Rhode Island’s child welfare agency will be canceling millions of dollars in contracts. The Department of Children, Youth, and Families says the change won’t disrupt services for kids in their care. But the system is in the midst of major changes.
For several years, DCYF has had multi-million dollar contracts with two main networks of outside providers, which in turn manage dozens of services the agency uses for children, like group homes. But DCYF’s Jamia McDonald says the system grew inefficient and money was wasted on duplicative contracts. So McDonald says they’re canceling those contracts, and bringing some of the functions back in house.
“We are bringing the administrative functions back into the agency," says McDonald. "And we are keeping the service delivery with our providers intact while we go through this re-procurement process over the next several months.”
McDonald says the agency will rebid contracts for most services. Some children in the agency’s care could be affected if a service provider changes. But McDonald says her staff will take the child’s needs into account first.
DCYF has been in the midst of a major overhaul since Governor Gina Raimondo ordered a complete turnaround of the agency. Re-bidding the contracts addresses one of Raimondo’s concerns that the agency was wasting money on duplicative services.