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.
“Working at the Child Advocate’s Office has been an amazing experience.
As I continue my law school education, I know I will always have the support of the staff here at the OCA. They have become not only my mentors, but my friends as well. Their passion for improving the lives of children is truly an inspiration. I have gained knowledge in a variety of different areas of child law and welfare during my time here, which has helped me sharpen the skills I will need to become a successful attorney.”
-Elizabeth, Suffolk University Law School ‘16
“The Rhode Island State Government Intern Program got me in contact with the Office of the Child Advocate. As an undergrad with a passion for helping others and the goal of attending law school working with the OCA was the perfect match. Everyday I learned new things and felt like I was making a difference. I will have the skills I learned during my summer at the OCA for the rest of my academic career and further.”
-Karin Klenk, University of New England ‘15
“Working at the Office of the Child Advocate this summer gave me priceless tools that I can take with me into a future career in law. Seeing the effects of hard work for the people who need it the most was not only touching but served as a forum to witness the beauty of the law in aiding those in need. The staff at the OCA was helpful, kind, and worked tremendously hard to make the OCA the best office it can be. It was a wonderful experience and I was so fortunate to be a part of it.”
-Aileen G. Konanez, Roger Williams University School of Law ’16