Child & Family Services
Child & Family began in Newport, Rhode Island as two separate agencies: The Home for Friendless Children, lateer called the Children's Home of Newport, and the Charity Society of the City of Newport, later known as the Family Service Society. Child & Family has been caring for our community since 1866. Opening its doors at 24 School Street in downtown Newport the year after the Civil War ended, it began as a small home to provide shelter for five orphans and children of destitute parents. The founders of Child & Family had a vision, "a community that took full responsibility for its most vulnerable and needy residents." They believed they could achieve that vision by establishing a place where those in need could be connected with those who could help.At Christmas 1917, the home issued its first appeal for funds. One hundred paper bags were handed out and 90 were returned, providing abundantly for the household. The Wall Street Crash came in 1929 and ushered in the Great Depression along with 2, 263 applications for assistance, an increase of 882 over any year in the home's history. In the 1950's the Home for Friendless Children became the Children's Home of Newport. By the 1970's, eldercare services were added and the agency merged with the Family Service Society to become Child & Family Services of Newport County.
The 1980's signified rapid change that would solidify Child & Family's reach into the community. Massive renovations were needed for the School Street building and a capital campaign raised $600,000. Childcare was added. An innovative student assistance program began, placing staff in area schools. The agency received a contract from the State's Department of Children, Youth and Families to provide comprehensive services to at-risk families. A shelter for girls opened in Portsmouth. A new building on Valley Road in Middletown opened thanks to a million dollars donated by the community. It filled a growing need for counseling and substance abuse programs.
In recent years Child & Family has added a Family Preservation Program and Supportive Housing, helping the most needy when there is no one else who will help.
Today, Child & Family:
- Extends help to more than 5,000 community "family" members each year
- Provides overnight housing for more than 250 people each night
- Has an annual operating budget of more than $30 million
- Employs a full-time staff of almost 200 employees, countless part-time employees and coordinates a volunteer pool of more than 300 community members.
- Operates and maintains 23 facilities
- Provides an extensive array of family programming including: Child care, individual and family counseling, inpatient and outpatient diagnostic and treatment services, and in-home family strengthening programs
- Provides children without families a safe place to live in a family environment
- Provides homeless mothers supportive housing so that they and their children can have a safe place to live and where they can learn the parenting and job skills they require to ultimately take full responsibility for themselves and their family
- Provides teens and young adults, both in school and in the community, with student assistance services, substance abuse counseling, school to career counseling, and general counseling programming
- Provides elders with care management, homemaker and home health aid and neighborhood friendly visiting services
With more community clients, full-time employees and facilities than all of the other local agencies combined, Child & Family is the most comprehensive social service agency in Newport County, and one of the largest in Rhode Island. Please visit our website at www.childandfamilyri.com to learn more about the many programs and populations we serve. Come join us!!
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