Amidst pressure from state legislators and members of the public, the Department of Children, Youth and Families has cancelled its contract with the controversial group home where a former manager was accused of sex traficking.
The group home, The Blackstone Youth and Family Collaborative came under fire last year when state Child Advocate Jennifer Griffith was at Family Court and she overheard a defendant tell a judge that her pimp worked at the group home. The judge arranged for Griffith to discuss the matter with the youngster, who told her that he worked at the Blackstone Valley Youth and Family Collaborative.
Griffith also said the group home stonewalled her investigation into the matter, failing to keep any reliable records, and providing the children in their care with no treatment.
The matter reached a boiling point last week at a House Oversight Committee hearing where a bipartisan group of legislators expresses outrage after they were told the group home remaines open and was being given a chance to enact a “corrective action plan”.
Oversight Chairwoman Patricia Serpa said it seemed like a “criminal enterprise” at the group home.
Representative Blake Filippi asked what it would take for the group home to lose it’s state contract. The contract was paying the group home just under $1 million per year to house 9 youngsters.
Representative Anastasia Williams became very emotional, and wondered if the group home was allowed to remain open due to politics.