Monthly CBO Spotlight: Family Service of Rhode Island

  • 01 May 2024

Our primary care transformation efforts often include the support and partnership of community-based organizations (CBOs) statewide. CTC-RI is spotlighting a different CBO each month to recognize and appreciate their work in our communities. This month, we're spotlighting Family Service of Rhode Island (FSRI), focused on advancing equity, opportunity, and hope in our communities. FSRI believes all children and families have limitless potential. But for those growing up surrounded by poverty, family instability, and physical or emotional stress, life is too often about survival, not possibility.

What ways does your organization uniquely support Rhode Islanders?       

FSRI is a leading social service organization with over 130+ years of expertise providing programs and services that advance equity, opportunity and hope in our communities. As a behavioral health and child welfare provider, we offer over 40 programs addressing Social Determinants of Health needs, parenting and child development support, victim services, mobile crisis, community health and so much more. FSRI is home to four residential facilities, one school (Mount Pleasant Academy) and an affiliated homeless shelter in Middletown. Our array of services impact over 20,000 individuals annually using evidence-based and trauma-informed practices. We pride ourselves in taking a family/community-centered approach to our programs and services that are strength-based and solution-focused. FSRI is accredited by the Council on Accreditation.


How can a partnership with primary care providers strengthen your work?

Partnering with primary care providers allows for patients to have quality of life issues identified through a Social Determinants of Health screening. Patients can connect with a Community Health Worker to support patients' identified needs by obtaining community- based resources such as housing and food insecurities, behavioral health referrals, and maintaining schedule appointments. Assisting patients address their Social Determinants of Health needs will also keep high-risk patients involved with their primary care providers.


What's something you'd like the primary care community to understand about your organization?

The primary care community would greatly benefit from learning more about the importance of integrating Community Health Workers as a part of a primary care provider teams. Community Health Workers are knowledgeable and represent diverse communities throughout the state. A Community Health Worker's lived experiences and unique skillsets help them engage with patients and connect individuals and families to resources statewide making them an ideal fit for any primary care setting. For example, our Community Health Worker stationed at Jenks Park Pediatrics in Central Falls assisted with health care enrollment for over 600 families. 


Want to get in touch?

Contact Kinzel Thomas, LCSW, LCDP, CCHW, Vice President of Equity & Community Development at 401-497-0078 or