Chittenden County Regional Council Recap – March 2018
Improving Council Process
The Steering Committee for the Chittenden Building Bright Futures Council meets monthly to plan future meetings, reflect on previous meetings, advise the Regional Coordinator, and provide direction for the regional Action Plan. In December, the steering committee reflected on Council meetings and what was working and where there could be improvements. They gathered input from Council members and decided to make several changes to Council meetings.
The vision is to make Council meetings more effective and efficient. The purpose of meetings is to improve coordination, relationships, and strategic partnering across the early childhood system. Changes include:
- Shortening meetings from two hours to an hour and a half
- Moving meeting time from 5pm to 2pm
- Adding a short reflection at the start of every meeting to share the impact and learning from a previous BBF Council meeting
- Keeping the regional action plan alive in our meetings by tracking meeting topics with action plan priorities, with regular review
- Promoting the Council and Steering Committee as a place for Council members to get help on dilemmas they are facing in their work (related to program management or strategic decision making). A peer consultation model was introduced at the February meeting and again at the March meeting for members to share a dilemma and get creative coaching from their peers. Specifically, council members used the model to discuss and brainstorm challenges and opportunities around family engagement in their respective agencies and organizations.
Impact of BBF Substance Abuse Report
Since the BBF Substance Abuse Report came out, several groups in Chittenden County are discussing how to improve supports for families who are suffering from substance use disorders. The Howard Center initiated a review of practices between their staff teams in Early Childhood Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders, which manage the Chittenden Clinic. Statewide, the Early Childhood Mental Health teams at the designated agencies are also reviewing the recommendations and creating a document highlighting best practices. This is part of a process to improve coordination and integration of services for both children and adults to impact the entire family’s needs.