R Kids Family Center
45 Dixwell Ave
New Haven CT 06511
Contact Information
Address 45 Dixwell Ave
New Haven, CT 06511-
Telephone (203) 865-5437 x
Fax 203-865-5444
E-mail rkids@rkidsct.org
Web and Social Media
Mission

'r kids Family Center enjoys a unique niche in the New Haven nonprofit community: permanency for children.  

'r kids contends that every child is entitled to a nurturing and permanent family as a right and not a privilege. Our mission is to provide highly specialized, high quality services to children and families in transition. 'r kids promotes permanency, safety and stability for children by providing nurturing services to biological, kinship, foster and adoptive families.

The ‘r kids’ tag line embodies our mission; With each child, the world begins anew (Midrash).

'r kids understands that children are society’s most vulnerable and most valuable assets. We want the seeds of stability and increased self-esteem for at risk children not simply to take root and flourish for a season, but to enable these children to pay it forward productively as nurturing parents.

Because the needs of the entire family are essential to children’s sustained success, ‘r kids employs a holistic approach, anchored in the best interests of each child and respect, that promotes reflection and responsibility. This process takes many paths: (1) ’r kids welcomes birth parents who feel defeated and perhaps embarrassed by missteps, extending support, identifying strengths upon which to build and working to develop their sense of dignity and pride, and (2) ‘r kids is an advocate for birth parents who often feel isolated, with few understanding or empathizing with their plight or the multitude of barriers they frequently face. Beyond these efforts, ‘r kids helps to cultivate secure bonding and attachment for children, by increasing the individual skills of their biological parents and nurturing a community of foster, kinship and adoptive parents who share the values to fortify these reestablished connections. The newly forged “village of support” advances the goal that children grow up in permanent, safe, nurturing families and, when possible, are reunited with their families of origin.
At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 1998
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Supported Charity
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Randi Rubin Rodriguez
Board Chair Ms. Fabiana DePaula MBA
Board Chair Company Affiliation Yale Department of Spanish & Portuguese
Financial Summary
 
Projected Revenue $933,236.00
Projected Expenses $933,236.00
Statements
Mission

'r kids Family Center enjoys a unique niche in the New Haven nonprofit community: permanency for children.  

'r kids contends that every child is entitled to a nurturing and permanent family as a right and not a privilege. Our mission is to provide highly specialized, high quality services to children and families in transition. 'r kids promotes permanency, safety and stability for children by providing nurturing services to biological, kinship, foster and adoptive families.

The ‘r kids’ tag line embodies our mission; With each child, the world begins anew (Midrash).

'r kids understands that children are society’s most vulnerable and most valuable assets. We want the seeds of stability and increased self-esteem for at risk children not simply to take root and flourish for a season, but to enable these children to pay it forward productively as nurturing parents.

Because the needs of the entire family are essential to children’s sustained success, ‘r kids employs a holistic approach, anchored in the best interests of each child and respect, that promotes reflection and responsibility. This process takes many paths: (1) ’r kids welcomes birth parents who feel defeated and perhaps embarrassed by missteps, extending support, identifying strengths upon which to build and working to develop their sense of dignity and pride, and (2) ‘r kids is an advocate for birth parents who often feel isolated, with few understanding or empathizing with their plight or the multitude of barriers they frequently face. Beyond these efforts, ‘r kids helps to cultivate secure bonding and attachment for children, by increasing the individual skills of their biological parents and nurturing a community of foster, kinship and adoptive parents who share the values to fortify these reestablished connections. The newly forged “village of support” advances the goal that children grow up in permanent, safe, nurturing families and, when possible, are reunited with their families of origin.
Background

Frustrated by the difficult choices between recovery and parenting that mothers with substance abuse problems too often had to make, Randi Rubin and Sergio Rodriguez gathered 36 concerned citizens at their home on a cold evening in 1996 to explore the gap in services to sustain family integrity for families impacted by substance abuse and violence. That initial meeting inspired a wave of volunteerism that formed the cornerstone of ‘r kids.

As foster and adoptive parents, Randi and Sergio live the mission of 'r kids. Under their stewardship, ‘r kids turned a $3,500 Community Foundation for Greater New Haven seed grant in just over one year into $700,000 in programming and $1 million in funding to build its 4300 square foot Family Center on land remediated with an EPA grant. http://www.epa.gov/region1/brownfields/success/newhaven_rkids.html. Calling ‘r kids a “blessing,” one neighbor noted: “Your development of two drug-infested, abandoned lots spurred others in the triangle to upgrade and develop their properties.”

In June 2013, ‘r kids celebrated its “Decade of Families” with a block party, closing Lower Dixwell for the first time in 20 years. To engage the whole community, from babies to seniors, ‘r kids lined up 37exhibitors, enticing more than 400 people and 86 volunteers. ‘r kids families, past and present, thanked the “lady in the suit” (DCF Commissioner Katz)for the blessing in disguise of their involvement in the child welfare system. hhtp://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/r kids family center marks 10/ One ‘r kids dad movingly thanked DCF at the closing; an historic first, his words stood out.

Now in our 15th year, 'r kids remains committed to promoting permanency, safety and stability for children. Although declining, the rate of child abuse in New Haven, associated with family instability, remains 3 times the state average. Already burdened by socioeconomic disadvantages (94% of families served have income below $30,000), ‘r kids ensures that these very vulnerable children have needed opportunities for developmental progress by increasing the protective factors that promote resilience. With a Masters level staff, respected among our peers for our therapeutic skill set, cultural competency and the dignity afforded our clients, ‘r kids has served over 1,421 children and 1,324 adults from our inception.
Impact

Measurable Results:  Our family reunification rate is now 83%, thus earning DCF’s respect and gratitude. Notably, ‘r kids continues significantly to outpace national (51%) and state (52%) reunification rates that include court mandated returns after brief removals. In contrast, our kids are already out-of-home for a 6 month minimum, with many malingering more than 1 year, providing even greater potency to our strong reunification results.

Valuing Fathers: Fathers play a crucial role in child development, yet little energy has been invested to train child protective workers to engage with dads. ‘r kids is uniquely situated positively to impact DCF through its Fathers Support Group. Indeed, DCF pays our dads as vendors to pay for their valuable input in caseworker training sessions.

Evidence Based Reunification Research: ‘r kids is undertaking a rigorous examination of successful reunification. Because we work exclusively with lengthy out of home placements, identifying key factors to our demonstrably higher reunification has particular significance for the delivery of child welfare services for all children. Had ‘r kids been involved earlier, it is reasonable to infer that children would not have malingered in care, been exposed to less trauma and achieved permanency sooner, reducing both the long and short term costs to the state and ultimately our community. We expect to present our research to DCF and to publish a peer reviewed, academic paper.
 
Raise the Roof: 'r kids recognized the value added when a nonprofit has a vested stake as a property owner in the community it serves. Our facility now faces significant space constraints, as we embark to fill identified service gaps for children, already at risk because of poverty, made more vulnerable by abuse and neglect: individual psychotherapy, due to unacceptable delays, and wrap around educational supports as children in foster care are a distinct subgroups of academically at risk children. Help us Raise the Roof!
 

 

Needs

Diversification of funding base: ‘r kids receives the bulk of its funding through DCF contracts, thus making us vulnerable to changing priorities. We are intensifying our efforts to diversify our funding base.

Implementing a Mental Health License: There are not enough local therapists to secure treatment in a timely manner for children in foster care. ‘r kids has noticed; it is implementing the steps necessary to secure licensing to provide individual and group therapy to alleviate these unacceptable delays. An added benefit: third party payment from insurers generates discretionary income not subject to state or federal budget cuts.

Nonprofit collaborations: ‘r kids understands the value of leveraging its own expertise by exploring collaborations with other local nonprofits.

Raise the Rood: Our Family Center was constructed with the forethought and structural capacity for a 2nd and 3rd story; service expansion to diversify our funding base simply requires more space. The recent opportunity presented by in kind donations of blueprints, a watercolor rendering and cost analysis must be seized, particularly given the federal Main Street Initiative’s selection of Lower Dixwell as one of the first two sited identified for New Haven. We are in the early stages of our capital campaign.

CEO Statement
For me, there has been nothing more significant in my development than being raised with a strong sense of family. To wake up and not know whose home you are in or why and wonder where your Mother or Father or sisters may be, is an experience I do not want any child to have to endure. As a foster Mom to have seen a child, at the age of 7, have the first birthday cake she could remember, is a tragedy. In a society such as ours, I believe we must first respond to the needs of our most vulnerable children.  They develop into our future society and with today's complexities, our children need all the resiliency skills we can give them.  For me, staying true to our mission of providing every child with a nurturing, safe and supportive family is critical. Where would each of us be without the loving guidance, sometimes stern direction, the playful brother or sister, Grandma's home for the holidays, and the many teachers in our lives who helped us become who we are today?
The 'r kids Family Center is dedicated to nurturing every child who comes through our doors. Providing an environment that is joyful, respectful and developmentally appropriate for our families' needs has been a key factor in the design of both the physical and programmatic structure at 'r kids. Our children and parents' programming always incorporates input from participants and gives our families a sense of investment and value.  These experiences are theirs, not ours, and it is always important actively to listen to what is being said.
Through the dedicated work of our team, and the myriad of services we provide, every child and family has the opportunity to create healthy and loving memories at 'r kids Family Center.
After being nominated by Senator Blumenthal in November 2014, it was an honor to receive, with my husband and Co-Founder Sergio Rodriguez, the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute's Angels in Adoption Award for Connecticut on behalf of 'r kids.
 
http://www.nhregister.com/general-news/20141031/new-haven-couple-honored-with-national-adoption-award. See also, http://www.new havenindependent.org/index.php/archives /entry/adoption_journeys_celebrated_ at_r_kids_event/.
 
 
 
Board Chair Statement

As the incoming Board Chair, I readily embrace the challenges of steering this small but mighty nonprofit through a capital campaign to Raise the Roof and expand our services to fill unacceptable gaps that exist today for children impacted by abuse and neglect, who too often are already at a societal disadvantage because of poverty.   

With respect and appreciation I now step into the broad and deep footprints left by Robert Windom, M.D., who as a pediatrician and foster father, has guided  'r kids as its Board Chair for the past ten years, His heavy lifting, overseeing a tightly run, fiscally responsible organization in a well maintained facility, has eased my transition from Strategic Planning Chair to Board Chair.  It is with heartfelt gratitude that 'r kids names Dr. Windom our first Board Chair Emeritus.  
 
Dr. Windom's observations continue to resonate: "As a pediatrician whose patients include children in foster care,  I am grateful for ‘r kids prescience in actively securing implementation of a mental health license just as the federal DCF monitor publically decried the unacceptable delays experienced by children in foster care in the timely delivery of mental health services. As a long time believer in ‘r kids, I have been humbled by the wealth of in kind donations for “Raising the Roof” (blueprints, water color rendering, cost estimates); an opportunity we must seize." 
 
Achieving pernanency is not a process that ends at reunification with the family of origin or when a child is adopted.  The need for a continuum of services over a period of time -- for the reunified family or for the adopted family and the birth parents -- is a lifelong journey. Embracing the Anne E. Casey Foundation's A Call to Action: An Integrated Approach to Youth Permanency and Preparation for Adulthood, 'r kids understands that every youth served by the child welfare system today will benefit from an integrated and collaborative approach to achieving family permanency and comprehensive preparation for adulthood.  Cognizant that systemic changes to rebuild lives and reconnect families often requires breaking a generational cycle of dysfunction, 'r kids works to heal the wounds of fragmentation, creating bridges to forge a united family.
 
Recognizing that social services cannot be clinically or programmatically  effective unless they are culturally competent, 'r kids has always identified, integrated and actively promoted cultural and linguistic competence as a core value to both our mission and vision. 'r kids embraces inclusion as the standard of how we do business, both internally and externally, promoting respect and understanding, valuing and appreciating human differences and upholding equity and social justice in all of our policies and interactions. Because cultural competence is not static, 'r kids fosters continual self-assessment by our staff and our Board.  
 
 
 
 
Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Human Services / Family Services
Secondary Organization Category Human Services / Children's and Youth Services
Tertiary Organization Category Human Services / Adoption
Areas Served
Ansonia
Bethany
Branford
Cheshire
Derby
East Haven
Guilford
Hamden
Lower Naugatuck Valley
Madison
Milford
New Haven
North Branford
North Haven
Orange
Oxford
Seymour
Shelton
Shoreline
Wallingford
West Haven
Woodbridge
Other
National
'r kids inc. serves the Greater New Haven 20 town community as listed above, and responds to DCF requests for services from other regions.  Therapeutic mentoring, supervised visitation, permanency and adoption related services, educational trainings and technical assistance are available and provided throughout the state of CT .
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments
Foster care remains 1 of 4 four primary factors identified as a predictor for adult incarceration, with its attendant human, community and financial costs to our society.  From experience, ‘r kids has identified 2 distinct gaps in service delivery for children committed to state care that we seek to fill.
 
Unfortunately, a serious gap exists in providing individual psychotherapy to children committed to state care and their families. Indeed, the DCF court monitor in January 2014 and again December 2014 reported that the problem in securing mental health services in a timely manner has intensified; many children could not receive necessary individual psychotherapy services when first identified for such mental health supports because there were no providers readily available. 'r kids now seeks to fill that unmet need. In anticipation of growing to thrive, '
.
Students in foster care constitute a distinct subgroup of academically at-risk students, rendered invisible because teachers often have no knowledge that these students are in foster care. ‘r kids has long recognized the extraordinary gap that exists for youth committed to the Department of Children and Families, a divide they are too often unable to overcome alone to pursue postsecondary education successfully as the life altering accomplishment it is. ‘r kids knows that students in foster care are especially at risk for school failure, as evidenced by poor grades and high rates of absenteeism and disciplinary referrals; students in foster care are too often older for their grade level. ‘r kids thus recently added a Youth Prevention program targeted specifically for elementary aged youth  in foster or kinship care. Prior to the state legislature’s adoption in 2013 of “Raise the Grade” legislation designed positively to enhance educational outcomes for youth in foster care, ‘r kids was already in the process of developing a comprehensive, educational enhancement program for children in foster care, anchored by wrap round individual and group therapeutic services. 
 
As both of these areas have very specific space needs, that exceed the current capacity of our facility, by happenstance BL Companies was introduced to ‘r kids.  BL  provided in-kind donations of blueprints, a watercolor rendering of its vision for a three floor family center expansion and its marketing savvy to “Raise the Roof,” while securing an in-kind donation of the complete cost estimate of such expansion from a contractor who lives himself the ‘r kids mission. 
Programs
Description

Working with The Department of Children and Families refers families they have assessed appropriate for assessment and reunification transition to ongoing intensive case management where services are implemented for BOTH parents and children’s needs (i.e., food stamp enrollment, preschool enrollment, parent/child therapy, etc.). The goal is to provide intensive support services to allow for permanency either within the birth home, the relative care, or adoptive home. Staff initially provides center-based, supervised visitation and individualized parent coaching. The provision of in-home visits and then unsupervised visits occurs for those families whose children are being reunified. When reunification is determined not to be the goal, staff prepares the families and children for a permanent out-of-home placement. Our services remain on-going and multi-faceted, singularly geared toward each child growing up in a permanent, safe, and nurturing family.

 

Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) / Families / General/Unspecified
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service. ‘r kids achieves a significantly higher rate of attendance and compliance with the treatment plans set by the court for children to reunify.  Our reunification rate of 80% far exceeds the DCF report of 52% statewide. 95% of our parents attend their visits with their children and actively participate in their children’s scheduled appointments and family conferencing. We believe this success is due to the team’s ability to engage in a respectful and meaningful way with our parents and also provide a nurturing environment that their children thoroughly enjoy.
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state. The DCF continues to refer some of their most complex cases to us – They will extend service agreements for a second enrollment period due to these complexities; recognizing that with additional time ‘r kids will either successfully reunify a family or assist in the transfer for permanency in a way that maintains the parents’ dignity and helps them recognize they are making the best decision for their children out of love.
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact. We utilize DCF measurement tools and maintain extensive records. DCF measures by compliance with the Scope of Services of their contract with us, which includes: incidence of repeat maltreatment, frequency of and length of contact between Moms/Dads and their children; qualities of interaction and level of responsiveness to staff coaching and feedback, safety and housing, etc. the tool used is referred to as the PSDCRS (the Programs and services data collection and reporting system).

Families and their children provide ongoing input to their services and frequently it is not uncommon to hear the kids say how much they love their social worker at ‘r kids or can’t wait for the next visit with their Mom or Dad.

A significant internal organizational measurement for us is the absence of ANY violence or need for police help within our environment, and the lack of any property defacing to our facility especially given our location and hours of operation, including weekends and nights.  
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success. A Mother was referred to us after her twins were removed from birth due to history of substance abuse. They were residing in a foster home for the previous 6 months. Five previous children had transfer of guardianship to the Father. Initially one might think this was an open and shut case and why would we think of reunifying. It became apparent the five children were transferred to their Father to receive his health insurance benefits. Mother had not been scheduled to see her twins in over a month and the question of bonding was brought forth by the DCF. Weekly, structured visits began at ‘r Kids. After assisting Mom get into a treatment facility where she could have her twins with her, DCF still would not allow the twins to live there. She successfully completed the 6 month program, visiting with our supervision and coaching with both the twins as well as the other five children. With our support, she ultimately was reunified with her twins before they turned 2 years old. 
Description

‘r kids Family Center works with foster homes licensed through the Department of Children and Families and other agencies that are providing care to children who have been removed from their biological or relative caregivers. These children are in the custody of DCF and their families have been referred to ‘r kids’ programs. We provide support services to the foster families throughout ‘r kids’ case. Staff does an intake and assessment with each foster family upon the initial referral from DCF. During the in-home in-take we gather information about the daily routines of the child and the family. When we pick up and/or drop off children from their parents, we maintain ongoing contact with the foster family.  These interactions provide us with information addressing the trials of transitioning and afford foster parents the opportunity to share any concerns that may be developing. 

 

Population Served Families / Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) /
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.  Too many times foster families are kept out of the loop of what is happening with the children in their care, who are the people involved with ‘their ‘ children and where are they going. 

‘r kids completes orientations and intakes with every foster family caring for the children who are visiting. We encourage them to maintain contact with us and give us feedback after /before visits and look to assist in developing a ‘partnership’ with them on behalf of the children in their care.

Foster families provide the likes and dislikes, behaviors and schedules for both the parents and our staff to coordinate successful times and places for visitation.

RE: CAFAP trainng: To provide a neighborhood site for licensed foster and adoptive parents to come and continue receiving ongoing educational credits to maintain their knowledge base and credentialing as a foster parent.

Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.  To facilitate a healthy bond between the birth parents and the foster family whenever possible on behalf of successfully transitioning the child/ren back into the permanent home.

CAFAP: Successfully retain licensed foster and adoptive parents in the DCF system

Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.  

Self reporting by both foster and biological parents. Children have successful visits and are emotionally prepared for the transition.

DCF PSDCRS tracks foster parent participation throughout the child’s plan.

CAFAP continues to request to use our site for hosting trainings throughout the year. Parents who attend self report how much they like coming here and how comfortable an environment it is for them.

Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.  

After 1 ½ years of attempting to reunify a boy with his parents, it was discovered the ‘father’ was in fact not the biological family. The Mother was cognitively limited, but had never missed a visit with her son and clearly loved him. At that time the foster family wanted to adopt him but refused a relationship with the birth mother. The Judge recognized the significance of loss this young boy had just experienced and refused to terminate the biological mother’s rights.

After three year of working with this ‘permanent foster family, whose age is 74 and the child is now 11’, both the bio mom and the ‘grandma’ have developed a warm and mutually caring relationship for the young man. They can attend activities and trips together with ‘their’ child and bio mom and child continue to enjoy each other and build their family history in bi-weekly activities coordinated with their interests and under the supervision of ‘r kids staff. This will continue through his 18th birthday.

Description

’r Kids Family Center is licensed by the State of Connecticut’s, Department of Children and Families and offers a full range of adoption services, including home study and license approval for both domestic and international adoptions; pre-adoption training that promotes plan-full decision-making; birth mother counseling and support; coordination and assistance in locating available children; and post-placement supervision and completion of the legal process to finalize adoptions.

 
’r kids Family Center provides: 

· responsive, adoption-specific mental health counseling, referrals and clinical recommendations; 

· support groups and educational programs for parents and children;

· C.A.S.E certified W.I.S.E. UP curriculum trainers for both foster and adopted children 5-17 years old; 

· special referrals through the Adoption Assistance Program of UCONN;

· reading circles for adoptive parents at local libraries;

· new groups developed in response to families’ needs and interests

Population Served Families / Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) / Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.  

We have produced 2 international home studies over the past year, one for Nigeria and one for Ghana. We recognized National Adoption Month by holding an Adoption Book Read at the Yale Book store on a Saturday in November 2010. We were asked to present the W.I.S.E Up curriculum at a two day Asian Culture camp in Massachusetts in the fall of 20010. We are an educational site for regular on- going trainings by the Connecticut Association of Foster and Adoptive Parents. (CAFAP)

Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.  

We will be placing a child born in March 2011 in New Haven with a CT Adoptive home on May 25 2011. We will remain involved through annual pictures and letters to be sent to the Birth Mother through ‘rkids. We also maintain all the files of children placed in adoption. We will be involved with a follow up training conference for professionals and Board of Education staff on Post Adoption issues in the fall of 2011.

Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.  

Our case records and implementation is based on the credentialing/licensing process overseen by locally by DCF and through the standards of the Bureau of Home Land Security and the US Government internationally.

Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.  

Three children this year have transitioned into permanent, loving homes with families. Two are no longer living in war-torn, impoverished environments as orphans and the third could not be more loved!

Description

'r kids provides training opportunities to providers in a variety of settings. The primary focus of the training is permanency planning for children and their families. We have provided trainings to foster families, adoptive families, school personnel, municipal personnel and various other providers including the Department of Children and Families. We also provide the opportunity for staff to receive on-going training and professional development from a variety of sources on a multitude of topics related to our work. Most recently the staff has become certified in the Circle of Security Model, the W.I.S.E. Up and Family Development Credentialing, Ages and Stages, etc. ‘r kids provided a 2 series/2 year training for Educators and Mental Health Providers on the mental health and educational issues among adopted children and teens.

Population Served Families / Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) / Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.  

As mentioned in the Adoption Program we have provided training on Post Adoption issues to both Mental Health Practitioners and New Haven Board of Education staff. We will be having a follow up training in 2011. We provided training on the W.I.S.E. Up curriculum to children and their families at an Asian Culture Camp in 2010.

Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.  

Our Staff has been involved in a variety of trainings over the past year, most prominently two staff members are enrolled in Master’s of Social Work degree programs. We have become certified in the Circle of Security Training, the Diagnostic Classification of Mental Health and Developmental Disorders of Infancy and Early Childhood and Family Development Credentialing. We are currently enrolled in the CT Association for Infant Mental Health Series on Knowledgeable and Skillful Practice to Support your work with Infants/toddlers and their Families. It is expected that we will become endorsed as practitioners by the CTAIMH. We have maintained on ongoing internship program with the New Haven Academy and Southern CT State University MSW program.

Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.  

Most training is endorsed for continuing education from the national Association of Social Workers, Charter Oak College or other governing body.

 

Description

Parenting education and support groups for both fathers and mothers occur on separate days and with separate staff facilitators. The groups require an assessment interview and participation for 12 weeks to be successful. Topics covered include domestic violence and substance abuse and how they affect children, discipline alternatives, child developmental expectations, and life skills including budgeting, working positively with DCF and how to make the most of every visit with your child.

The 12 week foster youth group entitled Project You was a school site-based program focusing on being a ‘foster’ kid, communication skills, and social skills aimed at developing self-esteem (ages 8–11). We have provided after school homework club groups (ages 11–14) to both foster and adoptive children on site at ‘r kids and primarily focused on social, emotional, and skill development. We are currently in discussion with the State Dept. of Education, and the New HAven Board of Ed to provide a three tier educational collaboratinve program with Higher Heights, where 'r kids FAmily Center would provide all the wrap-around services for the youth in foster care and the foster families to assist them understand the college bound opportunities and processes and to assist their teens transition into adulthood. No funding is available for this initiative yet.

Population Served Families / Families / Families
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.
Changes in knowledge and understanding are reported in feedback surveys from parents. The curriculum responds to the age group of the children of the parents in the group and their particular areas needing strengthening.
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.
Our Fathers' Group members were contracted  by the DCF to help train their new social workers in working with Fathers! We use the TIPS model, Circle of Security, which our families love and feedback surveys.
Description

This new DCF program is designed to work with families who were referred to DCF and determined through assessment to need additional supports but not DCF involvement. The families receive services on a purely voluntary basis and the goals are determined specifically by each individual family. Staff provides the necessary wrap-around referrals, supports and assistance, including, in some cases, financial assistance for specific goal oriented needs. The families can choose to remain involved with their workers for up to 6 months, although we are seeing an extended request for our involvement. Areas of primary assistance have included coordination of mental health services for parents and their children, registering for state benefits, securing City ID cards, assistance with daycare/school registrations and in one case assistance with funeral arrangements and supports for the children and adults after the accidental death of the child. This is a prevention model to reduce the incidence of youth in out-of-home care (foster care). (24 family capacity)  

Population Served At-Risk Populations / Families / Families
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.
Families will be willing to meet with the Community Support Specialist and their Parent Navigator and identify areas they'd like assistance with. They will follow through on recommendations or meetings set up and report back on any additional needs. children will remain safe and in their homes of origin.
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.
This is a newly implemented model by the DCF. Long term goals will demonstrate the benefits of providing prevention and intervention services to families are more cost effective and have better outcomes on the wellbeing of children. Less out of home placements, fewer incidence of trauma related to removing children from their families, stronger family systems for children to grow up in and parents having a more empowering experience meeting their own needs.
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.
Weekly supervision occurs for each case and ongoing data collection tools are incorporated by the DCF. Each family completes a satisfaction survey upon completing services.
Description

‘r kids Family Center was selected by The National Zero to Three (ZTT) organization to participate in the program. The New Haven Safe Babies Initiative is focused on improving how the courts, child welfare agencies and local community partner organizations work together, share information and expedite services for young children. Any child up to 36 months of age and has been removed by DCF from their parent or guardian may be eligible to participate. It is a voluntary program. Referrals to the ‘r kids Family Center come directly from the ZTT Community Coordinator. Services include an initial Parent/Care Giver/Child assessment, increased visitation, parenting intervention, visit coaching, case management, and ongoing support services. These intensive services are to promote attachment and permanency in a timelier manner for these young children. The most prevalent permanency outcomes are reunification, transfer of guardianships, and adoption. Funding is provided through DCF. To date we have worked with 19 ZTT cases with a total of 20 babies and their families.

Population Served / /
Program Comments
CEO Comments
As a young organization, we have been very committed to our mission, the direct service delivery models, and best practice. To that extent, the majority of our energies have been client-focused and utilize almost every dollar received.  To date, this has enabled us to maintain a highly passionate approach to the work but has limited our ability to develop and strengthen an infrastructure to support our daily operational needs. 
CEO/Executive Director
Ms. Randi Rubin Rodriguez
Term Start Mar 1996
Email randi@rkidsct.org
Experience

Randi Rubin Rodriguez, founder and CEO of ‘r kids, Inc. stewarded a $3,500 seed grant from the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven in just over one year into $700,000 in programming funds and $1 million dollars to build its Family Center on land remediated with an EPA grant. http://www.epa.gov/region1/brownfields/success/newhaven_rkids.html. Steeped in her spiritual belief, the quote “With each child, the world begins anew” Midrash, encompasses the vision that Randi has implanted within the minds and hearts of each of the ‘r kids staff to guide their work with our families.

With more than 30 years experience in the fields of substance abuse, Maternal and Child Health and Child Welfare, a Master’s degree in Human Development from Farleigh Dickinson University, a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Art Education from the University of Bridgeport, and a Post certification in Clinical Adoption Issues from UCONN/SCSU, Randi has continued to advance her understanding of the complex issues facing children committed to state care and their biologic, foster, adoptive and relative care families through many hours in diverse training workshops.

Licensed as a foster parent in 1997, Randi has firsthand experience caring for infants through teens and seeing all sides of the child protection systems with which children at risk and their parents are involved. In founding ‘r kids Family Center, Randi’s mindful vision was that every child have the opportunity to grow up with a family they can call their own. Espousing that safety, security, and a nurturing permanent family is a civil right for children, Randi contends “Where would I be had I not received the love, nurturance and guidance from my parents and learned to sustain conflict without my three sisters? How would I have developed my ability to be curious and persistent without the consistency and expectations of my teachers? How could I have become confident I could succeed without the stability and predictability of outcomes related to my behavior? And how would I ever have learned the meaning of resiliency without my daughter Marilynn or the intimacy of an infant’s love without Paolo? How could I have ever done this alone without the encouragement and navigational skills of my husband, Board members and friends?"
Staff
Number of Full Time Staff 9
Number of Part Time Staff 3
Number of Volunteers 86
Number of Contract Staff 2
Staff Retention Rate 80%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 5
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 3
Hispanic/Latino 4
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 2
Female 10
Unspecified 0
Senior Staff
Title Director of Programs
Experience/Biography

‘r kids Board took great pleasure and pride in promoting Enna Garcia to be Director of Programs in January 2014. With a twelve year history at ‘r kids, and twenty years in the field of child welfare, Enna simply stands out -- for the depth and breadth of her knowledge, particularly in the areas of attachment and trauma; the compassionate integrity of her respectful approach to parents challenged by their missteps; the strength of her managerial skills; and, most importantly, the passion she brings to ‘r kids every day to protect and promote children’s welfare.

Raised in Puerto Rico, Enna graduated from Assumption College in Massachusetts in 1991 with a Bachelor in Liberal Arts, having majored in Psychology, with minors in Social Rehabilitation and Spanish Literature. While at college, an internship at a Youth Shelter ignited Enna’s love and passion for children’s welfare. During her one year at the Graduate School at The Caribbean Center for Advanced Studies in Puerto Rico, Enna honed the interviewing and assessment techniques that she has meaningfully applied throughout her career. While a case manager in a Federal Program in Puerto Rico working with families, from remote and very dangerous communities, that received food stamps and cash assistance and were expected to work or go to school within 21 months from the start date of the benefits, Enna developed the necessary motivational skills that continue to enhance her work with low income families and the concrete challenges they face.

After relocating to Connecticut, Enna’s work at Youth Continuum, Inc. exposed her to the Juvenile Criminal Justice System that advanced her assessment and planning techniques including crisis intervention. From 1996 to 2000, Enna worked at the Department of Children and Families with children and their biological and foster families and cemented her understanding of the importance of permanency in children’s lives.

Enna’s passion to ensure permanency for children led her to ‘r kids, where she has flourished professionally and personally. Certified in Mother Read and Circle of Security Parenting Education, Enna’s initial duties to supervise visitation expanded to include pre and post adoption work with international and domestic adoptions and as a senior caseworker for Reconnecting Families and the Zero to Three program. In her new role as Director of Programs, Enna brings an enthusiasm and professionalism that thankfully enhances the staff as well as the children and families served.

Title Clinical Director
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Collaborations
We collaborate with the CT Association of Foster and Adoptive Parents, the CT Council on Adoption, The Adoption Community Network, the Early Childhood Council, Help Me Grow, the New Haven Board of Education, and the Applied Behavioral Health Committee Birth to Three, Hill Health Center, Communicare, Inc., Clifford Beers Child Guidance, Annie E. Casey Foundation, DCF New Haven and Milford offices,Adoption Assistance Program, CT Assoc of Nonprofits, DSS, All Our Kin, Dwight Hall, Furniture Co-op, CWYC, NH Public Library, Dixwell Mngmt. Team, Chamber of Commerce(among many others)  
Affiliations
AffiliationYear
Connecticut Association of Nonprofits2001
Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce2004
United Way of Greater New Haven2004
Connecticut Council on Philanthropy2009
Awards
Award/RecognitionOrganizationYear
GreatNonprofits 2012 Top-Rated ListGreatNonprofits2012
Great NonProfits 2013 Top Rated ListGreat NonProfits2013
Comments
CEO Comments Staff salaries, an affordable health care option, long term and short term disability and continuing to support the 401(k) plan are all important issues. While no one chooses social services to become wealthy, our staff, who are extremely talented, well-educated and committed deserve wages comparable to those paid by other organizations. A review of the most recent CT Association of Nonprofits clearly demonstrated our team is sorely underpaid. And if we were to compare ourselves to the Department of Children and Families, not one position is equivalent in salary, not including benefits! In fact our Master’s level staff are making less than a case Aide! Staff members with their credentials are sought after by other employers.  ‘r Kids needs to find sources of additional revenue to keep its salaries and benefits competitive, including health care benefits, which have increased by 25% in this past year, causing us to increase deductibles to $2500. That is the equivalent of almost one month’s salary for some!

 ‘r kids makes a 3%contribution to each employee’s 401 (k) account. This savings plan is critical to the future well-being of all our employees and ‘r kids needs to continue to find the ability to make this contribution. There is no retirement plan or pension and if we are to continue to employ older members of our community, this becomes an increasing concern.

‘r kids Board of Directors has been supportive of these initiatives realizing ‘r kids cannot meet its mission without caring, dedicated, well-trained and credentialed staff. Because of this, the staff retention rate has been extremely high.

Other management challenges include finding the resources to support continuing education for staff including formal college learning as well as certification curriculum and seminars. ‘r kids is also impacted by increasing costs for utilities, gasoline (as the staff drive both their own and company cars in their work), insurance, licenses and general building maintenance.

We are working to fund these additional operational costs through an aggressive financial development program and a plan to improve the infrastructure by adding support staff, allowing out clinical staff the time to provide more direct services to children and their families and more fee for service programs. These fee for service programs (PPSP Adoption-related services) will assist in increasing the overall discretionary revenue of the organization as well as providing an addition to the operating margin.

Board Chair
Ms. Fabiana DePaula MBA
Company Affiliation Yale Department of Spanish & Portuguese
Term Jan 2015 to Dec 2017
Email fabiana.depaula@yale.edu
Board of Directors
NameAffiliation
Mr. Sal DeCola Retired
Ms. Shelly Hicks
Ms. Nicole Murphy M.B.A.
Ms. Judy Primavera Ph.D.
Mr. Edwin Selden Consultant
Ms. Melissa Whitson Ph.D.
Dr. Robert Windom M.D.President Emeritus
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 4
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 3
Female 5
Standing Committees
Board Development / Board Orientation
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
Program / Program Planning
CEO Comments
 
‘r kids Board of Directors is beginning to reap the benefits of a Board Recruitment program. One of the three new Board members who joined in 2011 is now our new Board Chair. 

This recruitment effort continues with a goal of adding three new members with expertise in some of the following areas: education, finance (CPA), building facility management, communications and public relations and more.

‘r kids has been the beneficiary of strong support from its Board of Directors from the first day of its existence. The current Board has been supportive of efforts to add to current services, to attract the best staff possible and to look at new ideas of best practices in the field and how ‘r kids can implement those practices. Many of our Board members are adoptive parents or have been foster parents which gives them a highly personal commitment to the goals of ‘r kids’ mission and their daily work.

Some of the challenges facing ‘r kids in Board and volunteer recruitment include devoting time to cultivating relationships with people so they will feel a sense of investment in our work. Without this sense of involvement, people will not be willing to make ‘r kids a priority in their busy schedules.

Another challenge is identifying volunteers who are willing to take on leadership roles. Many people are willing to help, but less and less of those people are willing to be the point person on a Board committee or a special event. Reaching out and identifying and recruiting these future leaders is a priority for ‘r kids.

Another challenge is one of time for me as Executive Director. ‘r kids is an agency run by a very small, talented and dedicated staff. It is becoming increasingly more difficult for me to budget time to recruit volunteers, meet with donors, participate in community events and functions, manage the internal governance, the fiscal responsibilities and support the very challenging work being done on a daily basis by each team member.

(Not to mention call a plumber or answer the phones when our volunteer receptionist is not here!) Expanding our donor base, enhancing our technology, and gaining general operating support tied to our mission and not directly to incorporating one more program is the primary goal of ‘r kids. Securing dedicated additional Board members and volunteer leaders will help to address this challenge as ‘r kids moves forward.

 

 
 
Financials
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01 2015
Fiscal Year End Dec 31 2015
Projected Revenue $933,236.00
Projected Expenses $933,236.00
Spending Policy Income Only
Documents
Form 990s
9902013
9902012
9902011
9902010
9902009
9902008
9902007
9902006
Audit Documents
Audit2013
Audit2012
Audit2011
Audit2010
Audit2009
Audit2008
Audit2007
Audit2006
IRS Letter of Exemption
'r Kids 501 (c) (3) letter
Other Documents
Other Documents 3
NameYear
Raise the Roof2014View
2011 "Toni" Awards and 'r kids 10th Anniversary Celebration2011View
'r kids Grand Opening1996View
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Revenue Sources ChartHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201320122011
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$26,383$8,316$7,793
Government Contributions$465,748$463,993$443,699
Federal------
State------
Local------
Unspecified$465,748$463,993$443,699
Individual Contributions------
------
$93,318$121,397$146,796
Investment Income, Net of Losses$17$16$726
Membership Dues------
Special Events$22,528$9,923$6,343
Revenue In-Kind------
Other------
Prior Three Years Expense Allocations Chart
Fiscal Year201320122011
Program Expense$563,967$512,132$468,715
Administration Expense$84,738$112,686$118,704
Fundraising Expense------
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.940.971.03
Program Expense/Total Expenses87%82%80%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201320122011
Total Assets$770,886$794,763$813,920
Current Assets$42,145$33,034$67,333
Long-Term Liabilities$53,114$17,421--
Current Liabilities$24,580$43,439$64,045
Total Net Assets$693,192$733,903$749,875
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201320122011
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Solvency
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201320122011
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities1.710.761.05
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201320122011
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets7%2%0%
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Comments
CEO Comments
In 2012 we were successful in sub-contracting with Communicare for a DCF grant, providing us with an additional $86,000 per year and two additional staff.  We completed a private adoption and generated a total of $20,000 for that work. The statewide training conference netted us $200 and was designed to be a break-even event. ‘r kids has been successful at securing additional funding sources and beginning to diversify our funding. For 2012, the Department of Children and Families is once again revising the model of service delivery! However, the contract dollars are remaining the same for the next year and there will be no new bidding. Our Permanency Planning Support Program remains strong and the National Zero-Three continues to also generate discretionary dollars.  The billable system has been successfully implemented with a 30 day turnaround time! Our Adoption programming is expanding and we anticipate this will increase discretionary income as well.

Partners including Agency on Aging, Marrakesh, and the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services continue to provide us with income supported talent and help fill some of the gaps in our ancillary needs; i.e. data input, housekeeping, maintenance, etc. We have also secured new funders through our donor development program and both private individual and corporate donors have increased this past year. This was our very first attempt at electronic, web-based donor solicitation. Given these economic times are reported to be the most severe for non-profits, we are hopeful that our donor development will continue to expand through the implementation of our 3 year donor development strategic plan. Personal donations by the Board of Directors have also increased and our recruitment of new Board members this year will hopefully impact our annual fundraising efforts.

Our utilization of volunteers has increased from 25 to 40! This has had a significant impact on ancillary items, services and beautification needs of our organization and our families.

Lastly, we have been fortunate to have all bookkeeping and accounting services provided by a CPA who has been with us for 6 years and is an amazing asset to our organizational fiscal stability!

 

Foundation Staff Comments

This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Financial information is inputted by Foundation staff directly from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved by the nonprofit’s board. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. The Community Foundation is continuing to receive information submitted by the organization and may periodically update the organization’s profile to reflect the most current financial and other information available. The organization has completed the fields required by The Community Foundation and updated their profile in the last year. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.

Address 45 Dixwell Ave
New Haven, CT 06511
Primary Phone 203 865-5437
Contact Email rkids@rkidsct.org
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Randi Rubin Rodriguez
Board Chair Ms. Fabiana DePaula MBA
Board Chair Company Affiliation Yale Department of Spanish & Portuguese

 

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