PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A coalition of child welfare groups are raising concerns about Rhode Island’s plan to slash millions from group homes and programs for at-risk youth.

In a Dec. 4 letter to state Department of Children, Youth and Families Director Trista Piccola, the Rhode Island Coalition of Children and Families says the cuts are unacceptable. The Providence Journal reports the DCYF is running more than $8.5 million over its $209 million budget for the current fiscal year.

The agency’s child welfare spending plan shows it’s intending to cut “prevention services” this year from nearly $16 million down to $5 million.

State House and Senate finance committees will meet Tuesday afternoon to discuss the state budget.

The DCYF has not responded to a request for comment on the budget plan.

Information from: The Providence Journal,