Rhode Island

3 RI Group Homes on Probation, 2 Closed Following Investigation

A scathing report detailing how the homes' operator was treating troubled youths in its care prompted the closures

Rhode Island Department of Children Youth and Families1
WJAR-TV

Three Rhode Island group homes have been put on probation and two others have closed following a scathing report detailing how the homes' operator was treating troubled youths in its care.

State officials made the announcement after an investigation released by the child advocate's office last month showed little to no accounting for the services that Communities for People had promised, The Boston Globe reported Monday.

Communities for People, a Boston nonprofit that runs five residential homes in Providence, temporarily closed two of its properties and stopped admitting youths into all of its group homes.

The state investigation into the organization ran from August to October and stemmed from numerous complaints made to the Department of Children, Youth, and Families, and the child advocate's office.

Investigators found "incomplete and substandard" files and medication records, lack of supervision and unprofessional staff, and sexual activity and fights between youths. In additional to lack of staffing and record keeping, officials found one home didn't have enough food and another home was housing a youth who wasn't enrolled in an educational or vocational system.

"Unprofessionalism among staff members was prevalent," according to the report by the child advocate's office. "Each program lacked an appropriate level of professionalism."

Craig Gordon, the nonprofit's chief operating officer, said it is working with the state Department of Children, Youth, and Families, and the child advocate's office to correct problems and retrain staff.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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