Report: DCYF ‘inaction’ contributes to death of foster child

DCYF Director Trista Piccola (third from left) is accompanied by state officials and leaders of social service agencies as she details changes to her agency in the wake of the death of a nine-year old girl. Photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – A report into the death of a 9-year-old Rhode Island girl in foster care says ineptitude and inaction by the state’s child welfare system was partially to blame.

The 57-page report released Tuesday by the state Office of the Child Advocate says “the actions or inactions of (Department of Children, Youth and Families) staff contributed to the death” of Zha Nae Rothgeb in a Warwick home in January. She was found dead in a bathtub.

The girl, who had cerebral palsy, was under the care of a single mother with seven other special needs foster children.

The report also suggests more than 20 changes at the state child welfare agency.

Department Director Trista Piccola in statement said she shares the child advocate’s concerns and will cooperate in making changes.