Contact Us

Every day, the OCA receives calls from various sources such as providers, police departments, school departments, teachers, social workers, nurses, medical providers, outside attorneys, judges, and parents. These calls cover different topics and are handled differently. The response can involve providing information, conducting independent investigations, writing reports, and taking legal action. 


The Office of the Child Advocate serves as guardian ad litem (GAL) to youth who are in the care of the Department through voluntary placement agreements. These are children with significant mental health diagnoses and/or developmental disabilities. As GAL, the OCA attends treatment meetings, IEP meetings, and court hearings on behalf of the child. The OCA works with the Department and service providers to ensure the child's needs are met. Additionally, the OCA writes detailed reports for the Rhode Island Family Court to update the Court on the child's case and make important recommendations for their care. Currently, the OCA serves as GAL for approximately sixty (60) children. 

The Office of the Child Advocate is not an emergency response agency and does not handle emergency reports of child neglect or abuse. If you have information about a child being abused or neglected, please call 1-800-RI-CHILD (1-800-742-4453) immediately to report it. 

If you have concerns about children in the care or custody of the Department of Children, Youth, and Families, you can contact the Office of the Child Advocate at 401-462-4300. Our office is open Monday-Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM. If you call outside these hours, you can leave a voicemail and we will get back to you on the next business day. 

  • If you are worried about how a child is being treated by a program or state agency, you can get help.  

    We can help you find the right resources for the child. If you think a child is being abused or neglected and have already called 1-800-RI-CHILD and tried to get help in other ways. If you have any other concerns about a child under the care of the Department of Children, Youth and Families. 

Gather Information

With every call, our office staff will ask for some basic information, which allows us to address the inquiry and to follow up with the caller. Some examples of information that we will ask for includes:

  • Your contact information
  • The full name of the mother of the child
  • The name and birth date of the child that the call is concerning
  • The individuals, programs, or agencies involved
  • What your exact concerns are and whether or not you have taken other actions prior to calling the OCA?
  • What outcomes you are seeking from our agency?

Please note that although we ask for your contact information it is merely to follow up with you after our investigation. We do not release the identity of the caller to any parties involved.