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.
General Assembly Bill Would Expand Requirements to Head Rhode Island DCYF
Key Rhode Island lawmakers are backing a change in the minimum requirements for the director of the state’s troubled Department of Children, Youth and Families, and more specifically: elimination of the requirement that the director have a master’s degree in social work.
Abused Kids Die As Authorities Fail to Protect
The Associated Press canvassed the 50 states, the District of Columbia and all branches of the military and discovered that at least 786 children died of abuse or neglect in the U.S. in a six-year span in plain view of child protection authorities. Many states struggled to provide numbers. Secrecy often prevailed.
NEW CHILD WELFARE FACT SHEET ON RESTORING FOSTER CARE TO AGE 21
In Rhode Island, foster children age out of foster care on their 18th birthday. Check out the new Child Welfare Fact Sheet from RI Kids Count to learn why extending this to age 21 is beneficial for Rhode Islanders, federal support for extending foster care, and our recommendations for restoring foster care to age 21.
The Child Welfare Fact Sheet Series: Focus on Restoring Foster Care to Age 21