Agreement will add 12-bed psychiatric treatment facility in North Providence

CARLENE CASCIANO-MCCANN, executive director of St. Mary's Home for Children, says she's looking forward to working with the R.I. Department of Children, Youth & Families to add a 12-bed facility to the nonprofit's Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility in North Providence. / COURTESY ST. MARY’S HOME FOR CHILDREN

PROVIDENCE – St. Mary’s Home for Children announced Thursday it has entered an agreement with the R.I. Department of Children, Youth & Families to expand its Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility in North Providence with the construction of a new 12-bed facility.

The design, construction and operation of the new facility will be funded by an $11 million allocation of pandemic relief funds in the fiscal year 2023 state budget, according to the report. 

“These funds were allocated to expand existing provider PRTF capacity to provide in-state, intensive residential treatment options for adolescent girls and young women who face severe and complex behavioral health challenges,” DCYF Acting Director Kevin Aucoin said. “This agreement with St. Mary’s is the culmination of months of hard work and determination to find the most appropriate solution to address the needs and required services to support the female youth of Rhode Island. It demonstrates the significant investment and commitment made to our youth.” 

St. Mary’s began operating as a PRTF in 2019 and now operates three facilities on its North Providence campus. Currently, St. Mary’s offers 21 beds for youths ages 6-21, with 14 of these beds currently open to female adolescents. The new facility will expand the total space available to female adolescents to 26. 

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“We look forward to working closely with DCYF to bring this much-needed 12-bed facility to fruition and sharing more information about this project with our immediate neighbors and larger community in the coming months,” said St. Mary’s Home for Children Executive Director Carlene Casciano-McCann. 

Construction of the new 12-bed facility is expected to be finished in November 2024, with an anticipated opening date of spring 2025. 

“All youth with mental health needs deserve to receive high-quality, equitable and comprehensive services in the least-restrictive setting,” said Ana Novais, acting secretary for the R.I. Executive Office of Health and Human Services. “St. Mary’s new PRTF program will allow more young women to transition out of hospital-based care and into community-based supports. We are thankful to Gov. [Daniel J.] McKee, the General Assembly, St. Mary’s and child welfare advocates who partner with us every day to improve our state’s behavioral health system of care.” 

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