs Hathaway-Sycamores Child & Family Services, Los Angeles County
  • Director, Healthy Start – A Place/School Based Social Services/Mental Health Services Pilot Pasadena Unified School District
  • Consultant – Community Capacity Building; Leadership Development for Place-Based Initiatives Casey Family Programs – Los Angeles County Region

While Karen has extensive professional experience in child welfare, social services, nonprofit management/leadership and community building, her experience is undergirded by her relevant education history:

  • Masters, Public Administration (with distinction); California State University at Northridge
  • Nonprofit Executive Leadership Certificate; University of Michigan
  • Bachelors, Communication; emphasis in Organizational Development; California State University at Dominguez Hills

Eager and able to successfully take on the role of Executive Director, Karen strives for a balanced life where both work and play co-exist.  Her favorite form of play is travel, both near and far.  Travel during this past year included trips to South Korea, Bora Bora, Hawaii, Aruba and the New Orleans relocation six months ago.  She courageously took the year off to travel and relocate to NOLA to complete a year of personal renewal.  Karen is not alone in the world, she has two adult children:  an Army Intelligence son stationed in Hawaii and a youth programs lead daughter living in Pasadena and booking gigs for her band, as she sings neo-soul with hopes to launch a singer/entertainer career (keeping her day job). 

Karen Evans Contact Information:

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Phone: (504) 442-0058

resource spotlight

Upcoming Events

 August School Reunification Meetings:

Orleans Parish schools are returning to local control, and holding public meetings for you to tell the Unification Advisory Committee your thoughts. 

This is the culmination of years of work by education and community leaders: one school system governed by one unified, public, and local body. 
The next sessions will be held  on:

      • Thursday, August 11 
      • Thursday, August 25 

Get involved in this important and historic process at 5pm at McDonogh 35 Senior High School (4000 Cadillac St., New Orleans, LA 70122 (map)). Public comment will be allowed at the end of each session



Message from the Chair


“Each child is an adventure into a better life – an opportunity to change the old pattern and make it new. We are in danger of making our cities places where business goes on but where life, in its real sense, is lost.”
Hubert H. Humphrey (1911-1978)
38th U.S. Vice-President

It has been quite a while since I posted a message and I apologize for the delay. I have been trying to get these done; but, other tasks and responsibilities have taken much of my time. Know that I have not failed to keep abreast, as well as I can, of the issues relating to our children and families.

As we are moving into the fall, nearing the end of Hurricane Season 2013 and quickly approaching the holiday season, I begin to contemplate our successes and disappointments during the year. What I surely want us to avoid is creating a city where business goes on but where life is lost. Continue reading...

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