Almost a full month after the Providence Journal released a bombshell report on multiple cases of neglect and worse by workers in Rhode Island’s Department of Children, Youth & Families (DCYF), Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo is finally responding after weeks of bipartisan criticism for her lack of leadership. But instead of calling for any new action to fix the DCYF, Raimondo sent out a self-congratulatory video touting her attempts to improve the agency as an apparent effort to distract fromreports that DCYF workers’ actions “left young people in their care hospitalized, endangered or exploited.”
Also absent from Raimondo’s PSA was any attempt to take responsibility for the DCYF’s failures on her watch. In 2015, Raimondoappointed staffers to lead the Department, neither of whom met state-required qualifications for the DCYF director position. Raimondo has also ignored recommendations called for by Rhode Island’s Office of the Child Advocate to improve the DCYF. In March of this year, the Office of the Child Advocate stated in a report that recommendations were “yet to be executed” and that “issues with staffing and unmanageable caseloads persist and in some units, have worsened.” Raimondo made no mention of these points in her video.
Instead of acknowledging the DCYF’s inexcusable failures under her watch and pledging to take every necessary step to fix the Department’s systemic issues, Raimondo decided to put out a campaign-esque video touting herself while ignoring reality. As Rhode Island’s most vulnerable youths remain at-risk under care of state child services plagued by systemic problems, Raimondo shows no leadership, proving once again, she is all talk, no action when it comes to helping Rhode Islanders.