- Associated Press - Monday, May 8, 2017

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island state legislators are holding hearings on how to prevent the deaths of children in state care.

Department of Children, Youth and Families Director Trista Piccola testified Monday at a Senate committee hearing.

Piccola, who is DCYF’s new leader, says too many “front-line” staffing vacancies have contributed to the child welfare agency’s problems. She says dozens more people are being hired.

Piccola says to “never, never, never, never compromise your front door.”

The House Oversight Committee is also set to hold a hearing on Wednesday on recommended changes to DCYF.

A review by the state’s child advocate published in March recommended an overhaul of DCYF practices after finding that four children died in the past year despite warnings from family, friends, police and others.

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