Friday, January 20, 2012

NEW: DaSilva Reintroduces Bill to Keep Children Under DCYF Care In-State

Rep. Roberto DaSilva (D-Dist. 63, East Providence, Pawtucket) has reintroduced a bill this week that would keep more children in the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) care in Rhode Island.

The bill (2012-H 7135) would require Rhode Island Family Court and DCYF to allow state service providers the opportunity to develop an individual treatment plan for any child in need of service. No child would be sent to out-of-state residences, facilities or treatment centers without first allowing a Rhode Island provider the opportunity to develop a treatment plan to help that child.

“This legislation will protect children and adolescents in the care of the state while improving economic growth here at home,” Representative DaSilva said. “Rhode Island has an abundance of service providers who are willing to develop individualized plans to meet the needs of our children. Instead of outsourcing our children to out-of-state corporations where it is more difficult to monitor their care and progress, we will keep them close to home.”

Each year, he said, millions of tax dollars are spent on service providers outside Rhode Island’s borders.

“In these tough economic times, we need to make sure our tax dollars are being wisely spent,” he said. “We need to keep our children, our money and jobs right here in Rhode Island.”

In the 2011 legislative session, Representative DaSilva introduced the measure after meeting Nicholas Alahverdian, a former DCYF client who suffered abuse and neglect after landing in two out-of-state residential facilities. Alahverdian eventually became the director of policy and research for NexusGovernment and lobbies for legislation protecting children in DCYF custody.

“The passage of this legislation will ensure that no child will ever have to suffer through what I did ever again,” Alahverdian said.

Co-sponsoring the bill are Reps. Samuel A. Azzinaro (D-Dist. 37, Westerly), Scott J. Guthrie (D-Dist. 28, Coventry), Michael J. Marcello (D-Dist. 41, Cranston, Scituate) and Michael W. Chippendale (R-Dist. 40, Coventry, Foster, Glocester).


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