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7/7/2021 Governor McKee signs into law Rep. McEntee and Sen. DiMario’s legislation requiring DCYF to report cases of suspected abuse to Children’s Advocacy Center
STATE HOUSE – Governor Daniel McKee has signed into law legislation sponsored by Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee (D-Dist. 33, South Kingstown, North Kingstown) and Sen. Alana M. DiMario (D-Dist. 36, Narragansett, North Kingstown) that would require all suspected cases of childhood sexual abuse be reported to the Children’s Advocacy Center.

 “While any childhood sexual abuse is horrific, it is even more devastating and heartbreaking when these children do not have access to the proper care and support to begin their journey of healing.  This bill will ensure that no child who has suffered sexual abuse in Rhode Island will be lost through the cracks after reporting their abuse and that they will receive the help that they need to process and overcome their terrible trauma,” said Representative McEntee.

“Instead of having to navigate through several different agencies, families are able to go to one place to interact with a multi-disciplinary team that is specifically trained to support children and their families in the aftermath of abuse,” said Senator DiMario. “The child is interviewed one time in a safe setting that helps to reduce the re-traumatization of the child and allows for a more comprehensive and accurate interview. By codifying the practice into law, children and families who are experiencing this awful situation who come to the attention of DCYF, will be directed early in the process to a place that is equipped to help them navigate through it and work for the best possible outcome on all fronts. I want to recognize and thank Day One for providing this important service model for children and their families here in Rhode Island.”

The bill (2021-H 5139 / 2021-S 0412) would require the Department of Children, Youth and Families to report all suspected cases of child sexual abuse to the Children's Advocacy Center.  The center is run through the Day One organization.

The Children’s Advocacy Center is responsible for streamlining the process of investigating and adjudicating child abuse cases, while providing the child and family with mental health and other needed support.

For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903