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Rhode Island Children’s Behavioral Health and Education
Department of Children, Youth and Families
The Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) provides publicly funded mental health services for children birth through 21. If the children have third party coverage, this must be used first. The Division of Children’s Behavioral Health and Education is responsible for the design, implementation, and monitoring of a continuum of therapeutic and clinical services to seriously emotionally/behaviorally disturbed children and youth, as well as providing programs aimed at maintaining healthy family functioning through an array of community-based therapeutic/supportive services. Children who are placed in the custody of the Department due to abuse, neglect, and dependency, as well as children who remain in the custody of their parents or legal guardians, are eligible for these services. Most of these services are delivered in community-based settings, and are accessed primarily through the eight Community Mental Health Centers. The Department of Children, Youth and Families maintains a list of mental health clinicians who meet criteria developed by DCYF and the Division of Medical Services of the Department of Human Services, who provide mental health assessments and counseling services for children and youth in DCYF care and custody. DCYF caseworkers access these services for children and youth in their caseloads. These services are provided by psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed independent clinical social workers, registered nurses with a Master’s degree in nursing, licensed mental health counselors, and licensed marriage and family therapists.