A shocking new scandal involving multiple cases of neglect and worse by workers in Rhode Island’s Department of Children, Youth & Families (DCYF) has created a new leadership crisis for Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo. Over the weekend, the Providence Journal published a new report exposing actions by DCYF workers that “left young people in their care hospitalized, endangered or exploited.” With allegations of teenage sex-trafficking and assaults arranged by DCYF staff at state-regulated group homes for Rhode Island youths, the Raimondo administration has failed to sufficiently address multiple incidents as the scandal continues to grow.
The Providence Journal reports:
“Prostitution. Assaults arranged by a staff member. A clandestine overnight visit by a teenage girlfriend as the police searched for her. A paralyzing injury. Investigators say they’ve found all this and more connected to group homes — places where Rhode Island is supposed to provide refuge to young people it has removed from unfit living conditions.
At least four times in the last five months, workers at state-regulated group homes took actions that left young people in their care hospitalized, endangered or exploited, a Providence Journal investigation has found.
In two cases, group-home employees attempted to cover up slack supervision and management with forged log books or falsified statements, investigators reported.
In one Pawtucket home, an employee used the agency van to help run a teenage sex-trafficking operation, prosecutors allege…
Meanwhile, all four homes remain open under the auspices of the Department of Children, Youth & Families.”
This isn’t the first issue Rhode Island’s DCYF has had under Raimondo’s watch. In 2015, Raimondo appointed staffers to lead the Department, neither of whom met state-required qualifications for the DCYF director position. Despite repeated incidents that left Rhode Island youths exploited, endangered, and even injured by DCYF workers’ actions, the Raimondo administration has failed to change the culture of the troubled department. With DCYF undermined by inexcusable negligence and led by unqualified appointees, Raimondo’s failed leadership continues to plague the people of her state.