A local non-profit offers to run the troubled St. Mary's Home

St. Mary’s Home for Children in North Providence. Photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News


There may soon be a new operator for a troubled North Providence home that treats youth with psychiatric problems.

Tides Family Services says it has agreed to take over operations of St. Mary’s Home for Children, the subject of a scathing report by the Rhode Island Child Advocate that found a host of troubling problems, including neglect, drug overdoses, sexual abuse of youth and a security operation that utilized members of a biker gang.

The Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families had halted sending any more children to the home nearly a year ago when problems came to light, but said in a statement on Wednesday that it “is in support of this decision,” and “encouraged” by the prospective takeover.

The statement went on to say, “DCYF’s top priority remains ensuring the safety and well-being of the youth who are currently placed at St. Mary’s. DCYF continues to monitor and support the 10 youth placed at St. Mary’s to ensure their needs are being met. DCYF, in collaboration with St. Mary’s, Tides, and the Office of the Child Advocate will continue to engage in transition planning for the youth according to their needs. The Department is communicating with families about next steps.”

“Tides has a 40-year record of helping vulnerable Rhode Island youth and their families through the provision of high quality educational and community-based behavioral health services,” said Beth Bixby, CEO of Tides in a statement.

St. Mary’s Home is operated by the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island.

“Tides has an outstanding record of providing services to children and families in need, and strong fiscal and management practices,” said St. Mary’s Board President Jeffrey Cascione in a statement.

“We are confident that this agreement will ensure that the children and youth at St. Mary’s receive the services they deserve, and are confident in a smooth transition as Tides takes over day-to-day management and operations,” Cascione added.

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