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Family Support Services

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.

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What We Do

Children’s Integrated Services (CIS) delivers early intervention, family support, and prevention services that help ensure the healthy development and well-being of children, from before birth up through age 5. The CIS State Team within the Child Development Division (CDD) administers CIS. Children's Integrated Services (CIS) | Department for Children and Families (vermont.gov)

Who We Serve

Through contracts between CDD CIS and community partners, CIS serves pregnant and postpartum people, children ages birth through 5 (and through 12 for Specialized Child Care), and early childhood education and afterschool regulated programs. Eighty-two percent of CIS clients are Medicaid recipients and approximately 50% receive CIS Early Intervention.

How We Impact

CIS is an innovative model unique to Vermont. It is designed to improve child, family, and program outcomes by providing client-centered holistic services, effective service coordination, individualized service plans, and flexible funding to tailor services to client and regional needs.  A CIS Coordinator and three collaborative teams (administrative, consultative, and referral/intake) in each region guide and sustain service integration.

There are 4 key sets of services within CIS. They all promote healthy child development, connect clients with community resources, and employ a strengths-based approach. They are:

  • Early Intervention (EI): Services for infants and toddlers, birth to age 3, who are experiencing a developmental delay or have a medical condition with a high probability of resulting in developmental delay or disability, and their families.
  • Strong Families Vermont Home Visiting (SFVT HV): Home or community visits for families during pregnancy, as well as with young children from birth to age 6, who have questions or concerns about parenting or seek short term support to address needs. Health and well-being, feeding and nutrition, early learning, and social emotional development are all possible areas of focus. SFVT includes two evidence-based models: Maternal Early Childhood Sustained Home Visiting (MECSH) delivered by nurses and Parents As Teachers (PAT) delivered by family support home visitors.
  • Early Childhood and Family Mental Health (ECFMH): Services for children birth to age 6 who are experiencing social, emotional, or behavioral challenges, and/or seek support to effectively utilize community services, and their families. ECFMH also consults with and educates early childhood education programs and other organizations regarding children’s healthy development, social interactions, self-regulation, and access to mental health services.
  • Specialized Child Care (SCC): Services for families with children ages 6 weeks to age 13 with high needs who seek to connect to and experience success in high-quality early childhood education and afterschool regulated programs. SCC also supports regulated programs in accessing training and resources so they are able to safely and successfully include all children in their programs.
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HY2 2023
73%
2
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What We Do

Strengthening Families Child Care provides grants to 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.

Who We Serve

These grants serve:

  • Children/families eligible for and participating in the CDD Child Care Financial Assistance Program (at least 25% of enrolled children).
  • Children/families who are receiving specialized child care services: including children with an open case with the Family Services Division of the Department for Children and Families (including foster children), children in families participating in Reach Up, refugee children and teen parents.
How We Impact

The following impacts on intended by these grants:

  • Documented use of the Center for Social Policy Strengthening Families Program Assessment tool through submission of outcomes and related program plan.
  • Continuity of care improves as measured by attendance records and compared to participants in CCFAP including specialized care in other non Strengthening Families programs.
  • 70% of parents report positive family experiences (protective factors) as part of their overall experience of having an enrolled child in the program.
Budget Information

Strengthening Families Child Care

SFY23 Actual

SFY24 Projected

SFY25 Governor Recommended

Program Budget

$978,676

$726,091

$1,110,000 (not final)

 

PM
HY1 2023
849
1
PM
HY1 2023
602
1
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What We Do

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.

Who We Serve

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.

How We Impact

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.

Budget Information

FSH

SFY23 Actual

SFY24 Projected

SFY25 Governor Recommended

Program Budget

$1,399,208

$3,086,351

$3,086,351 (not final)

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2023
62%
1
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What We Do

The Family Services Division (FSD) is Vermont's child welfare agency. We are responsible for making sure children and youth:

  • Are safe from abuse
  • Have their basic needs met
  • Live is safe, supportive, and healthy environments
Who We Serve

Populations Served:

  1. At-risk children, youth and families
  2. Children and youth in the care and custody of the state
  3. Youth on juvenile probation
  4. Foster, respite and adoptive parents
How We Impact

The outcomes we want to achieve:

  • Safety: Children are safe from abuse, neglect, and risk of harm
  • Permanence: Children have nurturing relationships that sustain them throughout their lives
  • Well-Being: Children do well in their families, schools and communities
  • Law Abidance: Youth are free from delinquent behavior


PM
2017
5,573
1
I
2017
1,250
2
PM
2017
2,405
1
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2017
25%
1
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What We Do
Who We Serve
How We Impact
VDCF
FSD-Indicators
PM
Q1 2022
1,050
1
PM
Q2 2022
126
2
PM
Q2 2022
925
1
PM
Q2 2022
39
2
PM
Q2 2022
143
3
PM
Q2 2022
296
3
PM
2018
1,286
1
Reach Up
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What We Do

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.   

What benefits are available?

  • Services that support work
  • Case management to help you reach your goals
  • Monthly cash payments to help you pay for basic necessities like food, clothing, housing and utilities
Who We Serve

Eligibility depends on:

  • Your household income
  • Your living expenses
  • The value of the things you own or are paying for
  • Who lives in your home
PM
2021
2,152
9
PM
2021
1,177
7
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Time Period
Current Actual Value
Current Trend
What We Do
Who We Serve
How We Impact
PM
2023
4,309
1
PM
2023
210
2
PM
2023
376
1
PM
2023
655
6
VDCF
CDD-Indicators
PM
2023
756
1
PM
2018
19,320
8
PM
2023
1,900
5
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Time Period
Current Actual Value
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What We Do

Some measures that OEO has used through 2017 are no longer nationally published. Final data from FFY22 is not yet available. 

Who We Serve
How We Impact
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Story Behind the Curve

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.

What We Do

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:

      • Parental resilience
      • Social connections
      • Knowledge of parenting and child development
      • Concrete support in times of need
      • Social and emotional competence of children
    Who We Serve

    Parent Child Centers serve prospective parents and families with young children including those with children who are medically, socio-economically or developmentally at risk.

    How We Impact

    Parent Child Centers have an impact in several ways, including:

    • Promote the health and well-being of children prenatal – age 6 and their families and build protective factors in families and children that are known to reduce child abuse and neglect.
    • Support community-based efforts to develop, operate, expand, enhance, and coordinate initiatives, programs, and activities to prevent child abuse and neglect and to support the coordination of resources and activities to better strengthen and support families to reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect; and to foster understanding, appreciation and knowledge of diverse populations in order to effectively prevent and treat child abuse and neglect.
    Budget Information
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    What We Do

    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.

    Who We Serve

    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.

    How We Impact

    OEO's mission is to increase the self-sufficiency of Vermonters, strengthen Vermont communities, and eliminate the causes and symptoms of poverty.

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    What We Do

    The Office of Child Support (OCS) helps to obtain financial support for families with children by:

    1. Establishing, enforcing and modifying child support orders for children who do not live with both parents
    2. Establishing and enforcing medical insurance provisions in court orders
    3. Collecting, recording and distributing child support payments through the OCS Registry
    4. Establishing parentage when children are born outside of marriage
    Who We Serve

    Populations served:

    1. Parents entitled to medical and child support
    2. Parents obligated to pay medical and child support
    3. Guardians entitled to medical and child support
    4. States seeking assistance in Vermont courts
    How We Impact

    The Office of Child Support improves the economic security of children and families in Vermont.

    PM
    2021
    73%
    1

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