Former Providence Police Capt. speaks for first time on the decision to move to D.C.Y.F.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE): Longtime Providence Police Captain Dean Isabella joined the Department of Children, Youth, and Families as the Assistant Director of Child Protective Services.
Isabella worked in law enforcement for 30 years.
"I think what appealed to me most about this job was being able to make an impact on children and family's lives," Isabella said."One of the most satisfying parts of my job in the police department was to work with the community.
Isabella said the Police Department and D.C.Y.F. are both very similar in many ways. He said his background will give him a unique perspective.
"The Police Department and D.C.Y.F. are both large complex organizations with a lot of moving parts," Isabella said. "We both deal with crisis situations on a daily basis. At the Police Department, were able to solve problems through training, accountability, and partnering with community organizations. Hopefully, I can bring the same principles here."
Isabella is now part of the team that takes the original calls through D.C.Y.F.'s hotline. They get an average of 18k-20k calls a year.
In 2017, the state's Child Advocate Office released a report that found calls were not being investigated properly, leaving many children at risk.
9 children that involvement with D.C.Y.F. died in the last 4 years, due to abuse or neglect, according to their most recent reports.
Isabella said the department is fixing this with a new plan, a family functioning assessment tool, to gather more information when someone calls.
"They will be using this tool to prompt you to ask certain questions," Isabella said. "You're able to gather a much more comprehensive view of what's going on that may be causing the problem for that family. It's a much better way of making an assessment than going by your gut."
The plan is for that tool to be implemented by October.
Isabella said one of his main goals is to spread the word about preventative measures.
"I want to let people know that D.C.Y.F. is not just about taking your kids away or being a bad parent. It offers many services to families that needs help to get to that point."