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Sept 3, 2020













" Youth cannot know how age thinks and feels. But old men are guilty if they forget what it was to be young."

- J.K. Rowling

Look for Fostering Vermont each week and be sure to send your news, events and other items of importance and interest to:  THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: TUESDAY, NOON.


reaching out to communities statewide

New recruitment messages in support of critical needs in each district are launched on Front Porch Forum on a regular, continuous basis. If you know of a person or family, like yourself, who might be interested in foster care, please let your District office know and please subscribe to your community's Front Porch Forum. 


Please note: Front Porch Forum messages are not stories of specific children but composite stories of children who may have been in our care. We use stories to illustrate the experiences of children and youth and to help find appropriate foster care for all. Do YOU have a story to share with us about your experience as a Foster parent? If so, email:

Here is  one of these messages:

The Many Faces
of Foster Care

While this is already a hectic time of year for families, it can be particularly unsettling for children and youth who are not able to return to their families.  

Might you be someone who could foster or provide respite care?  If so, we would love to hear from you - or is there someone you know who might consider fostering a child, youth or siblings?

Here's how to reach us!  Someone within your district service area will be in touch and will help you through the process of registering to become a care provider to a child or youth in need. 

Thank you!

You can also call your local Family Services District Office and ask to speak to the Resource Coordinator.

Are you healthy?  Are you in a low-risk category for Covid 19?  If so, there may be a child or youth who may have tested positive for Covid 19.

Please visit us on the web at: http//


Contact the Vermont Department for Children and Families, Family Services Division to find out more about caring for a child or youth in your community. Thank you. 


helpful news and information

Family Support Fund Request Form
The family support fund is overseen and administered by the Foster Kin Care Manager. These funds are designed to support the overall goal of the Case Plan and are generally for supporting Foster/Kin Parents for the youth in their care. Exceptions will be considered on an individual basis. i.e. a child that has reunified and is in a CCO with parent.
These funds can be requested by district Resource Coordinators, Family Service Workers, or state and local associations on behalf of or directly by Foster/Kin Caregivers to the Foster/Kin Care Manager via email.
Foster/Kin Care Manager will assess the request and make suggestions if they feel that the money could be found in another way. For instance, standard mileage reimbursement, foster care misc expense line item, flexible funding, Family Preservation Funds, or the VFAFA children’s activity fund.
Expenses are prepaid and then reimbursed through this fund. Receipts must be legible with the amount, item information, and organization/business name clearly identified. Checks will be made out to the foster parent and mailed to the address provided on this form. Exception for prepayment would be in unique circumstances where it would create a hardship for the caregiver to meet the child’s needs by prepaying an expense, in these circumstances a vendor payee request will be considered and a W9 would be required.
Grants are on a first-come, first-serve basis based on available funds. The amount of funding may vary based on the request. Allow 4-6 weeks for reimbursement upon the submission of this form with appropriate receipt(s).
Request Date: __________
Child's Name:                                                                                                       Age:                                                    
Foster Parent(s) Name:                                                                                                                                                                      Address:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Telephone:                                                                   Email:                                                                                           
Total Cost: ______________________  
Amount Requested with receipt attached:                                                                            

Briefly describe the expense that was occurred:

***Return form and receipt(s) to: *** and

Telephone: 802-760-0594 
  • Some FSF examples might include: purchase of class rings, expenses of class trips, items to support normalcy for a child/youth in care, or other special items a child/youth may need that are not covered by Medicaid or any other form of reimbursement.
  • Excludes: Furniture, damage claims.
  • All requests are granted at the discretion of the Foster/Kin Care Manager and on a first come first serve basis based on funds available.
We would like to express our gratitude to all of you who continue to meet the needs of Vermont’s children as we navigate the uncharted waters of COVID 19.  A number of you have also provided support to children and youth who need a safe caregiver to sit with them while they are in hospital settings.  In recent weeks, we have been experiencing an increase in these requests.  We are looking to update our list of Foster and Kin Caregivers who would be willing to respond to youth who are waiting in hospital settings. 

As we prepare for our state to continue to re-open and for schools to resume some in-person classroom teaching, there comes the possibility of an increase in COVID 19 cases.  Additionally, we ask that you consider your ability to care for a child or youth who may have been exposed or who tests positive for COVID 19.   We know that this request will NOT be for everyone. 

Please visit this link to let us know of your interest in hospital coverage and/or COVID care.

On behalf of the Family Services Management Team, Thank you for considering your ability to meet this special request!
Keynote Speaker - Jeanine Fitzgerald


16th Annual VKAP Conference for Kinship Caregivers and Those Who Support Them 


We Just Get So Exhausted!
Keynote: Jeanine Fitzgerald
Adjusting Times
Adaptive Parenting in

Raising children is challenging, but how difficult is it to raise a child without the support of the “village?" Instead, the educational community offers advise or asks questions like, "You need a parenting class, Your child just needs a behavior plan, or when are you going to stop making excuses for him?" This list is endless. Yet, stigma and blame interfere with the collaborative spirit required for productive relationships between parents and professionals. This keynote examines the concept of collaborative teaming as an approach toward letting go of the oppressive structure and practices that will never release our children to discover the "hero within”.

Workshops offered throughout the morning are focusing on Education, Advocacy, and Self-Care
Vermont Kin As Parents
1205 North Ave. Burlington, VT 05408; (802) 871-5104
September 23, 2020

Virtual Conference

                        MANDATED REPORTER TRAINING

As schools and educators prepare for “back to school” season – regardless of whether that’s in-person, virtual only, or a hybrid model,  district offices may begin to receive requests for Mandated Reporter Trainings from FSD in advance of the school year.

Please remember that we have an online mandated reporter training titled Protecting Vermont's Children: Reporting Abuse and Neglect which we should be directing schools and other community partners to as a first step. This is important for both statewide consistency in messaging and also as a means to minimize in-person trainings to keep folks safe. After the online training is taken and if districts have the capacity, a virtual Q&A or follow-up session can occur if community partners continue to request more interaction and follow-up with offices.

The online training is available here:

Also, FSD developed guidance for teachers when helping children and families cope during COVID-19:  It may be helpful to distribute this information to educators and school partners along with the link to the mandated reporter training.

Lindsay Barron, MA  —  she/her/hers
Policy & Planning Advisor
Agency of Human Services
Department for Children and Families
Family Services Division
C) 802.557.7774 | (W) 802.241.0872 

Since 2014 over 430 foster, adoptive and kin caregivers in Vermont have graduated from RPC+ TIPS for Tuning In!

Find Out More!

Vermont RPC+ TIPS for Tuning In was developed through the Vermont Placement Stability Project with a goal of improving the placement stability of children in care through providing foundational and hands on trauma education for caregivers. An evaluative study of the course showed that caregivers who completed the course reported: 
  • An increased understanding of the impact of trauma on children or youth in their care
  • A reduction in caregiver strain and stress
  • A decrease in their child’s conduct problems
  • An increase in their child’s prosocial behaviors
To register or for information:



news from around the state

Send us news of what's happening in your community and district.
We'll post highlights here.  Email to:
As we continue to shelter in place and remain safe from exposure to Covid-19, here are some helpful tips you and your family can use to make the experience less stressful.  As always, contact your District Office, should you need support during this critical time. Here is a link to our District Offices:
Please contact your district office at: for information on resources and services available in your district.


helpful news and information from our VFAFA partners 

Here you will find notices of upcoming meetings, events, and news of special interest from our VFAFA partners.  If you would like to suggest a topic or share news from your Parent Group, please send an email: with details.  Thank you!

The annual VFAFA board meeting and elections held in June was nullified at the July meeting.  The annual meeting and elections is rescheduled for Tuesday, September 8, 2020 from 7-9 pm.  Please join via the zoom link below.  We look forward to seeing you there. 

You can join the zoom meeting:

Meeting ID: 858 2272 7984
Password: 288400
One tap mobile

Dial by your location:  +1 646 876 9923 

Meeting ID: 858 2272 7984
Password: 288400

Vermont Foster/Adoptive Family Association Education Grant Application

In 1996,  Marion Paris, a Vermont state employee, launched the education grant for youth who had experienced foster care in the state of Vermont. Marion, along  with other state employees and the support of VFAFA, organized a golf fundraiser called the Tournament for Teens for over 20 years to raise money for the VFAFA Education Grant fund. 
VFAFA is proud to offer education grants and honor the work of Marion Paris and her supporters.
1.   Student having been in foster care; in the custody of the state of Vermont under Department of Children and Families, formally known as SRS, at any time during youth; regardless of age, duration of custody, and permanency.
2.   Apply and provide mandatory documents each semester for which requesting a VFAFA Education Grant by the due dates as listed below. All requests from previous semesters will be discarded.
3.   Parent has a current paid annual VFAFA membership (this will not preclude you from being eligible if noted as impossible or a hardship).

1.   $500 education grant award per semester.*
2.   Up to 8 semester education grants ($4000 total) per individual
*While funds last 

A maximum of five individual VFAFA Education Grants will be awarded at random draw, per semester, per the schedule as listed below. 

Application Deadlines:

December 31st - Spring semester

VFAFA Education Grant random draw will occur at the regularly scheduled, monthly VFAFA board meeting immediately following each deadline. VFAFA Education Grant recipients will be notified via email and awards will be paid directly to the student, as named on the application, with checks mailed to the address on the application within 30 days. 

VFAFA Education Grants are considered supplemental to other aid, such as scholarships and loans.   Grants, like scholarships are a form of “gift aid” meaning there is no obligation, if obtained lawfully through the eligibility factors, to repay the funds.  

Vermont Foster/Adoptive Family Association (VFAFA) reserves the right, at its discretion, to stop grant offerings or change, modify, add, or remove portions of these terms at any time by posting the amended Terms to the website,

Submit via mail:

P.O. Box 205
South Barre, VT 05670-0205
Submit via email:
The next VFAFA meeting is scheduled for: Tuesday, September 8th from 7-9pm via ZOOM.  In addition to the above information, you can always find a link on the VFAFA Facebook page.


helpful news and information in support of youth in foster care

Vermont's Youth Development Program

The Youth Development Program’s virtual Youth Advisory Board (YAB) is working on creating an Alumni Network. We are currently interviewing prospective youth to lead the Alumni Network project as a paid YDP intern and are recruiting passionate youth who want to make a difference within the child welfare system to help out with this important project!

As YDP begins the process of interviewing for the Alumni Network Fall Internship, the virtual  YAB meetings will resume in September.  

Contact Kayla @ for more information 


Kayla Altobelli

Youth Engagement Coordinator
Youth Development Program
Washington County Youth Service Bureau
P.O. Box 627, 38 Elm St.
Montpelier, VT 05601

(802) 229-9151

virtual events of interest

for vermont foster and kincare families

FALL Activities 2020
Here are some fun ideas! 


'Finding Kind'  (Free)
Fri., Sept. 4, 8 p.m.
Lake Champlain Waldorf High School 122 Bostwick Road, Shelburne
A 2011 documentary centers on two friends seeking the truth behind cruelty between girls. Shown in person and online. 802-985-2827

Story Time With Paige & Michelle Free Online
Thursdays, 11:30 a.m. Continues through Sept. 24
Waterbury Public Library 28 North Main Street, Suite 2, Waterbury
Parents with newborns through five-year-olds visit the library's website to find a new video featuring picture books, rhymes and songs. 802-244-7036

Sunflower House
Thursdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Continues through Sept. 13
Billings Farm & Museum Rt 12 & Old River Rd, Woodstock
Families find their way through a half acre of rooms and hallways made of several thousand towering blossoms. 802-457-2355

'Wonders of the Arctic' Free Saturdays, Sundays, 10:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m. Continues through Sept. 14 
ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain  1 College Street, Burlington
Pioneering scientists seek to answer questions about the impact of human activities on this fragile frontier. 802-864-1848
Peck Farm Orchard Corn MazeWednesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Oct. 31  Peck Farm Orchard  750 Sibley Rd., East Montpelier
Festive families have fun on the farm with a leafy puzzle, PYO apples and pumpkins, and free hayrides on weekends. 802-249-1223
Photography's Coming of Age
Through September 27, 2020 49 Flat Street Brattleboro VT
The Vermont Center for Photography in downtown Brattleboro, Vermont is pleased to present a unique exhibition and educational display "2020 Vision: Photography's Coming of Age" as part of "2020 Vision: Seeing the World Through Technology", a statewide initiative of the Vermont Curators Group. The first photograph was captured in 1827. Nearly two centuries later, humans have significantly adapted and altered not only the design of, but also the practical use of the photographic camera. This unique exhibition features a wide variety of photographic technologies dating from the mid 1800's to today, showcasing a timeline of cameras as well as sample photographs from each era. This exhibition will be on display in VCP's main gallery from August 7, 2020 through September 27, 2020.  (802) 251-6051

From Blackboard to Whiteboard Virtual Exhibit
The Old Stone House Museum is pleased to present the online exhibit, "From Blackboard to Whiteboard: 200 Years of Innovation in Education" as part of 2020 Vision: Seeing the World Through Technology, a statewide initiative of the Vermont Curators Group. Visit: to view the exhibit. (802) 754-2022   


Thank you for your generous support!

Thank you to Vermont's

Vermont Public Schools - 393
Number of Students - 99,103
Vermont Elementary Schools - 259
Vermont Middle Schools - 25
Vermont High Schools - 61
For all newsletter inquiries, please contact: 

Are you a foster care provider who would be willing to speak with the press?  If so, we would LOVE to hear from you. From time-to-time, the Commissioner's Office receives requests for interviews. Perhaps your story may be one we could share? For more information, contact:
Copyright © 2020
Vermont Department For Children and Families, Family Services Division
All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
280 State Street HC1N Building B Waterbury Vermont 05671
Tel: (802) 241.0896
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