• Organizations that provide services to the region's children and families form the Washington County Risk Response Team (WCRRT) - as part of the state's Family Outreach Program.


  • WCRRT members encounter increasing numbers of children and families "falling through the cracks." Frustration with these unmet needs spurs the Team to:
    1. explore how other community coalitions address the same issues
    2. focus their efforts on "filling the gaps" in Washington County.


  • WCRRT begins a comprehensive needs assessment to identify key issues and raise public awareness.


  • WCRRT publishes "The Status of Children and Families in Washington County: A Comprehensive Needs Assessment".
  • WCRRT also hosts two Children's Issues Forums to share findings from the needs assessment and establish priorities for action.
  • WCRRT invites area leaders to address priority issues and "fill the gaps."
  • WCRRT obtains CATCH (Community Access to Child Health) Grant from the American Academy of Pediatrics to document children's mental health needs as the first step in providing adequate services. (WCRRT partners with pediatrician Bob Maltz, MD.)
  • WCRRT partners with Washington County Regional Planning Council on affordable housing issues.


  • In response to the WCRRT needs assessment, Family Service of RI opens an office in North Kingstown and Big Sisters RI opens a satellite office in Peace Dale. South Shore Mental Health Center initiates a Grandparent Support Group.
  • WCRRT partners with DCYF in its efforts to increase foster homes, parent education and support resources through the Family Support Council.
  • WCRRT launches its Delayed Prenatal Care and Child Care & After-School Programming Work Groups.
  • WCRRT convenes 2nd Annual Children's Issues Forum and formally becomes the Washington County Coalition for Children (WCCC).
  • WCCC partners with Casey's Grill & Bar to conduct the first annual holiday gift drive for needy teens.


  • The Rhode Island Foundation funds a Coalition Coordinator position.
  • WCCC updates the 2003 "Status of Children and Families" report and convenes 3rd Annual Children's Issues Forum.
  • WCCC hosts Children's Mental Health Summit's and releases findings and recommendations from the CATCH Initiative.
  • WCCC  partners with Brown Medical School's Dept. of Community Health to develop a web-based directory of behavioral health providers and programs.
  • WCCC trains local child care providers regarding behavioral issues and launches an outreach campaign to recruit Foster Grandparents to serve in area child care settings.
  • WCCC promotes earlier entry into prenatal care through changes in OB office procedures.
  • WCCC implements a successful school-based, early identification pilot project at Curtis Corner Middle School, consulting to the school's at risk team.
  • WCCC's Family Support Council secures funding to implement a new pilot program for foster parent and kinship homes in Washington County.


  • WCCC partners with Prevent Child Abuse RI to pilot the Strengthening Families Initiative in child care centers in Washington County.
  • WCCC partners with the RI Dept. of Health to address social-emotional development and behavioral concerns within child care sites in Washington County with funding from the federal Healthy Tomorrows Program.
  • Convenes 4th Annual Children's Issues Forum.
  • WCCC partners with Brown Medical School and secures a 5-year federal MCHB grant to conduct "Collaborative Office Rounds" with area pediatricians and mental health providers to provide training and case consultation on developmental/behavioral health issues.
  • WCCC partners with Pediatrician Bob Maltz, MD, and secures a $10,000 CATCH Implementation Grant from the American Academy of Pediatrics to pilot one-on-one consultation with a behavioral specialist for children exhibiting challenging behaviors in child care sites.
  • WCCC partners with RI Dept. of Health to pilot routine developmental screening in area child care settings and pediatric practices in Washington County.


  • WCCC secures a grant from sriAHEC to expand "Collaborative Office Rounds" to school personnel through videoconferencing.
  • Convenes 5th Annual Children's Issues Forum.
  • In partnership with South Shore Mental Health Center, WCCC pilots BEST (Behavioral/Emotional Support & Training) in area child care and preschool settings.
  • In partnership with the Greater Westerly Basic Needs Network and the URI Partnership for Food, Hunger, & Nutrition, WCCC organizes a Forum to raise community awareness about maternal/child health and nutrition disparities in Westerly.


  • WCCC partners with Pediatrician Louise Kiessling, MD, and secures a CATCH Planning Grant from the American Academy of Pediatrics to study the root causes of maternal/child health and nutrition disparities in Westerly as well as develop recommendations for action.
  • WCCC is one of four community-based organizations funded by the United Way of RI (UWRI) to implement initiatives aimed at improving school success among vulnerable youth.  The initiative begins at Curtis Corner Middle School in South Kingstown.
  • WCCC updates their local needs assessment and publishes ...and how are the children?
  • Convenes 6th Annual Children's Issues Forum.
  • As a means to both raise awareness about the Coalition's web-based resource directory and help young kids develop emotional literacy, the Coalition promotes use of a lesson plan using Janan Cain's award-winning book, The Way I Feel, and sponsors a bookmark art project in area second grade classrooms.  Selected bookmarks are printed by students at Chariho Vo-Tech School and distributed to local libraries.
  • WCCC facilitates Incredible Years Series Teacher Training for area child care providers/preschool teachers.
  • WCCC secures funding from sriAHEC to provide local training regarding childhood anxiety as well as conduct a survey of area of mental health providers/school professionals regarding their experience and interest in further training in CBT (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy), which is considered best practice for the treatment of childhood anxiety.
  • With funding from sriAHEC, WCCC conducts survey of training needs of area child care providers


  • With funding from the GFWC Women's Club, WCCC expands the emotional literacy project, offering training for area parents and teachers and publishing notecards for sale to fund the project in the future.  8 Washington County Schools with 420 second grade students participated.  Selected bookmarks are again printed and distributed to local libraries.
  • Convenes 7th Annual Children's Issues Forum.
  • Based on survey findings, WCCC organizes an intensive workshop series entitled Demystifying CBT for Childhood Disorders for experienced mental health and school professionals in Washington County.
  • Based on survey and focus group findings, WCCC offers three three-part trainings for area child care providers to meet identified training needs. 
  • With funding from The Friendship Fund, WCCC adds an after-school component to their UWRI funded school success initiative at Curtis Corner Middle School and rolls out the initiative to Westerly Middle School.


  • Coalition releases Westerly Children At Risk: A Community's Self Assessment of Delayed Prenatal Care, Teen Pregnancy, and Food Insecurity Rates, the summary report of two years of discussions, surveys, and interviews with local parents, social service providers, clergy, school personnel, residents, and other experts about probable causes and possible solutions to the three challenges.
  • Convenes 8th Annual Children's Issues Forum.
  • Expands UWRI funded School Success Initiative to Westerly Middle School.
  • With funding from the Richmond Grange, the Coalition expands their Feelin' Groovy Emotional Literacy Project to second graders in 11 elementary schools in Washington County.
  • The Coalition develops their first podcasts for parents on pertinent children's mental health topics.
  • WCCC updates their local needs assessment and publishes the 2010 ...and how are the children? report.


  • Coalition partners with Curtis Corner Middle School to begin implementation of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, a school-wide, evidence-based program.
  • Organizes 4-part community-wide continuing education series for professionals on Engaging Families for Better Child Outcomes
  • Secures grant from BrightStars to establish a peer support network (Washington County Community of Practice) for area early care and education (ECE) providers. 
  • Co-sponsors the 1st annual Children & the Arts Festival with over 1,000 participants.
  • Convenes 9th Annual Children's Issues Forum.
  • Pilots web-streaming of Collaborative Office Rounds in anticipation of state-wide roll out.
  • Coalition obtains $59,900 grant from the RI Foundation to expand web-streaming of Collaborative Office Rounds sessions statewide.
  • WCCC secures a 2-year $25,000 Rural Health Systems Building grant to improve children’s mental health in Washington County.
  • To document local children’s mental health needs, Coalition partners with Narragansett Bay Pediatrics and URI PhD student to conduct a local incidence study of children’s mental health diagnoses.
  • Coalition carries out Feelin’ Groovy Emotional Literacy Project for 5th year in 31 classrooms in 12 elementary schools throughout Washington County.
  • To combat bullying, WCCC works with Curtis Corner Middle School to celebrate Pink Shirt Day and begins partnering with Westerly Middle School to implement the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program.
  • Convenes 10th Annual Children's Issues Forum.
  • WCCC partners with Trainer Jeanine Fitzgerald to provide 3-day train-the-trainer model training for early care & education providers on Parent Engagement.
  • Coalition organizes a community-wide training series, entitled Kids & Technology: Cautions & Benefits, on the impact of technology on children.
  • Prior to the closing of Casey’s Grill & Bar, Coalition partners with them to conduct the 9th and final Holiday Gift Drive for Teens.
  • Coalition develops a strategic plan for improving children’s mental health in the region.
  • WCCC supports the celebration of Pink Shirt Day at Curtis Corner & Westerly Middle Schools and coordinates training for roll out of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program to Broad Rock Middle School.
  • Coalition promotes Feelin’ Groovy Emotional Literacy activities in local libraries as well as local schools, who participate in the project for the 6th year.
  • Convenes 11th Annual Children's Issues Forum. 
  • Coalition secures $5,000 mini-grant to conduct a free Family Fun Day focused on health & safety with ~ 500 participants at South Kingstown High School.
  • With help of a $1,000 legislative grant from RI Rep. Donna Walsh, WCCC launches Planting the Seeds of Kindness, an early childhood bullying prevention initiative, including distribution of toolkits and a 2-part training for 33 area early childhood professionals (15 sites to use our new toolkit during the 2013-2014 school year).
  • In partnership with the downtown merchants association in Wakefield, Coalition coordinates Chalk It Up Against Bullying, a community arts event in conjunction with National Bullying Prevention Month.