To the Editor:
Contract cuts to outside service providers recently made by DCYF have left some foster and adoptive families scrambling. Families should sit tight as DCYF figures out what is next. In the meantime, these families are not alone -they have a solid and committed lifeline in The Village for RI Foster and Adoptive Families. The mission of The Village is to contribute to developing and sustaining a steady network of healthy, committed and well-trained families for children needing out of home care. They routinely step up and step in to do whatever it takes to achieve this mission.
Operating from donated space in the basement of Trinity Episcopal Church in the Edgewood section of Cranston, The Village is a small grassroots operation established by a group of volunteer foster parents in 2016. With a $25,000 budget last year, The Village has provided support to over 250 Rhode Island foster and adoptive families. Operating on a shoestring, these dedicated and experienced foster parents have boots on the ground providing the support most needed by families. Fostering and adopting from foster care has unique challenges. The Village knows first-hand what it takes. It is no secret that foster and adoptive families do best with access to support from peers who have walked in their shoes. The Village was founded to meet exactly this need. It is Rhode Island’s only foster and adoptive family-founded and governed-support organization. They offer support groups, peer mentoring, a clothing and baby equipment donation closet, family activities, and help accessing needed resources. They are a pure and clear voice for the foster and adoptive community in Rhode Island.
So, while DCYF works to articulate a clear plan around next steps, please know The Village is still providing support. They can be reached at 401-481-5483 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rep. Julie Casimiro
Julie Caimiro is the executive director of the Kent County YMCA.