Chittenden County Regional Council Recap – July 2018
Ensuring families can access education and support opportunities is a priority strategy in the Chittenden BBF Regional Action Plan. Council members gathered in June to review the Regional Action plan, affirm what priorities remain, and identify what new needs and opportunities need to be addressed. Facilitating access to services for families continues to be a priority. This includes access through attention to cultural and language accessibility, programs that are sufficiently staffed, and staff that are well trained to work with Chittenden County’s diverse population. Through this Action Plan review, BBF Council members also identified systems gaps and opportunities we chose to highlight to inform state level priorities.
- The demand for CIS services is greater than the funding available. In addition, limited workforce means children and families may not get the frequency of supports depending on the service (particularly early intervention). Advocating for more resources from the Legislature has not been successful thus far.
- Lack of available childcare continues to be a major concern in Chittenden County. Providers report the limited workforce as a contributing factor limiting their ability to serve families. This also impacts other early childhood services such as early intervention and social workers. Strategies are needed to attract and retain workforce.
- The Chittenden region is committed to improving how they support children and adults impacted by substance abuse. Chittenden BBF Council recently received a grant to help integrate how to serve adults in treatment and their children. While partners are committed to improve what can be changed at a local level, there are challenges due to billing that remain a barrier to providing support to the child of adults in treatment. A cohort of partners will work together over the Fall to better integrate the child and adult system and build stronger collaboration across service providers.
The Chittenden BBF Council welcomed a new Regional Coordinator on 7/16. Amanda Biggs comes to BBF from the UVM Medical Center Community Health Improvement Office. Beth Truzansky has transitioned to be the BBF Early Childhood Action Plan Coordinator.