Mission: Children’s Friend is the innovative leader in improving the well-being and healthy development of Rhode Island’s most vulnerable young children. We accomplish this by providing flexible, effective, and culturally-relevant services, and advocating for programs and policies that support and strengthen these children and their families.
Children's Friend, a non-profit organization founded in 1834, is Rhode Island's oldest child welfare organization and a leading provider of child welfare, family support, mental health, and child development services. With centers in Providence, Pawtucket and Central Falls, Children’s Friend serves more than 30,000 of Rhode Island's most vulnerable children and their families each year.
Children's Friend has been serving Rhode Island's most vulnerable children and their families since 1834. The children that we serve face a myriad of obstacles in their lives, including poverty, language barriers, lack of education, substance abuse, and difficulty accessing health care. Because of these obstacles, many of their parents have difficulty caring for them.
At Children's Friend, we support families and help them find the strength to overcome their hurdles. By creating safe and nurturing environments for children during the crucial early years, and by helping parents gain access to the resources, education, and support that they need, we can give children the foundation to help them live healthy and productive lives.
The agency’s services are pro-active, seeking to identify children at-risk and to intervene as early as possible to prevent adverse outcomes.
The services provided to children and families are culturally relevant and focus on strengths while recognizing vulnerabilities. The agency delivers services in a manner which conveys respect for each individual and family and their cultural traditions.
The agency provides opportunities for families to be meaningfully engaged in the design, delivery, and evaluation of our services. Engaging families in their own success through family voice and choice allows the family to be the driving force behind achievement of their goals. Families are partners in the design delivery and evaluation of services.
In order to meet the needs of vulnerable children and families services are comprehensive and address the needs of the whole child and family. Collaboration with other private and public agencies is the key to delivering comprehensive services tailored to the needs of each child and family served to avoid duplication.
The agency proactively seeks out and develops strategic public (government), non-profit and private (business and philanthropic) partnerships which result in innovative and effective outcomes.
Effective delivery of services ensures that services are designed to meet the needs of children and families. The agency believes an integrated seamless system ensures that children and families receive the support they need regardless of the point of entry into the agency. It furthermore centralizes the experience of the child and family and recognizes that they are the reason for everything that we do.
On-going program evaluation is implemented to ensure that programs are achieving their goals and that services are truly making a difference in the lives of vulnerable children and families. Evaluation data is used to make program improvements and to report publicly our successes.
The agency’s 175+ years of experience with vulnerable children and families requires us to take a leadership role in educating policy makers and the general public regarding the needs of such children and families. Therefore, we advocate for policies and resources which enhance the well-being of all children and families in Rhode Island.
Children’s Friend provides high quality professional development opportunities to all of our staff, board members, interns and volunteers. We share our expertise by providing training and a wide variety of learning opportunities, as well as consultation, both internally as well as to others in the child welfare and early childhood fields.
Children’s Friend provides careful and responsible stewardship of its financial resources; ensuring that administrative costs remain proportionately low and that most of the resources are spent on meeting un-met needs and serving those who would not otherwise receive appropriate services.
Children’s Friend employees have unique sets of creativity, skills, knowledge, experiences, and ideas that add value to the organization. Employees feel a strong commitment to the mission of the agency and have opportunities and are encouraged to provide input and feedback that informs planning, policy development, and daily practice.