standing Rhode Island State House

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — An acting director has been appointed for the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families.

The department says Kevin Aucoin, its deputy director and executive counsel, will serve as acting director while the state conducts a national search for Trista Piccola's successor.

Piccola announced in July that she was stepping down and moving to Arizona with her family.

Piccola was criticized by lawmakers in June, when a report into the death of a 9-year-old Rhode Island girl in foster care says ineptitude and inaction by DCYF was partially to blame. The case led to changes in the way the agency functions.

Piccola became the director in early 2017.

Aucoin begins in the role this week. The department says he has a wealth of knowledge, after working there for 36 years.

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