Child & Family is private non-profit human and health service agency that has proudly served children, families, and seniors throughout Rhode Island since 1866.

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Child & Family Welcomes New Board and Staff Members


Date: March 30, 2016
Contact: Keith Tavares- Phone 401-848-4150

Child & Family Welcomes New Board and Staff Members

(Middletown, Rhode Island, March 30, 2016) Child & Family has welcomed one new board member and two new staff members. The organization is excited to announce the appointment of its board member Heidi Werther and staff members Sandra Pryam-Loyer and Melissa Aguiar-Rivard. The Board of Directors collaborates with local community leaders to support the staff’s various programs and services provided to children, teens, families, and elders all throughout the Rhode Island area.

Heidi Werther has joined the board of directors at Child & Family. Ms. Werther is a professional coach, mediator, and consultant, working with individuals, families and organizations in transition. She combines her innate passion of guiding others with her business strengths and life experiences to help her clients clarify their goals, address conflict, and take action to move forward. Ms. Werther authored a chapter of the book Coaching for Powerful Change: The Keys to Unlocking Personal and Professional Transformation. She also is Board Vice President for Center for Mediation & Collaboration RI (CMCRI) and is a board member for Boston Cancer Support. Ms. Werther volunteers as a coach through the Coaching for Leadership and Teamwork Program at Babson College where she earned her Bachelor of Science, Marketing and Management. Ms. Werther obtained her Master of Science, Mediation and Applied Conflict Studies from Champlain College and is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach through the Coaches Training Institute (CTI).  She is the proud mother of two young men and lives in Portsmouth, RI.

Sandra Pryam-Loyer has been promoted to the Vice President of Program Operations at Child & Family. Sandra came to the organization on October 2014 as the Director of Care Management for the Rhode Island Care Management Network. As Director, Sandra led a team of Intensive Care Managers and Utilization Management Clinicians to work towards ensuring that youth are at the appropriate levels of care and to ensure that efforts are being made to transition youth towards permanency and independence whenever possible. Prior to Child & Family, Sandra served as the Branch Executive Director for Bethany Christian Services of New England and oversaw the fundraising, clinical supervision, new program development, and operational functions of the branch. Sandra also served as a Manager for the Permanency programs at Children’s Friend where she provided oversight to six Permanency programs that spanned from infant foster care through adoption support. Additionally, she volunteers as a coordinator of various youth enrichment programs to promote healthy relationships, positive choices, career development, and empowerment/positive self-esteem for young women. Sandra earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences/Education from Lesley College in 1997 and her Master’s Degree in 2006 from the University of Massachusetts in Mental Health Counseling. Sandra and her husband and have volunteered as foster parents over the past 6 years, and are proud parents of two children.

Melissa Aguiar-Rivard has been welcomed to Child & Family as the Director of Foster Care. She has been active in social work and children services for 14 years, focusing on clinical leadership, children’s mental health, trauma informed care, individual and family counseling. Melissa has experience in various human service settings including Foster Care, Community Support, Congregate Care, Clinical and Safety Training. In addition, she has worked with The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families on least restrictive level of care, permanency planning and community support and stabilization initiatives. Melissa received her Master’s Degree in Family Marital Therapy from Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Massachusetts. She is currently a Licensed Mental health Counselor (LMHC). Melissa currently serves as program director for Foster Care with Child and Family Services of RI. 


About Child & Family

Established in downtown Newport in 1866, Child & Family is celebrating its 150th anniversary of serving children and families throughout Rhode Island. Child & Family is the largest and most comprehensive social service provider in Newport County, and one of the largest in the State of Rhode Island. With state-of-the-art Community Centers in both Middletown and Providence, Child & Family strengthens the fabric of family by providing important services and programs to thousands of children, teens, families and elders each year through multiple programs and services including: Sandpipers Early Learning Center, Behavioral Health Services, Family Support Services, Residential Programs for Children and Teens, Treatment Foster Care, Elder Care Services and much more.

31 John Clarke Road                          1268 Eddy Street
Middletown, RI 02842                       Providence, RI 02905
401-849-2300                                      401-781-3669

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