By: The Rhode Island Foundation

“Tides takes pride in taking risks to develop new programs to meet the changing needs of the families we serve.” – Beth Bixby

The partnership between Tides Family Services and the Rhode Island Foundation has spanned nearly three decades. From its early days, the now 35-year-old Tides has received Foundation funding to further its work to provide intensive services to children ages 6 to 18 struggling at home due to abuse, neglect, and/or mental health and behavioral issues. Services include crisis intervention, case management, outreach and tracking, educational support, short term respite, and individual and family counseling.

During the past several years, Tides expanded its partnership with the Foundation by participating in workshops sponsored by our Initiative for Nonprofit Excellence, focusing recently on the topic of succession planning. Tides’ founder, Brother Michael Reis, is transitioning to a new role of chief visionary officer and Beth Bixby, a 17-year Tides employee, is the organization’s new chief executive officer.

Of the organization’s work, Beth shares, “Brother Michael realized that the initial grassroots social work efforts had to focus on the extended family, helping families early on in their struggles before they became involved in child welfare, family court, or with the Department of Children, Youth and Families. Today Tides is an $8 million company with 140 staff serving 500 families a day throughout Rhode Island.”

She continues, “Tides takes pride in taking risks to develop new programs to meet the changing needs of the families we serve. By extending our services to the entire family, we’re able to keep a large percentage of youth at home and out of residential programs and group homes. This leads to a higher rate of school achievement and offers a much greater chance for youth to reach their potential.”

This fund, which will support Tides both with the provision of its current services and with new services as needs evolve over time, illustrates how the Tides/Foundation partnership again has grown. Brother Michael states, “We could not do our work without the backing of generous donors and partners like the Rhode Island Foundation, and we are very grateful.”

Tides’ donors and partners help the organization fulfill its motto: “We never give up on a kid…NEVER”