Two private foundations announced Thursday donations totaling $95,000 to support Rhode Island’s efforts to expand the state’s foster care system.
The grants include $70,000 from The Rhode Island Foundation and $25,000 from the Annie E. Casey Foundation to support efforts by Governor Gina M. Raimondo’s administration to increase the number of available foster homes.
About 250 children Rhode Island currently need foster homes, according to the state Department of Children, Youth and Families.
Raimondo has included $1.36 million in her fiscal 2019 budget to increase resources for foster families as part of her administration’s effort to move children out of group homes and other congregate care, according to a statement released Thursday from the governor’s office.
If approved by the General Assembly, the fiscal 2019 funding would mark the second increase foster care rates since Raimondo took office in 2015. In Fiscal 2016, state lawmakers approved the governor’s budget request for $1.4 million in additional funding for foster families – the first rate increase for foster care providers since 2001.
Since 2015, the DCYF has cut by more than 25 percent the number of children placed in institutional care, DCYF Director Trista Piccola said in a statement. The number of children placed in out-of-state care during the same period has been cut by more than half, she said.