The Rhode Island Children's Cabinet was created in 1991 by state law (RI GL 42-72.5) to address all cross-departmental issues that relate to children's needs and services. It meets on the second Wednesday of each month, except August. Quarterly meetings are attended by state Department Directors; the balance are conducted as work groups made up of senior departmental policy staff on an ad-hoc basis. These latter sessions are aimed at resolving barriers to mutual action and exploring new means of working together.
The intent of the Children's Cabinet is to foster cooperative state efforts to address the needs of children and families in an integrated and effective way. The Cabinet adopted a five-year plan in 1992, with specific goals, objectives and actions. Since then, it has worked to implement those objectives and to address emergent issues. It functions as an information exchange forum among state departments, private service agencies and the public.
The Children's Cabinet committed itself to working toward four broad outcomes:
* All children will enter school ready to learn.
* All youth will leave school prepared to lead productive lives.
* All children and youth will be safe in their homes, schools, and neighborhoods.
* All families shall be economically self-sufficient yet interdependent.
The Cabinet is composed of the directors of the state departments that serve children: Human Services; Health; Children, Youth and Families; Labor and Training; Administration; Mental Health, Retardation and Hospitals; Higher Education; and Elementary and Secondary Education. The Cabinet also includes the Governor's Policy Director and the Rhode Island Child Support Enforcement Administrator. There are no private sector representatives.
The Children's Cabinet has partnered with Rhode Island KIDS COUNT to develop indicators and data sets designed to measure the state's progress toward achieving the Cabinet's goals for children and families. Between June 2001 and December 2002, the Children's Cabinet agenda has been dedicated to policy discussions based upon presentations of data collected and analyzed by the state agencies and by Rhode Island KIDS COUNT.
Click here to read Results for Rhode Island's Children: Progress and Challenges.
Click here to see Rhode Island KIDS COUNT's presentations to the Children's Cabinet.
Click here for the Children's Cabinet home page.