Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Farewell May!

Can you believe we're almost in June!

In these remaining hours, we'll take a moment to say that May has been National Foster Care Month, and, here at Family Service of RI  there has been a particularly strong emphasis on recruiting loving homes for Rhode Island's children in need.

Our foster care recruiter, Greg Wright, has been working hard to outreach to possible foster moms and dads, and even appeared TWICE on the John DePetro show on NewTalk 630 WPRO and 99.7FM. You can listen to one of his appearances by clicking here.

Of course, the need for someone to open their heart and home to a child in need goes well beyond May, unfortunately.  So, if you're thinking about it, contact Greg by clicking here or call him at 331-1350 ext. 3305.  No obligation.

Before leaving the subject of May, let's also note that our affiliate Lucy's Hearth had a fun Mother's Day-oriented activity.  Anyone could make a donation of any amount and the mom they wanted to honor could receive a special salute from Lucy's Hearth, including a special Mother's Day card and being placed on what we came to call "Lucy's List."  This activity was a project of the Friends of Lucy's Hearth and we thank them for volunteering their time and talent to make this a success!

It's going to be a busy summer!  Watch this space!

--Stephen L. Hug

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Looking to Volunteer?

Family Service of RI often looks for volunteers--so if you're in the position to help out, please let us know!

One of the volunteer opportunities is working with websites, video, databases, events, social media, that kind of thing.  Interested? Please email me.  Should be a pretty interesting opportunity, particularly if you're into communications, new media, software programs.

For opportunities in other areas, please click here.


--Stephen L. Hug

Friday, May 25, 2012

Tips to Recognize Signs of Child Sexual Abuse.

Family Service of RI's Matt Munich, from the agency's Trauma & Loss Center, has tips regarding recognizing the signs of child sexual abuse.

Click on his photo below to view a brief video.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Please Support These Restaurants!

In late April, many restaurants across the state participated in Dining Out for Life, benefiting Family Service of RI's AIDS Project RI division.  This is an annual event.

During Dining Out for Life, restaurants donate a portion of their proceeds to AIDS Project RI to help in their work caring for people living with HIV/AIDS.

Since these restaurants were generous to come forward to help in the fight against AIDS, we ask everyone to keep them in mind when making dining plans throughout the year.  We appreciate the restaurants' support--and, in turn, we want to support them!

For the complete list, please click here. We thank them, and thank you!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Save the Date! October 2

Seems funny to write about autumn as we enter the most beautiful time of spring--but wanted to share some news about October.

Family Service of RI has locked in October 2--a Tuesday--at the RI Convention Center for our annual Brighter Futures luncheon.

We started this back in 2004, and it's an opportunity to salute a person or organization contributing to brighter futures for children in the Ocean State.  Last year, our honoree was Geoffrey Canada, whose Harlem Children's Zone inspired our Providence Children's Initiative (see video below).

Thank you for all who have supported this critical annual fundraiser!  Watch this space, as we'll be announcing our 2012 honoree very soon!

--Stephen L. Hug

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Training to Better Help Crime Victims

The fourth-annual Rhode Island State Victim Assistance Academy is slated for mid to late summer, and there's still time to sign up!  But don't wait too long, because spaces usually fill quickly!

If you work with crime victims, check this out.  Attendees have included hospital interpreters, advocates for domestic violence victims, people who work with senior citizens and others.

Family Service of Rhode Island and Roger Williams University have partnered to provide this statewide effort to improve the quality of service to crime victims.

Day-long classes take place July 18, August 1, August 8, August 15 and August 22 at the University’s Baypoint Inn and Conference Center in beautiful Portsmouth, RI.

Topics include “Impact of Crime on Victims: Trauma, PTSD, and Direct Services,” “Working with LGBTQQ Youth,” “Cultural Competency in Working with Victims,” “Ethics in Victim Services,” “Victim’s Issues in Mental Health,” “Caring for Elder Victims,” and much more.

The cost: $50 for victim advocate/bachelor level, $125 for CEU-seeking participants.

Questions? Please contact Meghan Martinez at 401-331-1350, ext. 3200 or email her at Martinezme@familyserviceri.

You can apply on-line here.

--Stephen L. Hug

Monday, May 21, 2012


With all the Facebook news recently, it occurred to me that we haven't asked you to "like" us on Facebook through this blog.

If you're on Facebook, we hope you'll take a few moments to do so.  Please click right here.

Family Service of RI updates once, maybe twice a day.  Currently we have more than 930 followers.

We hope you'll be one soon. Thanks!

--Stephen L. Hug

Friday, May 18, 2012

Your Workplace Could Help a Needy Child

Family Service of RI's Treatment Foster Care Program works hard to outreach to potential foster parents for needy boys and girls in Rhode Island.

Greg Wright, whom I refer to as Family Service of RI's "foster care guru," and the foster care team  have been fortunate to have had support from companies in the real estate, banking and hospital industries over the past year.  This Saturday, by the way, we'll have a table at the Warwick Mall, from noon to 4, in front of Gymboree.  We'll be talking to anybody who stops by about the very special way foster parents transform the lives of children.  If you're in the area, stop by and say hi.  (And say you heard about it from reading this blog!)

Even if you are unable to become a foster parent yourself, you can still help Rhode Island's most vulnerable children.  Invite Greg to set up a table at your workplace and give him the opportunity to speak with your colleagues at lunchtime, for example, or whatever works for you. Or perhaps you have some creative ideas on how to outreach in your workplace.  Greg is open to your suggestions!

Please help. It doesn't cost a thing! Contact Greg at 401-331-1350 ext. 3305, or email him at

As we like to say: "Some Day a Child Will Thank You."

--Stephen L. Hug

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Radio Resources

"Radio is a sound salvation," sang Elvis Costello in the late 1970s when he performed his song Radio, Radio.

And that's true for non-profits like Family Service of RI, which need multiple ways to get the word out without spending lots of money.

Local radio is one of the resources.  If you're interested in what's doing with community organizations, check out "Saturday Morning News with Steve Klamkin" which runs 6 to 8 a.m. on 630AM/99.7 FM WPRO on, of course, Saturday.  A great listen, as you start off your weekend, to find things to do.

Sundays kick off on B101, 94HJY and Coast 93.3 at 7 a.m. with "Infonation." Switch over to 630AM/99.7 FM WPRO and catch "Cumulus Community" at 8 a.m. followed by "Amazing Women" at 8:30. These shows may also air on other stations that are part of the Cumulus broadcasting group, like Lite Rock 105 and 92 PROFM.

We like the fact that "Cumulus Community" and "Amazing Women" post their shows as podcasts afterwards.Check out this "Cumulus Community" show which focuses on Family Service of RI's child trauma & loss center as well as the local response to human trafficking.

Of course, these are not the only local radio resources. Our friends at Latino Public Radio have a lot of local programming, as does Rhode Island Public Radio.  And let's not forget weekdays 11 to noon WADK's Art Berluti does community interviews on Aquidneck Island.

There are also daily talk shows on WPRO and WHJJ which sometimes focus on the great and important work of community organizations. Catch a podcast of our foster parent recruiter Greg Wright on  the "John DePetro Show on Newstalk 630 WPRO and 99.7 FM."

Whew!  That's a lot, and I'm sure I've forgotten some. Email me if you want to add to this list.

--Stephen L. Hug

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

RI Model for Child Trauma

Did you know there is a Rhode Island Model for child trauma?

Earlier this year, Family Service of RI, along with the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) and the Providence Police, showcased it at a national conference.

In fact, the Child Welfare League of America sees us as a leader.  "I consider Family Service of RI, the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families, and the Providence Police to be leaders when it comes to infusing the trauma-informed approach into the work of child welfare," said Julie Collins of the League.  "They have been doing this much longer than most agencies and we are excited they agreed to share their wisdom and experience."

The RI Model involves:
  • 24/7 response to children and families exposed to trauma;
  • A focus on prevention and early intervention;
  • A Family Service of RI worker riding along with the Providence Police on routine patrols as well as during narcotic raids;
  • Increasing knowledge through cross-training on trauma-related subjects;
  • Monthly case consultation meetings including other community partners;
  • Family Service of RI being provided space at DCYF for trauma consultations and referrals.
"When a child and family enter into a state's child welfare system it is usually the result of abuse, neglect, crime, violence or something related," said Susan Erstling, Ph.D., who heads Family Service of RI's trauma and loss center.  "The idea is to move quickly to respond to the stress to lessen potential lasting effects."

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Gay Bingo Thursday

Looking for a crazy time while helping fight HIV/AIDS?

Sounds like you need to go to Gay Bingo!!

On the third Thursday of most months, AIDS Project RI (a division of Family Service of RI) and our friends at AIDS Care Ocean State have a wild time with a lot of friends over at the Riviera Bingo Palace in Cranston.

Next Gay Bingo is this Thursday!!

This is a fundraiser for AIDS Project RI and AIDS Care Ocean State--so while you are playing bingo and laughing yourself silly over the antics of  host Miss Kitty Litter, you'll be helping people living with HIV/AIDS in Rhode Island.

On June 21 a special Gay Pride Bingo will be held for RI Pride!

This is a legendary event that has been going on for years!

For more info, click here.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Have You a Last Minute Mother's Day Challenge?

As this post is being written, we are just hours from Mother's Day.  Hope your favorite mom is doing fine and you have found a wonderful way to honor her.

But--maybe you'd like to do something different this year.  You know your favorite mom cares about helping those in need. Hmm...

So maybe this year get your mom on Lucy's List!  This is a fundraiser for our affiliate Lucy's Hearth, which cares for homeless mothers and their children. Make a donation of any amount, and we'll put your favorite mom on the honoree list.

It's so easy to do. And it's for a great cause!

Check it out here.


Friday, May 11, 2012

RI Children Need a Happier Mother's Day!

There are children in the Ocean State looking for loving homes.  They are looking for foster moms (and dads) to enjoy Mother's Day with, and the other holidays too!

Over the years, Family Service of RI has found homes for many children, but, unfortunately, the need continues.

During this National Foster Care Month, we're asking Rhode Islanders to think about opening their heart and home to one of these youngsters.  Many families have done so over the years, but there are children still in need of homes.

Learn more by attending the Foster Care Information Open House this coming Wednesday, May 16, 5 to 7 p.m. at our 134 Thurbers Avenue, Providence office.  Just take the Thurbers Avenue exit off 95.  You'll see a mill building on your left when you come to the end of the exit. That's where we're located.  Take a left at the lights and take your first left into the parking lot.  Enter the building through the entrance on the right.  Head straight down the hallway until you come to our office (big logo on the door). 

Directions also available with this Mapquest link.

Give Greg Wright a call at 331-1350, ext 3305, or email him. Contact him even if you are unable to attend.

Some of what Greg will tell you is that foster parents get a weekly stipend, a clothing allowance for the child, 24/7 on-call support and more.  We partner with our foster parents and foster children.  You'll receive comprehensive support.

Thank you for giving this some thought.  And thank you for taking time to hear from one of our foster parents, Liz:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Training to Better Care for Victims

Once again, we're teaming up with Roger Williams University to improve the quality of service to crime victims.
In July and August we'll be providing our annual State Victim Assistance Academy at the University's Portsmouth campus. It's open to professionals who work with victims and survivors of crime.

Academy attendees have included staff from the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office as well as detectives, advocates for the homeless and for domestic violence victims, hospital interpreters, elder affairs workers and others within the public and private sectors.

For more information and the on-line application, click here.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Talking Foster Care on John DePetro's Show

Greg Wright, who works tirelessly to find loving homes for children in need, was a guest on the John DePetro show on Newstalk 630 WPRO and 99.7 FM on Tuesday.

If you missed it on the radio, thanks to Mr. DePetro and the folks at WPRO, you can hear the interview as a podcast. Check it out here.

If you're thinking about looking into becoming a foster parent but have a lot of questions, give a listen.

And/or chat with Greg at 401-331-1350 ext. 3305 or email him at

He's holding an information open house on Wednesday, May 16 by the way.  Starts at 5 and goes until about 7 p.m. Located at our offices at 134 Thurbers Ave. in Providence--just moments off the Thurbers Ave exit on Rt. 95.

Think foster parenting. Some day a child will thank you!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Congrats to Dr. Lusi!

Congratulations to Dr. Susan Lusi, who has been serving as Providence's interim school superintendent.  Last night she was named officially as superintendent by the Providence School Board!

Congrats to Dr. Lusi!  We look forward to working with her and her team in the years ahead!

Monday, May 07, 2012

On with the Independent Man Tuesday

Our foster care guru, Greg Wright, will be on the radio with WPRO's John DePetro, known as the "Independent Man," on Tuesday just after the 10 a.m. news.

It's National Foster Care Month, and Greg, as always, is working hard to find loving homes for children in RI.

We appreciate the support of Mr. DePetro!  Tune in Tuesday!

If you're interested in learning more about becoming a foster parent, contact Greg by emailing him.

Or call him at 401-331-1350 ext. 3305.

Some day a child will thank you!

Thanks Providence Journal for Helping Homeless Mothers

If you pick up today's Providence Journal, you'll spot on page D4 a wonderful blurb about Lucy's Hearth's Mother's Day-related fundraiser. 

Thank you Providence Journal for your help in getting the word out about how people can make this Mother's Day extra special by helping the homeless mothers and children at Lucy's Hearth.

Don't know what we're talking about?  Check out D4 in today's Providence Journal!  You can also find out by visiting Lucy's Hearth's website:

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Thank You WPRO, B101, 94HJY and Coast 93.3

Just a quick note to thank a number of radio stations who spread the word this weekend about our affiliate, Lucy's Hearth, and the special Mother's Day fundraiser happening.

Actually, the fundraiser is not on Mother's Day, but it is leading up to Mother's Day!

Here's how it works: a donation, any donation, to Lucy's Hearth, a homeless shelter for women and their children, means you can have a special card sent to your favorite mom--your mom, your daughter, a friend, grandmother etc.  And Lucy's Hearth, if you like, will post your honoree's name on what is being called Lucy's List on Lucy's Hearth's website. A bunch of names are already there.

WPRO, on Saturday morning, interviewed Lucy's Hearth's director, Jenn Barrera, on it's "Saturday Morning News with Steve Klamkin" program. And 94HJY, Coast 93.3 and B101 did the same on Sunday on "Infonation." The topic, of course, was the fundraiser, but during the interviews Jenn was able to speak about the work of Lucy's Hearth.

With Mother's Day next weekend, we appreciate the boost!

Should also mention that the Mother's Day fundraiser is a project of the Friends of Lucy's Hearth, which is a volunteer group. Thanks to them too!!

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Is Your Favorite Mother on Lucy's List?

Our affiliate, Lucy's Hearth, in Middletown, RI is holding a special Mother's Day fundraiser.  They are providing an opportunity to honor your favorite mother while helping homeless mothers and their children.

Many folks have already submitted their favorite mother's name; how about you?

See who is on the list by clicking here.

Lucy's Hearth is a homeless shelter for women and their children.

We're Blogging Again!

We are blogging again! Hope to provide many updates about the work of Family Service of RI. Watch this space!