Tides Family Services prevents young adults from entering the adult criminal justice system

Tides Family Services has the formula for success when working with vulnerable youth.  Brother Michael Reis, Chief Visionary Officer and Founder says it best, “We never give up on a kid…Never!”  Often times, a tagline is just that but at Tides Family Services staff truly “walk the walk”.  Although the agency has had colossal growth since it was established in 1983, the mission and the roots have remained the same.

The Board of Directors is pleased to announce the outcome of a recent pilot study examining the impact of Tides’ services on a youth’s ability to remain unknown to the adult criminal justice system. The organization has received guidance in the collection of the data from Joy S Kaufman, PH.D., at Yale University’s Division of Prevention Community Research.

The project looked at 311 young adults previously served, between the ages of 18 and 19 who at Tides Family Services. The youth were reviewed through the Rhode Island Judiciary Public Portal, a public database for adult court and criminal charges.  The findings of this preliminary study are highly reassuring:

85% (264 out of the 311 young adults) did not have any misdemeanor or felony convictions reported.

Tides was founded 35 years ago, by Brother Michael Reis, a De LaSalle Christian Brother with $15,000 of seed money.  The Lasallian mission is to serve the neediest and poorest families in the community.  Brother Michael understood that interventions needed to happen before youth were placed or while in out-of-home care.  He founded a much-needed and innovative “agency without walls” where outreach workers and clinical social workers who are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to meet the families in their homes and in the environments that challenges occur statewide through 140 tireless staff members.

Referrals for services are through DCYF, the RI Training School, Juvenile Probation, School Districts and other community partners.

“Although the pilot study was fairly small, the Board of Directors are pleased with the promising outcomes of so many.  As we celebrate our 35 year anniversary, we recognize the need to have more long term studies conducted that demonstrate the hard work done with families in our community.  This is a great start and we hope we can look to gather more comprehensive data” stated Beth Bixby, Chief Executive Officer.

Contact:     Mary-Kate O’Leary

Telephone: (401)354-9779

Email: mkoleary@tidesfs.org