The Agency of Human Services envisions a Vermont in which all families are safe, nurtured, stable, and supported and have access to services and supports that increase safety and well-being. AHS delivers family support services, supports, and programming to families that support resilience, address immediate needs, to ensure good health outcomes and healthy living environments across the state.
Strengthening Families Child Care provides grants to 28 community child care programs throughout Vermont to ensure affordable access to high quality comprehensive early care and education and afterschool programs for children and families challenged by economic instability and other environmental risk factors.
These grants serve:
The following impacts on intended by these grants:
o FY23 Budget Recommendation: $1,110,000
o FY22 Estimated Expenditures: $842,174
o FY21 Actuals: $890,576
The Family Supportive Housing (FSH) Program provides intensive case management and service coordination to homeless families with children and helps house families through partnership with housing providers. The program's goal is to reduce the incidence and duration of homelessness through supports for families as they transition to and sustain permanent housing over time. Service coordination and case management focus on the root causes of a family's homelessness; promote resiliency for parents and their children; and help households build financial capability. FSH staff take a holistic, two-generation approach using non-judgmental, positive, and trauma-informed communication and engagement in their support of families.
Families with children under the age of six who have had multiple episodes of homelessness or engagement with Family Services are prioritized for the program. OEO administers funding which supports Family Supportive Housing at seven community-based providers: Barre, Bennington, Brattleboro, Rutland, St. Johnsbury and White River Junction.
Service Coordinators provide customized home-based case management; financial empowerment coaching; life skills support and referrals; tenant education; parent and child resiliency support; and support of addiction recovery. FSH Service Coordinators align and coordinate these services with existing Agency of Human Services programs and initiatives.
o FY23 Budget Recommendation: $1,586,351
o FY22 Estimated Expenditures: $1,500,000
o FY21 Actuals: $1,139,849
The Family Services Division (FSD) is Vermont's child welfare agency. We are responsible for making sure children and youth:
The outcomes we want to achieve:
Reach Up helps eligible parents to gain job skills and find work so they can support their minor, dependent children.
Reach First does the same for parents who will likely no longer need help in four months (or less).
Child-Only Reach Up provides cash assistance to help eligible adults care for the minor, dependent children of relatives or family friends.
Eligibility depends on:
The number of families served by Parent Child Centers varies based on the events and in person opportunities the programs can provide. It is important to note that in calendar year 2020 the number of in person events and interactions were limited by COVID-19.
As established in 33 V.S.A. § 3701, Parent Child Centers (PCCs) are community-based non-profit organizations established for the purpose of providing prevention, early intervention and early child development services to prospective parents and families with young children including those with children who are medically, socio-economically or developmentally at risk. To this end PCC’s implement practices aligned with the Strengthening Families Framework articulated by the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP). These practices are designed to build protective factors in families as a primary prevention strategy to protect children from abuse and neglect. The Department for Children and Families supports the Strengthening Families Framework which identifies five protective factors that research indicates enhance child and family well-being:
Parent Child Centers serve prospective parents and families with young children including those with children who are medically, socio-economically or developmentally at risk.
Parent Child Centers have an impact in several ways, including:
The Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) administers federal and state funds that support the work of organizations that provide direct services to low-income Vermonters. These services include asset building and financial capability, emergency food shelves, emergency homeless shelters, rapid re-housing, homelessness prevention, supportive housing, job readiness training, micro-business development, weatherization assistance and more.
Most OEO programs target Vermonters with incomes at or below 125% of the federal poverty guidelines, though some programs range up to 200% of poverty.
OEO's mission is to increase the self-sufficiency of Vermonters, strengthen Vermont communities, and eliminate the causes and symptoms of poverty.
The Office of Child Support (OCS) helps to obtain financial support for families with children by:
The Office of Child Support improves the economic security of children and families in Vermont.