Chittenden County Regional Council Recap – September 2017
Entering a new school year, the Chittenden Council took time to review the existing 2016 Regional Action Plan and set priorities for the next two years. With the end of the five-year LAUNCH grant, it is good timing to revisit the plan and translate it into Results Based Accountability language; a process all Regional Councils are working on this Summer and Fall.
The Vermont Department of Health (VDH) received a five-year SAMHSA Project LAUNCH grant in 2012 and partnered with Building Bright Futures (BBF). The mission was to promote the healthy development of young children and identify unmet health needs.
As this grant comes to an end, the Council and grant partners reflected on its impact, including building stronger relationships across service providers and using multilingual parent outreach staff to engage families who joined our community as refugees or immigrants and may need support navigating our system. We invested in supporting primary care, early care, and education settings to conduct developmental screening and intervention for children needing additional monitoring or support.
As a region we continue to improve access to services for children and families otherwise underserved. This includes families who arrived as refugee or immigrants, families impacted by substance abuse, or experiencing housing insecurity. These are topics at our Council meetings and there is a sincere interest to better integrate the Council’s coordination on early education with other regional collaborations on these topics.
In a region with so many needs and such willingness to collaborate, there are a lot of meetings. The Council is investing to improve our process: Primarily, how we come together to share information and solve problems. Collaboration takes work! Here are some examples of improved process,
- ACCESS updated its mission statement: “The mission of ACCESS is to promote the health, mental health, and well-being of children, youth, and families in Chittenden County. ACCESS works to achieve its mission by strengthening the systems providing timely, integrated, and family centered supports and services in the community.”
- The Early Learning Partnership created desired outcomes at the start of its September quarterly meeting between school districts and Act 166 Pre-K partners
- Children’s Integrated Service Admin team set aside a monthly work session to address the planning the group needs to do for this effort
- Children’s Integrated Services Early Intervention team holds regular retreats with school district partners to build trust and align practice
While it takes time, ultimately the focus on process means we can affect the changes our community calls on us to make.