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Central Falls School District Honored in DC
Central Falls School District Honored in DC
Victor Capellan
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Senator Jack Reed Celebrates Central Falls School District as an Angels in Adoption® Honoree To Be Recognized at National Event in Washington, D.C.

Senator Jack Reed will celebrate the Central Falls School District as a 2018 Angels in Adoption® Honoree for their outstanding advocacy for Foster Care for the children of Central Falls. 

The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI), which coordinates the Angels in Adoption® Program, will honor Central Falls School District at an awards ceremony on September 25 and gala on September 26 in Washington, D.C.

Central Falls School District is being honored for the work the district is doing with DCYF to improve experiences for students in foster care within the school district and the state of RI. The Angels in Adoption® Program is CCAI’s signature public awareness event and provides an opportunity for all members of the U.S. Congress to honor the good work of their constituents who have enriched the lives of children in the United States and abroad. This year, more than 100 Angels are being honored through the 20th Annual Angels in Adoption® Program.

Patricia Martinez, the Chief of Human Capital and Community Empowerment for the Central Falls School District, traveled to Washington, DC along with Ms. Judy Dyer a Pre-Kindergarten teacher in Central Falls who herself recently became a foster parent.  

Recently, child-welfare agencies across Rhode Island have begun to focus on recruiting diverse and bilingual families into the state’s pool of foster care providers.  The need is great: the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) reports that the majority of the State’s youth in out-of-home care are multiracial, Hispanic, or Black Non-Hispanic. Additionally, statistics reveal that children of color have lower adoption rates than their white peers, and are more likely to be placed in group homes.

The City of Central Falls is one of the most diverse communities in Rhode Island. The Central Falls School District recognized the importance of educating local families about kinship and foster options as one strategy for keeping children in their schools and community. Superintendent Victor Capellan said, “School-aged youth who need homes benefit the most when they are close to their communities—close to their schools, teachers, friends and others who love and care about them.”

The Central Falls School District began a partnership with DCYF to host “community reach-back” meetings in order to educate local teachers, community leaders, and families about kinship and foster care options and encourage more diverse placements for children enrolled in their schools. The relationship between the two organizations has flourished, leading to two recent foster care training classes.

The School District and DCYF are pleased with the outcomes of their collaboration and plan to continue outreach and engagement with school employees and members of the Central Falls community, once the school year begins again.

U.S. Senator Reed is pleased to nominate the Central Falls School District in recognition of its innovative work and the dedication it has shown to the children and families of Central Falls.