The Department of Children, Youth, and Families is struggling with an influx of children who have been abused and neglected. Many of their cases go before Rhode Island’s Family Court, where judges play a key role in deciding when children can return to their homes. The drama of lives in upheaval unfolds every day of the week in the Garrahy Judicial complex, downtown Providence.
In each of these cases a lawyer from the office of the Court Appointed Special Advocate, represents the child. The program’s director, Andrew Johnson, fills Rhode Island Public Radio's Kristin Gourlay in about what the Special Advocate does and some of the challenges of making decisions in a child's best interest.