Southeast Vermont Regional Council Recap – September 2017

Chad Simmons
Southeast Vermont Regional Coordinator
Building Bright Futures




After a short break from activities in August, our regional council had a busy late summer and early fall. The focus of the council was revising and honing in on our regional Action Plan. At our September 13th council meeting, we agreed to focus on seven strategies to achieve three outcomes.

In addition, he council completed Appreciative Inquiry interviews and promoted the Building Vermont’s Future from the Child Up summit.The council also hosted a set of follow-up discussions with the Director of Early Childhood Professional Development Services at CCV, Becky Millard. Becky met with the regional Starting Points Network as well as community partners, including economic development. The purpose of these discussions was to continue informing the state process and to ensure an equitable level of training and professional development regionally.

The council continues to be involved as part of the Integrating Family Services (IFS) Core Team. The IFS team focused on developing guiding principles, areas of interest/focus and developing next steps.

Key Events

Some key events and success from the past few months include:

Summer Ice Cream Social

The Southeast Building Bright Futures (BBF) council joined other child, youth, and family servicing agencies for a free ice cream social, hosted by the Brattleboro Food Co-op in late July. Several hundred people attended with ice cream, music, games and art projects. BBF shared Help Me Grow and parent education/support materials.

A Look Back & Moving Forward on Making It Work in Windham

A BBF blog post in August focused on Making It Work In Windham, looking back at the initiative and looking ahead to next steps. A meeting is scheduled for late September to re-convene the committee.

Regional Promise Community Projects Hiring

Both the Green Street Promise Community (GSPC) and Guilford Promise Community (Community Collaborative 4 Guilford) are hiring to coordinate local projects. Positions will allow each community to move forward on projects and increase connection between families and the organizations that serve them.

Critical Issues

Ongoing critical issues include:

  • Availability of good paying jobs that allow for families to live and work in Windham County
  • Housing affordability and availability
  • The continued strain on our family serving system due to the number of children in DCF custody
  • The complexity and pervasiveness of substance abuse. Most recently, in downtown Brattleboro, parents sharing safety concerns on parent social network groups.
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