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.
Child Advocate Handbook
Due to a grant from the Rhode Island Foundation, the Office of the Child Advocate was able to develop and print the handbook on the child welfare system in Rhode Island, as a means to enhance advocacy for children by providing an easy reference to the child welfare system and the Rhode Island Family Court.
Child Advocate Brochure
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This publication is a brochure explaining the role and statutory authority of the Rhode Island Office of the Child Advocate. It is hoped that this booklet will be a helpful guide to those inquiring about the duties and responsibilities of our office. In addition, this brochure discloses the Children Bill of Rights.
Kids Rights Handbook
The Office of the Child Advocate for the State of Rhode Island is privileged to release this publication. It is hoped that it will be used as a vehicle to answer many questions which teens have regarding their rights and laws in Rhode Island that affect them. This document was published through a grant that was awarded to the Office of the Child Advocate by the Rhode Island Foundation. The Handbook has recently been updated, addressing new legal issues that have come to the OCA’s attention, as well as updating the legal authorities within the Handbook.