"Sara," 9, did her homework. "Molly," 5, planted flower seeds in orange peels.
None of them knew it would be the children's last night at home.
The appalling performance of DCYF in this case and in countless others led to public pressure demanding that this powerful, wasteful, and secretive agency must get accredited. It is long overdue for DCYF to be held to professional standards and public accountability.
Eli H. Newberger, M.D., Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, is a pediatrician with 39 years' experience in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of child abuse and neglect. He organized the first child protection team at Children's Hospital Boston, in 1970. He has written:
...the poor performance of some supervisory level staff at the [Rhode Island] Department of Children, Youth and Families is a cause for great concern. In specific cases, I have observed the agency's rigid posture, its ignorance of the standards of professional practice in responding to allegations of child sexual abuse, and its punitive, rather than protective, stance. These rise to a level of intransigence and incompetence unparalleled in all my years of experience in this field . . . .
High, exacting, professional standards do exist in this field. They are attainable by any state that seeks them.
Learn more about the Council on Accreditation at www.coanet.org . Urge your legislators’ support and follow the progress of this important legislation (H 7133, S 2346) at www.rilin.state.ri.us .
As always, you may send your family's DCYF experiences to me confidentially at parenting project@ veerizon.net