Want to take a deeper dive into Rhode Island's child welfare system? Here's a selection of reports and documents about the Department of Children, Youth, and Families, plus links to resources for anyone interested in getting involved or learning more.
- May 2014: The Annie E. Casey Foundation's "Assessment, Findings, and Recommendations" report was prepared at the request of DCYF to gain more insight into the high percentage of group home placements, among other trends.The report pointed out Rhode Island's over-reliance on group homes, despite a recent system redesign to turn that trend around.
- January 2015: The Rhode Island Senate Task Force on the Department of Children, Youth, and Families and the Family Care Networks, led by Sen. Lou DiPalma and Sen. Catherine Cool Rumsey, issues its final report, a scathing account of DCYF's mishandling of two major contracts with outside agencies intended to provide better services to children and families. The report is a treasure trove of data and testimony from a huge range of stakeholders and participants in the state's child welfare system. You can review, for instance, what it costs to house a child in a group home out of state, per night. Lawmakers maintain some oversight of the department via the DCYF Task Force.
- January 2015: The Governor's Resource Team, appointed by former Gov. Lincoln Chafee, issues its 14-page assessment, with recommendations, about DCYF and the failed system of "family care networks." The team, led by Jamia McDonald, now chief strategy officer overseeing DCYF's "turn around" plan, was asked to look into cost overruns at the agency. The report came to conclusions similar to what the Senate Task Force found.
Child welfare data
- DCYF's data team produces this annual brief on a wide variety of statistics about children in its care. This brief includes charts on the number of children removed from their homes and placed in out-of-home care, broken down by year, race, gender, and more. Also find data on the reasons children are removed from their homes, whether they're entering the system for the first time, where they end up, and more.
- Rhode Island Kids Count tracks all kinds of child welfare data, from the number of child abuse and neglect cases, to childhood poverty and more. Here's their most recent Factbook.
- Concerned about possible child abuse or neglect? Call DCYF's hotline to report it: (800) RI-CHILD / (800) 742-4453. In Rhode Island, in fact, the law obliges you to report it.
- Interested in learning more about fostering? Visit Foster Forward's web site, or attend an "information night" about fostering on one of these upcoming dates.
- If your family needs help coping with tough times or difficult behaviors, check out some of the free or low cost resources available from agencies like Child and Family of Rhode Island, one of the state's oldest and largest family service providers.
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