AP NEWS

Death of girl prompts changes to RI child welfare agency

April 12, 2019

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The head of Rhode Island’s child welfare agency says she has made changes in personnel and policy following the death of a disabled 9-year-old girl in a foster home.

Trista Piccola, director of the Department of Children, Youth and Families, said Friday she has appointed a new chief of staff and will limit the number of children who can be placed in a single home to five.

The changes are in response to the death of a Zah-Nae, a girl with cerebral palsy, found in the bathtub of a squalid Warwick home in January. There were eight children in the home. Her foster mother faces child neglect charges.

Piccola says since Zah-Nae’s death, three agency employees have resigned, five have been disciplined and five have been ordered to undergo retraining.