As I’ve grown older, my Christmases have become progressively better. Usually it’s the other way around. People tend to experience that magical feeling next to a tree decorated with glittery, beautiful ornaments best when they are young. But when one grows up in foster care, it’s a nightmare.
I was a foster kid. Some would say orphan. Others would say “ward of the state.” It was a horrible situation, especially for me, because I would end up dealing with even worse abuse than most other foster kids because I reported the abusive practices of what was going on in the state social service system to my legislators and other state officials. But we shall save that story for another time.Continue reading The Unopened Christmas Gift
Once I reached Manhattan, I went to each of the major news networks and newspapers to speak with producers, receptionists, and researchers. I was armed with documents and proof of the corruption, abuse and negligence that was ensuing in the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families.
I scheduled appointments with producers from NBC’s Today show as well as The O’Reilly Factor on Fox News among other networks. Those were the two shows that confirmed my appearance during the first episodes of the New Year. The other appearances were to be solidified within the coming weeks.
I finished my work on Christmas Eve. Everything was sorted out, and I was excited. One of the producers bought me a hotel ticket for my final evening in Manhattan so that I didn’t have to sleep on the subway again.
I made my way back to Rhode Island with train tickets in hand — paid for by a television host himself — for the appearances in January. All I had to do was keep quiet and let Jeremiah (who bore an uncanny resemblance to Jabba the Hut) enjoy his Christmas feast. And then I would strike.
Unfortunately, Jeremiah had been tipped off that I was meeting with the press locally — WJAR (the NBC affiliate), WPRI (the CBS affiliate), and The Providence Journal had all done stories on me again — yet Jeremiah had no idea about the national news that was about to break.
And he wouldn’t, because he single-handedly killed the stories without even knowing they were going to be aired.
He had the power to keep me from contacting anyone after placing me in a secure facility in Rhode Island until I could be flown to Nebraska. I was literally Court-ordered to not leave the youth shelter and the staff were similarly ordered to not allow me to use the telephone, send letters, or leave the property. I was devastated.
Said another way, he proceeded to deem me a threat to myself because I was “not complying with my treatment” — that was always their go-to excuse when I arranged to have the truth about the abuse and negligence inherent in the DCYF and the Family Court illuminated in the press and the court of public opinion.
Note: This article was originally published in October 2018, prior to the election upon which this commentary is based. Ultimately, Gina Raimondo was re-elected, and the problems at DCYF have only worsened, just as political scientist and author of Dreading and Hoping All Nicholas Alahverdian predicted. Director Trista Piccola was fired, preventable abuse has continued to occur, and overspending — to the tune of millions of dollars — is rampant. If Raimondo had not been re-elected, DCYF may have been on the road to recovery. Unfortunately, Raimondo’s natural knack for a lack of leadership has set the tone until the end of her second and final term.
According to Rhode Island political expert Nicholas Alahverdian, Rhode Island is embroiled in an important race for governor this election cycle. They really have only two choices: Republican Allan Fung and Democrat Gina Raimondo. Joe Trillo could very well be a Raimondo plant. He seems to have a personal vendetta against Allan Fung that transcends this election.
Gina Raimondo has brought the state to its knees. Nicholas Mattiello, Speaker of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, makes things even worse. They both fail Rhode Islanders because of the UHIP fiasco, the DCYF deaths, the loss of the Pawtucket Red Sox, the distorted data in the state’s online transparency portal, and too many other errors to name.
The success of Mayor Allan Fung
Allan Fung, in contrast, presides over one of the top 50 cities in America. He is an honest, sincere mayor of the second largest city in Rhode Island. Fung listens to his constituents and hears what they have to say. “Simply put,” said Nicholas Alahverdian, “Fung will do the same thing in the Governor’s office. He will listen, weigh the options, and decide the best course of action.”
“Gina Raimondo is a wealthy East Side limousine liberal,” opined Nicholas Alahverdian. “She is cut from the same cloth as those who speak endlessly about “working families” and supporting the average Rhode Islander. At the end of the day though, her security detail drives her back to her lush East Side home where she can live her life in peace and prosperity with her family while Rhode Islanders suffer and kids in DCYF care are tortured and killed.”
“Apparently caring about working Rhode Islanders only lasts until 5pm on a weekday.”
Allan Fung will be the antithesis of Gina Raimondo. Dare I say he will be the anti-Gina Raimondo. He will bring back jobs, he will lower taxes, and he will protect kids in DCYF care. There is no question in this election — Gina Raimondo is inherently unfit to be governor due to the numerous disasters we’ve seen in four short years.
“Rhode Islanders can be guaranteed that if Allan Fung is elected, from 2019 on we will see a Rhode Island with more possibilities,” said Nicholas Alahverdian. We will see an air of optimism and not despair. Allan will do his best to bring the spirit of dynamism back to the Ocean State — something we’ve sadly been long without.
Not the Ol’ Boys Club anymore — Gina leads the “Troll Girls Club”
Gina Raimondo presides over a state in which the gears grind on political deals and an ol’ boys club culture. That has now turned into a troll girls club. “I use the term ‘troll girls club’ not as a mark of disrespect, but because Gina is trolling Allan Fung. She refuses to debate him one-on-one without the distraction of Joe Trillo, the candidate without a chance. She is blasé at his suggestions for leadership tactics that will work. And she dismisses his common sense solutions to fix state departments,” said Nicholas Alahverdian.
Rhode Island will thrive with Governor Fung
Rhode Island is lost in the woods. Gina Raimondo will continue to lead broken departments where kids are killed, DMV lines go out the door, and unqualified professionals make executive decisions.
“I am confident that inept lifetime bureaucrats like Mike Burk and Kevin Aucoin will finally be shown the door at DCYF, ending their reign of terror once and for all,” said Nicholas Alahverdian. “Allan Fung will audit and analyze each and every facet of DCYF to ensure that the agency is the epitome of what a child welfare system should be from when he is elected and into the future.”
Allan Fung will provide real leadership from day one. He is a hands-on mayor and he will be a hands-on Governor. He will repair the Ocean State and give it what it needs — a boost in its economy and its self-esteem. With Allan at the helm, kids will be safer, jobs will increase, and more money will flow into the state than ever. He will be Rhode Island’s champion — and relentlessly fight for our families and children.
Nicholas Alahverdian, a Harvard political scientist, researches the intersection of rhetoric, philology, and politics. His newest book, Dreading and Hoping All, will be released in October 2019.
Alahverdian worked for the Rhode Island state government at the same time he was in foster care. He was able to provide unique insight into the conditions of the foster homes and shelters in which he lived. As a result of his being a whistleblower and informing the senators and representatives with whom he worked of the conditions of the state’s DCYF, he became a political and publicity threat to the chief judge of the Rhode Island Family Court, Judge Jeremiah S. Jeremiah.
Unfortunately, Judge Jeremiah obliterated this threat by sending Nicholas Alahverdian hundreds of miles away to Florida and Nebraska where he was tortured and allowed to contact no one — not the courts, nor his legislators, nor any lawyers — until his 18th birthday. And by then, he was on a copious cocktail of drugs that he became a zombie, beyond all recognition.
Nicholas Alahverdian later sued his abusers his federal court, won, escaped the torture that ensued after he exposed the widespread abuse in the Rhode Island foster care system, attended Harvard University, and became a successful writer, lobbyist, and scholar.
Nicholas Alahverdian consults with many local, county, state, and national governments about how to enhance the human services industry and is a world-renowned expert in reforming systemic foster care problems and exposing governmental corruption.
The first thing I remember is the brightness of the sun. The blazing, white-hot sun, and then being whisked into a luxurious lobby.It was a welcome departure from the drab, impoverished climate of Omaha, Nebraska where I had spent the previous 24 months.As I sit and attempt to remember the month that I was sent to this hellhole in Florida, my mind is simply drawn blank. That’s how overmedicated I was.
About: Nicholas Alahverdian is a victim of torture perpetrated upon him by group homes and shelters who contracted with the Rhode Island State Government to provide services for children in the care of the Department of Children Youth and Families. Nicholas simultaneously worked for the Rhode Island General Assembly as a legislative aide.
As a 14-year-old legislative aide, I was sodomized and raped by a member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives. That person now wields formidable power. In light of the recent facts illuminated by the sexual harassment perpetrated by Cale Keable upon Katie Kazarian, I felt prompted to do what I never thought I would: bring the facts of this vicious and embarrassing assault upon me to the public eye.
I was degraded and humiliated by a person in power — and this culture of corruption in Rhode Island politics needs to stop. Katie Kazarian is leading the charge in exposing the moral attrition at the State House, and for that she deserves the utmost praise. But for myself, I go on and tell my story to those whom will listen. The most deplorable action we can take to address these endemic issues is none at all. I will be releasing details of the rape upon my person after the election. That way, no one can say ‘Nicholas Alahverdian did this for political advantage.’
DCYF expert releases statement on foster child deaths during the first 3 years of the tenure of Governor Gina Raimondo
MORE CHILDREN IN DCYF CARE HAVE DIED UNDER SPEAKER MATTIELLO AND GOVERNOR RAIMONDO THAN ANY OTHER SPEAKER AND GOVERNOR COMBINED
Nicholas Alahverdian uncovers 1,450% increase in child deaths or near-deaths since Gina Raimondo was inaugurated
PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE OCTOBER 18, 2018
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (nicholasalahverdian.com) — Harvard scholar and DCYF reform activist Nicholas Alahverdian unleashed a fierce warning to the people of Rhode Island today after discovering that more children in the care of the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) have been killed or nearly killed since Governor Gina Raimondo and Speaker Nicholas Mattiello have risen to power in state government.
“What we have found,” said Nicholas Alahverdian, “Through diving into everything from Providence Journal archives to FOIA requests, is that children in DCYF care are more at risk than ever. This is an election year and I take no ignominy in stating the obvious: Gina Raimondo and Nicholas Mattiello have not — though executive order or legislation — done anything to substantially curve this dangerous trend of dead or nearly-dead DCYF kids.”
“Gina Raimondo and Nicholas Mattiello have blood on their hands,” Nicholas Alahverdian continued. “One of the last times a child died in state care was the case of Thomas Wright, under the administration of former Governor Donald Carcieri. Coincidentally, I had the same social worker as little T.J. Wright — and while he was being killed in Woonsocket, I was being tortured and raped in Florida — all in the month of October 2004. Poor Patricia Chabot was so overburdened with a high rate of cases that she had one kid being tortured and raped and another ending up dead — all in one month. This practice continues unabated to this day under the Raimondo administration — except it is literally and exactly 1,450% worse.”
As the 2018 election draws near, it is important to highlight the records of the incumbents. “We have had over 30 deaths or near-deaths in the past 3 and a half years,” said Nicholas Alahverdian. “Gina Raimondo, in her ubiquitous blasé tone, has dismissed DCYF issues as ‘longstanding.’ While these issues are longstanding, these dead kids are 8 and 9 years old. They are not given a fair chance at life.”
Turning to the situation of Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, Alahverdian was considerably infuriated: “Over 50% of the House Chamber supported an omnibus bill and individual bills to overhaul DCYF. Not one bill — bills which were introduced year after year — made it out of committee. Not one. Nicholas Mattiello’s legal counsel and members of the Joint Committee on Legislative Services worked to actively inhibit any legislation that would improve or overhaul DCYF. Vicariously, Nicholas Mattiello is jointly responsible for the deaths and abuse suffered by children in DCYF care.”
The study, conducted by Nicholas Alahverdian and his team of researchers, found that within the past three gubernatorial administrations, there has been a stark increase in DCYF child deaths since Raimondo became Governor. “In 2008, DCYF investigated reports of the death of a child in their care. In 2003, we saw the tragic death of T.J. Wright. Within a five year timespan, we had two investigations of DCYF-related deaths,” said Alahverdian. In the Chafee administration from 2011 to 2015, there were no child deaths. Yet under Gina Raimondo, we as a state have to take a seat and say to ourselves ‘within 4 years there have been over 30 deaths or near-deaths’”
“It’s unconscionable,” said Alahverdian. “We have dead Rhode Island kids while Raimondo mingles in glitzy ballrooms raising funds for her campaign — policies which, by practice, include the disregard of DCYF-related killings.”
Nicholas Alahverdian, a former legislative aide for the Rhode Island House of Representatives hired at the age of 14, has been fighting for DCYF reform since 2002. Alahverdian suffered torture, abuse, and negligence in the infamous night-to-night program at the same time he worked for the state government.
When legislators and the media began to act and report on the abuse Alahverdian was suffering, he was exiled by Family Court Chief Judge Jeremiah S. Jeremiah and Governor Donald L. Carcieri to two facilities — Manatee Palms in Florida and Boys Town Residential Treatment Center in Nebraska — which were later closed by their own states for torture, abuse, and neglect. Thought that period of time, Alahverdian was allowed to contact no one at all — lawyers, the courts, DCYF social workers, the police.
Alahverdian later sued his abusers in federal court in Rhode Island, led an attempted state and federal legislative blitz to attempt to enhance DCYF policies and practices, and studied comparative literature at Harvard University.
I have, in collaboration with current and former Representatives Bob DaSilva, Raymond Hull, Michael Marcello, Anastasia Williams and multitudinous others, drafted and submitted bills to ameliorate the seemingly irremediable Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF). We have introduced this legislation year after year. Each bill, year after year, has been held for further study.
Interestingly enough, when I was actively lobbying for this legislation in my 2011 DCYF reform blitz, we had over 40 co-sponsors in the House. Think about that for a second. The House of Representatives has 75 members. There were forty co-sponsors. If those bills were transmitted from committee to the floor for a vote, they would have passed with flying colors. Continue reading DCYF Report: Recurrent, vile and ominous abuse findings. Again.
Following a meeting with the Governor’s Office, Nicholas Alahverdian will hold a brief press conference on Friday, April 8, 2011 at 3 p.m. at the State House Rotunda to discuss the details of his federal lawsuit against DCYF and take questions about his experiences of abuse and negligence, substantiated by state and federal authorities (see links to news stories), in Rhode Island, Nebraska, and Florida group homes and treatment facilities.
Nicholas Alahverdian was exiled from the State of Rhode Island by the Department of Children, Youth and Families after illuminating the deficiencies at facilities monitored by them to legislators of the Rhode Island General Assembly. At the time, he was an employee of the Rhode Island House of Representatives. When Nicholas was exiled, he began to be tortured in both facilities which had long records of violence and maltreatment against patients, with both facilities undergoing significant state investigations with courts issuing grand jury indictments and orders to halt admissions. Nevertheless, Alahverdian was banished to these facilities.
Nicholas Alahverdian was sent to one facility in Nebraska, the Boys Town Residential Treatment Center; and one in Florida, Manatee Palms Youth Services (owned by Premier Behavioral Solutions, a subsidiary of the nationally troubled Psychiatric Solutions, recently purchased by Universal Health Services). Both were shut down by their respective state regulatory agencies for violations of federal and state regulations, including abuse and negligence.
In Florida, Nicholas Alahverdian was raped by a staff member who admitted to the crime and was later imprisoned (see attached documents). Also, the for-profit Florida facility has been shut down in recent years for hiring convicted felons and retaining them, not providing sufficient staff, and hiring abusive people, most of whom were directly out of high school.
Alahverdian will also discuss legislation going before the House Judiciary Committee on April 12, 2011 to end out-of-state placements and enhance the Rhode Island Children’s Bill of Rights, sponsored by Rep. Michael Marcello and Rep. Bob DaSilva. There will be a large rally on Tuesday the 12th at 3 p.m. (press advisory to be sent later today/Monday) before the bills go before the House Judiciary Committee at the rise of the House (typically around 4:30).
WHO: NexusGovernment, Nicholas Alahverdian
WHAT: Press Conference on lawsuit, DCYF reform legislation
It’s hard to understand why my friend Nicholas Alahverdian’s story hasn’t resonated with more people and led to more needed changes. Perhaps it’s because he has been too much his own advocate, worked the Rhode Island State House too diligently, been too articulate in defining the state’s failures.
One thing is certain: What happened to Nicholas Alahverdian in the name of child protection should never happen to any kid ever. He was denied a substantial chunk of his childhood. He was put in night-to-night placement by the RI Department of Children, Youth and Families, a practice so hideously abusive and stifling that it would seem better fit to a Charles Dickens novel than to 21st century Rhode Island. Continue reading Nicholas Alahverdian | A hard lesson in what a state can do to a kid
By Walt Buteau
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Nicholas Alahverdian claims he was beaten everyday while he was in Department of Children, Youth and Families custody and now he is pushing for reform.
Alahverdian was a general assembly page at the age of 14 but one year later he was living in a series of DCYF funded group homes where he says the other kids used him as a punching bag.
Read the entire article: http://web.archive.org/web/20151226001548/http://wpri.com/2012/04/19/abuse-victim-fights-for-dcyf-changes/