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Rhode Island Foundation Blog


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Community rises to meet demand for more foster families in Rhode Island
By Inés Merchán / April 4, 2018 /   Loading Disqus...

Hundreds of children in state care need safe, stable foster homes. That’s why we supported a new initiative to speed the certification for prospective foster families. The state Department of Children, Youth and Families says 250 children currently need foster homes.

DCYF recently used our $70,000 grant, along with $25,000 from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, to conduct a first-of-its-kind weekend-long event aimed at reducing the length of time it takes for foster parents to become licensed. They hosted almost 200 families at its foster care recruitment weekend at the Rhode Island Convention Center last month. Watch slideshow below.


The grants complement a push by the state to increase the number of children in foster care and reduce the number of children in group homes and other congregate care. With the traditional 10-week training program, only about 1 in 10 families who expressed an interest in fostering were completing the licensing program.

“Making it easier for families to give these youngsters a safe place to call home is a good investment. Ensuring they have stable, caring foster homes will impact their lives forever. We’re glad to help put them on the path to doing better in school, living healthier lives, and having a brighter economic future,” said our Neil Steinberg.

Dr. Trista Piccola, director of DCYF, estimates that 70 to 75 percent of the licensing process will be provided in the single weekend intensive crash course, including fingerprinting and physical exams. The families will then have follow-up interviews and home inspections.

The Department hopes to license 75 of the families within 30 days after the event, and the remaining families within 90 days. "This may be the first ever in the country,” says Piccola. “Nobody else has actually delivered the licensing process in this way.”

For more information about becoming a foster parent, please visit dcyf.ri.gov/anchor or call 401-952-0262.

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