Seeking Public Comments on the Agency of Human Services (AHS) & the Department for Children and Families (DCF)

The Governor’s Council on Pathways from Poverty is soliciting public input from interested parties and service providers on possible recommendations or changes within Department for Children and Families encompassing all divisions of the Department. If you, or an agency you know, would like to provide input there are three ways to do so: 1) Attend a public hearing, 2) submit written comments; or 3) take an online survey – which may be done anonymously. There are key questions for consideration offered as a starting point for potential dialogue, but those are neither exhaustive nor exclusive. Anyone may submit any written comments and there is space on the survey for additional comments.

Please spread the word and encourage your networks to attend the public hearings or submit written testimony. It is critically important that service providers and agencies and individuals you work with are involved in this process. Now is the time to weigh in before decisions are made that affect the Vermonters you serve.

The VCEH, VAHC, and numerous member organizations are well represented on the Council on Pathways from Poverty’s 30-member advisory body. It is made up exclusively of volunteers, including advocates, direct service providers, housing and development experts and low-income Vermonters.

Below you will find the full announcement with detailed instructions and questions to consider. To view this file in document form to print and/or distribute click here.  To view the information on the official Vermont DCF site click here.


Seeking Public Comments on the Agency of Human Services (AHS) & the Department for Children and Families (DCF)

The Governor’s Council on Pathways from Poverty, in collaboration with the AHS Secretary and DCF Commissioner Dave Yacovone, is seeking public comments on ways the Agency of Human Services can improve the delivery of services to families with children served by the Department for Children and Families. There are three ways to provide your comments:

  1. Attend a Public Hearing: Hearings will be held on two dates: August 28, 2014 at 6:00 PM and September 5, 2014 at 2:00 PM. You can attend at any of the 13 Vermont Interactive Television sites located around the state. For a complete list of VIT sites go to or call (802) 728-1455.
  2. Mail your comments: You can mail your comments to the following address through September 30, 2014: Agency of Human Services, AHS Secretary 208 Hurricane Lane, Suite 103, Williston, VT 05495
  3. Complete an online survey: Complete the survey (anonymously if you wish) at The survey has the same key questions discussed below as well as space for additional comments.

Key Questions to Consider: These questions are only intended to stimulate discussion. Feel free to raise your own questions and provide any suggestions.

  1. How can DCF better serve Vermont families with children?
  2. How can AHS and DCF avoid duplication of administrative functions and fragmentation of services for individuals and families?
  3. Do AHS and DCF have the resources needed to be most effective? Are existing resources allocated properly? How could resources be better employed?
  4. What is the most efficient use of state resources in serving families? For example, should divisions and/or functions be separate or integrated? How can communication within DCF be improved to better serve families?
  5. How can DCF build stronger relationships between the families it serves and staff working with those families? For example, should enforcement capability be separated from day-to-day case management (that is, should sanction or removal powers be exercised by different people within the department)? Would that help or hinder the department?
  6. Are there particular laws, rules, or policies that should be changed to improve outcomes for families? If so, what are they?
  7. What is the agency or department doing well; are there existing areas of success the agency can and should build on?

Join OEO for Shining a Light on Poverty Series #8 with Anthony Poore on August 28th

On August 28th from 10:00AM – 11:00AM the Vermont Office of Economic Opportunity will continue on with their year-long series of discussions about poverty.  For this month the theme of the discussion is titled “Universal Children’s Savings Accounts: New England Takes the Lead” and features guest speaker Anthony Poore from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.  Powerful research shows that savings accounts can impact the lives of low income children in many ways such as:

  • Savings is shown to provide low income children opportunities for economic mobility.
  • Savings increases expectations for the future — Savings = Aspirations in tangible form.
  • Children can build meaningful savings while learning about money and finance.
  • Children’s savings turn aspirations into achievement – there is a clear link between savings and college success:

If you are interested in hearing Anthony talk more about the case for universal children’s savings accounts and the work that is happening in New England (and Vermont!) there are two ways to join this OEO discussion:

  • Online: Register here to reserve a spot in the webinar.  Capacity is limited. You’ll get a confirmation email with further instructions.
  • In Person: DVHA Small Conference Room, 312 Hurricane Lane, Williston. No need to register. Just show up!

To learn more about the event and speaker Anthony Poore visit the official website for the series here.  This website also includes access to Powerpoint presentations of the first seven installments of the series.  More information on the benefits of children’s savings accounts can be found here, here, and here (PDF file).

Monthly Meeting is Tuesday, August 19th at the Chandler Music Hall in Randolph

The next monthly meeting for the Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness will be held on Tuesday, August 19th. The meeting will take place at the Chandler Music Hall (71-73 Main, Randolph, VT) The meeting will be called to order at 10:00AM.

The meeting agenda and minutes from last month’s meeting will be out shortly. Apologies for the delay.

We hope you can attend next week’s meeting in person, but if you are unable to, please dial-in at 1-866-244-8528 and use the participant access code 324359. Please note if you are calling in it may be difficult to hear.

Look forward to seeing you on Tuesday!