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Addison Regional Recap, November 2019


Charlie Gliserman from the Vermont Early Childhood Alliance came to the Rutland Building Bright Futures Council meeting in September and spoke about the past legislative session.

During the 2019 legislative session, children were a clear priority in the State House. While not every program tracked by the Alliance saw increased funding, the FY20 budget passed by the Legislature includes the largest investment in child care in years. The Legislature also passed legislation protecting children from lead exposure.

Areas of importance to the council that saw increases were:
• Reach Up
• Child Care Financial Assistance Program
• Workforce Development
• Parent Child Center Master Grant

The Council was reminded that continued advocacy is necessary. The voice of the educator and others who work to support children must continue to be heard strongly to benefit our youngest Vermonters.

Please visit the Vermont Early Childhood Alliance website for more information: https://vecaa.org/ or to discuss ideas, contact Charlie Gliserman, Public Engagement Director: 802-595-9913; charlie@vecaa.org.

In October the BBF council joined with the Intergraded Family Services group (IFS), for a combined meeting to renew and create a unified strategic plan for the next 3 years. Those attending were asked to come with ideas that are important to their work so that common themes could be identified. The group also helped to define gaps in the system of care and set priorities to improve outcomes for children and families in Addison County.

Below is a brief summary of the work groups. The work was split into 3 topic headings.

1. Children are Learning

Common themes that emerged:
Social Emotional Learning: Defined SEL tasks at all developmental levels, early childhood through 12th grade, integrated and coordinated across all settings including schools, child care, agencies, and the community. Early identification and screening tools, Early MTSS expansion and continued support, increasing the number of trained teachers and sustained mentoring, and supports for LGBTQ youth. Supports for youth in DCF custody.
Workforce supports that were identified include adequately trained and qualified workforce, competitive pay, ability to recruit, hire, retain workforce, streamlined reporting and credentialing, building teacher assistance, training to support staff with vicarious trauma, creation of a “toolbox”, and specialized training for high needs youth.

2) Children and Families Are Supported

Common themes that emerged:
Enhance communication with MAT providers, parent voice, better communication between parents and educators.
Trainings on trauma for providers, social norms around marijuana, parent education around youth and substance use, improve education around online behavior for youth, full day affordable summer programming.
Universal access for birth to 6, childcare funding, availability of childcare, parent and family workshops, connecting families during non-working hours, home and community opportunities to connect teens.

3) Children are Healthy

Common themes that emerged:
Universal screenings accessibility, trainings on trauma, opportunity to become trauma informed/trauma sensitive, community resources including food and recreation, parents are valued as part of the team, work to remove the stigma around mental health vs. physical health, connecting resources and providers to families.
These themes and others will be the focus of work within the county over the course of the next three years. It is the goal of Addison BBF and IFS to create a more cohesive system of work throughout the county.

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