The State’s Child Advocate, Jennifer Griffith, has announced that she has appointed a panel of eight community professionals to conduct a multidisciplinary review of the death of a seven month old infant. This child was not in state custody at the time of the fatality, but was previously involved in a case that was open to the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF).
The RI Senate Task Force charged with investigating the Department of Children, Youth, and Families and the two networks that provide services to DCYF families, has recommended that DCYF “monitor the networks more closely and be more involved with the families it serves” according to the Providence Journal. The task force offered 20 recommendations to improve DCYF.
At a Senate meeting to discuss Rhode Island’s budget deficits, DCYF Director Janice DeFrances proposed changes that would save nearly $1.6 million, against a projected deficit of $13.8 million for the Department. However, Ms. DeFrances stated to the Senate that costs for out-of-state placements, a delay in plans to establish an in-state group home for adolescent girls, and the loss of $3 million in federal dollars have all contributed to the current deficit.
The Office of the Child Advocate is available to address concerns regarding children in the care and/or custody of the Department of Children, Youth, and Families. You may contact our office at 401-462-4300, Monday-Friday, between the hours of 8:30 AM and 4:00 PM. After hours, you can leave a voicemail and we will retrieve your message the following business day.
The Office of the Child Advocate does not provide emergency responses to reports of neglect or child abuse. If you have information regarding the abuse or neglect of a child you should immediately call 1-800-RI-CHILD (1-800-742-4453) to report this information.