New director picked for Rhode Island child welfare agency

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A health official for Ohio’s most populous county has been picked to lead Rhode Island’s child welfare system.

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo announced Tuesday her choice of Trista Piccola as director of the state Department of Children, Youth and Families. The Democratic governor submitted Piccola’s name to the state Senate for advice and consent.

Piccola works in Cleveland as deputy director of performance evaluation and innovation for Cuyahoga County’s health and human services agency. She has a doctorate in social welfare and began her career as a protective services case manager.

Piccola will succeed Jamia McDonald, who announced in September she was stepping down. McDonald has been seeking an advisory opinion from the state Ethics Commission on whether she can take a job with Deloitte Consulting, a state contractor.