While Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo appears to remain squarely focused on her own image problems with Rhode Island media outlets and her re-election efforts, more news continues to emerge regarding her administration’s failed management of Rhode Island’s scandal-plagued Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF), including her refusal to appoint a qualified director until nearly two years into her term.
In the Providence Journal’s latest report on the DCYF, which has over the last few months revealed actions by Department workers during Raimondo’s tenure that “left young people in their care hospitalized, endangered or exploited,” the Journal reported that 19 children died and another 13 were seriously injured during the two years the agency spent without a qualified director. One state representative responded that one had “to wonder if some of this horror could have been prevented” had Raimondo not waited so long to fill the position with someone who met state-mandated qualifications.
While Raimondo has tried to evade the blame for the DCYF’s inexcusable failures under her watch, she’s not fooling anyone. Over the weekend, the Providence Journal also published an editorial that criticized Raimondo’s handling of the DCYF, claiming that the Department “under her watch has done a poor job of protecting vulnerable children.” As Raimondo remains more concerned with her portrayal in the media than doing her job, Rhode Island’s at-risk youths continue to pay the price.
The Providence Journal reports:
“…By the time Jamia McDonald departed this January, at least 19 children had died during her two-year tenure, another 13 were seriously injured and fewer reports of maltreatment were being investigated.
Lawmakers say they had no idea the department had devolved so badly over those last two years.
The governor ‘kept DCYF without a qualified director for 24 months,’ South Kingstown Rep. Teresa Tanzi said in April during a legislative hearing on the deaths of children in state care. ‘You have to wonder if some of this horror could have been prevented had that not been the case.’”