Conference Explores Issues & Progress in RI Child Welfare


On May 6th, 2016, Rhode Island leaders in child-welfare, together with nationally recognized experts from top think-tank organizations including the University of Chicago’s Chapin Hall, The Chadwick Center in California, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation gathered together to explore and present current and future trends in policy, best practices and outcomes in caring for the well-being of children, youth and families in our communities. Over 350 attendees including social service providers, educators, policy makers, corporate and non-profit business leaders representing over 70 organizations registered for this timely and needed conference designed for those who understand the need to better serve the children and youth in the state of Rhode Island.

The conference opened with a Keynote address by Bryan Samuels, Executive Director of Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, who revealed to the audience he had direct experience in group home care for most of his youth. U.S. Congressman, David Cicilline, addressed the audience at lunch followed by a lively and informative panel discussion moderated by RI Public Radio’s Health Care Reporter, Kristin Gourlay.

Panelists included Jamia McDonald, Chief Strategy Officer, RI EOHHS; The Honorable Michael B. Forte, acting Chief Judge, RI Family Court; Elizabeth Burke Bryant, Executive Director, RI KIDS COUNT; The Honorable Lou DiPalma, Rhode Island; Bryan Samuels, Executive Director, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, and Marty Sinnott, CEO & President, Child & Family.

 “…Very interesting material and it was great to network with so many different individuals and agencies.”

“…great to learn about what other states are doing.”

“Bryan was very inspiring to me – I felt I should get more involved to effect change”

Conference presentation materials may be found here.