video: Accusations of Negligence, Abuse in DCYF Homes
Wednesday, March 02, 2011
The out-of-state, for-profit homes that DCYF uses are being accused of abuse and neglect by one of their former residents.
That resident, Nicholas Alahverdian, leveled the accusations at the Department of Children Youth and Families at a press conference he held at the Statehouse yesterday.
He added: “An emergency oversight commission to review the activities, policies, and procedures of the Department is pertinent, as there are few other options that can veritably ensure that these vulnerable youth are not caught in the treacherous gears of the machinery of this rogue entity.”
Accusations of neglect, violation of rights
His letter and his remarks at the press conference contained a slew of accusations against DCYF.
“As DCYF is plagued with problems and has remained in the public eye due to its mismanagement and many mistakes, the agency has exhibited its inability as a fundamentally flawed entity to continue to effectively serve the citizenry,” Alahverdian said.
He also said those out-of-state group homes and facilities have “infringed upon the constitutional rights” of the children under their care, including their right to contact an attorney, report abuse and neglect, and receive a “free and appropriate education.”
The Rhode Island Department of Children Youth and Families issued the following statement today in response to the accusations:
“DCYF has no documented evidence of substantiated abuse of Mr. [Alahverdian] in a residential setting. … DCYF's data does not suggest that any pattern of widespread abuse exists in the residential system in RI.”
It concluded: “Any report of suspected abuse is fully investigated… We don't know what Mr. [Alahverdian’s] specific allegations are, but will clearly be happy to investigate them if they are provided to us.”
Calls for legislation
Alahverdian said many of his concerns would be addressed by legislation introduced by Roberto DaSilva. So far, that legislation has yet to be filed, according to records on the General Assembly Web site.
Alahverdian is the Director of Policy and Research at NexusGovernment, a social justice group.
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