What We Do
“One of the most impressive programs in Vermont funded under this Act is a program to identify youth at risk of being removed from their families, and address the underlying issues. The Strengthening Families Program helps families and children with open DCF cases by facilitating access to mental health resources, counseling, substance abuse treatment, housing, childcare and transportation. The program has already proven successful, reducing the number of children removed from 30 percent of all open DCF cases to 7 to 12 percent of all cases in just 18 months.” said Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, the Ranking Member on the Judiciary Committee and its most senior member, in announcing the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2015 on July 23.
Strengthening Families is a program designed to assist families who have an open DCF case to decrease risk factors and prevent children from entering state custody. Historically – without Strengthening Families – 30% of children with open family support cases come into state custody. In the first 18 months, the Strengthening Families Sites experienced 7% to 12% of children with open cases coming into custody, a substantial increase for the safety of children.
Every year, Vermont saves $2,131,041 when each of Vermont’s 15 Parent Child Centers prevents:
- One woman from entering a correctional facility;
- One teen pregnancy.
- One child from needing foster care placement; and
- One mother and child from requiring public assistance.