Children In Crisis: Child Welfare In The Ocean State

Stories about children that experience abuse and neglect, and the agency responsible for protecting them.

Your Weekly Briefing: Health In Rhode Island, Oct. 18

Oct 18, 2016
Public Doman

Here’s what’s happening in health in Rhode Island:

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The search is underway for a new director of the state’s Department of Children, Youth, and Families. For this week’s The Pulse, Rhode Island Public Radio’s Kristin Gourlay sits down with outgoing director Jamia McDonald to learn what’s changed for children and staff since she took the reins a year and a half ago

DCYF Seeks Public Input In Search For New Leader

Sep 28, 2016
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The public will have a chance to weigh in on the search for a new director for Rhode Island’s Department of Children, Youth, and Families. 

DCYF’s interim director Jamia McDonald will be stepping down for a job in the private sector.  She’s been working to turnaround an agency that faces criticism for a high number of children in group homes and other problems. Now, The Executive Office of Health and Human Services will hold a couple of listening sessions in to hear public feedback on who should replace McDonald.

Your Weekly Briefing: Health In Rhode Island (9/13/16)

Sep 13, 2016
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Here's what's happening in health care in Rhode Island:

DCYF Chief Stepping Down; National Search Begins

Sep 9, 2016
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The acting head of the Rhode Island’s Department of Children, Youth, and Families is leaving her post. She’s the third Health and Human Services agency leader to step down in less than a few months.

Ian Donnis

Gov. Gina Raimondo is expected to sign a series of bills Wednesday that impact schools and children, including a bill requiring 20 minutes of recess per day in elementary schools.

Also on the list, a bill requiring public reporting on the deaths of children in the foster care system, dyslexia screenings in elementary schools, and a bill that authorizes the creation of a "bi-literacy" seal for bilingual high school graduates.

Your Weekly Briefing: Health In Rhode Island

Jul 12, 2016
Aaron Read / RIPR

Your weekly briefing about what's happening in health care: opioid legislation, depression treatment, special needs, and child welfare.

The Pulse: What Progress For Foster Kids?

May 12, 2016
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island’s child welfare system has been struggling to keep kids out of group homes, find enough foster families, and even deal with a legacy of financial irregularities. Earlier this year, Governor Gina Raimondo called for an overhaul of the agency. And for this week’s The Pulse, we check in with the person Raimondo put in charge of that overhaul: Jamia McDonald to find out what progress has been made.

Baseball is back, and the contact sport of politics continues unabated. Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Kristin Gourlay

Child welfare officials say they are already working to correct several problems highlighted in a report from the Office of the Child Advocate, which found two infants' deaths could have been prevented. The report looked at the deaths of three infants, two in state care and one whose parents had prior contact with the child welfare system.

The findings raised questions about safety for foster children, particularly children placed with relatives in unlicensed foster homes. 

RIPR file photo

Rhode Island’s Office of the Child Advocate has released a disturbing report about the deaths of three infants, two of them in state care. The report found that at least two of the children’s deaths could have been prevented, and it points to serious concerns about safety for children in state care.

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