337 Westminster Street
Providence, RI 02903
Phone: (401) 222-2353
Fax: (401) 222-3199
Open to the public
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The law establishing the Children's Bureau under the Public Welfare Commission went into effect July 1, 1926. A careful study of the law in its relation to other laws affecting children passed at the same time indicated clearly that the type of work required was directly related and dependent upon similiar work being done by the Child Placing Department at the State Hoome and School. It seemed a logical and efficient plan to use this well organized unit as a working basis for the Children's Bureau. Accordingly, July 9th, the Child Placing Department of the State Home and School became the Child Placing Department of the Children's Bureau.
The activities of the Children's Bureau seem to divide naturally into the following three divisions: the Child Placing Department, the Supervisory Department, and the Investigating Department.
The Department of Social Welfare (1939-1968) was established as part of a major reorganization of state government into departments in the 1930s (Public Law 1935, ch. 2218, 2250.) Although the department was only created in 1939, it inherited most of the programs and records of its predecessors, the Department of Public Welfare (1935-1939), which succeeded the State Public Welfare Commission (1923-1935), formerly known as the Penal and Charitable Commission (1917-1923), and, finally, Rhode Island's first state social welfare agency, the Board of State Charities and Corrections (1869 - 1917).