Rhode Island KIDS COUNT - News, Research and Policy Information
August 21, 2015
Rhode Island KIDS COUNT on A Lively Experiment
Rhode Island KIDS COUNT Executive Director Elizabeth Burke Bryant joined panelists Secretary Elizabeth Roberts, Dept. of Administration Director Michael DiBiase, and Rhode Island Public Radio Healthcare reporter Kristin Gourlay on A Lively Experiment (WSBE Rhode Island PBS).

The show focused on improving children's well-being in Rhode Island and included discussion about the child welfare system and DCYF. Please click here to view!
Rhode Island Public Radio Series on Child Welfare
Rhode Island Public Radio (RIPR) recently aired Children in Crisis, a compelling series on the state's child welfare system with reports profiling children impacted by abuse and neglect and the professionals who work to protect and find permanency for them. Children in Crisis was produced by RIPR Healthcare reporter Kristin Gourlay, and the entire series can be found here.
Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) Reauthorization
RI State House
The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee approved S. 1169, which updates the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA)*. This bill is co-sponsored by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.

If enacted, S. 1169 would make several improvements to the JJDPA, including reducing the placement of youth in adult jails pre-trial, providing more structure to the law's requirement to decrease racial and ethnic disparities, and phasing out exceptions that allow the detention of youth who have engaged in status offense behaviors. The bill also promotes the use of alternatives to incarceration, calls for the implementation of trauma-informed, evidence-based practices, improves conditions and educational services for incarcerated youth, and increases accountability.

The legislation will next move to the full Senate and still needs to be introduced in the House. Please click here for more details about the bill.

* JJDPA is the federal law that sets standards for juvenile justice systems at the state and local levels, providing direct funding for states, research, training, and technical assistance, and evaluation.
RI Department of Children, Youth and Familie (DCYF) Audit and Planned Improvements
State House
In response to a state audit, Governor Gina Raimondo recently announced that DCYF is partnering with several national organizations to improve the agency's ability to serve Rhode Island's children and families. 

The Government Performance Lab at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Casey Family Programs will provide free technical assistance to help DCYF use best practices to reduce its over-reliance on congregate care and improve the delivery and quality of services. Please click here to see recent coverage by the Providence Journal.
In This Issue
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Rhode Island KIDS COUNT works to improve the health, education, safety, economic security and development of Rhode Island's children.