19 Sufflok U. L. Rev. 227 (1985)
The Institutional and Educational Abuse of Children in State Care

handle is hein.journals/sufflr19 and id is 247 raw text is: SUFFOLK UNIVERSITY
LAW REVIEW
Volume XIX                  R.I. Survey, 1985                   Number 2
THE INSTITUTIONAL AND EDUCATIONAL
ABUSE OF CHILDREN IN STATE CARE
Thomas R. Finn and Michael D. Coleman*
I. INTRODUCTION
Each year the State of Rhode Island provides substitute residential
care for thousands of children.' The Department for Children and
their Families (DCF)2 petitions for legal care or custody of these
children before the family court, alleging either abuse,' neglect,4
dependency5 delinquency,6 or waywardness,7 or else DCF obtains
custody through voluntary placement agreements signed by parents.8
DCF monitors and evaluates all residential and nonresidential child
care institutions, group homes, foster homes, and programs.9 DCF
discharges its responsibility to protect children from harm through
the operation of its child protective services division which investigates
complaints of child abuse and neglect by biological parents0 and
places children in substitute care. Rhode Island's mandatory re-
porting law concerning child abuse and neglect aids DCF in dis-
charging its responsibility by requiring any person who has reasonable
* Thomas R. Finn is Associate Professor of Law at Suffolk University Law School in
Boston, Massachusetts. Michael D. Coleman is Child Advocate for the State of Rhode Island.
1. See Department for Children and Their Families, 1985-86 Budget Request, at BB-12
and BB-16 (1985) (indicating approximate average daily population of children in substitute
care at 2,250 children).
2. See R.I. GEN. LAWS § 42-72-1 to -30 (1984) (establishing DCF).
3. Id. §§  14-1-3(H) (1981), 40-11-2(2), -7  (1984).
4. Id.
5. Id. § 14-1-3 (1981) (amended 1984).
6. Id. §  14-1-3(F).
7. Id. §  14-1-3(G).
8. Id. § 42-72-14 (1979) (amended 1984).
9. Id. § 42-72-5(8) (1984).
10. Id. § 40-11-7.
11. Id. §  40-11-7-1.

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