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AUGUST IS NATIONAL BACK TO SCHOOL MONTH!

FOSTERING | VERMONT

August 19, 2021

 
 

 

 

 




 

 





 



 

 



 







 
 
 

 

“I am still learning.”  — Michelangelo
Look for Fostering Vermont every other week. Send your news, events, and other items of importance and interest to:  mary.collins@vermont.gov  DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: TUESDAY, NOON.
Tips for Going Back to School After the Pandemic
By: Tile   

 After a long year of Zoom trials and hybrid learning tribulations, kids are finally starting to see the insides of real classrooms. However, easing back into (new) normalcy can be worrisome and hectic, especially when it comes to remembering routines, necessities for out-of-house activities, and ways of checking in and communicating. 

Here are some easy back-to-school tips to help you and your family ease into your new normal.

Plan ahead: Get all the necessary items and school supplies

If your child is getting ready to step back into the classroom, it's important for parents to stock up on the necessary supplies, such as pens, pencils, backpacks, textbooks, house keys, and so on. Make sure you speak with your kids and contact their teachers to learn about what you need to get.

Identify key items and school supplies to avoid losing them

When kids leave the home school environment and start hybrid learning in real classrooms once more, they might need some time to re-adjust, and they could accidentally lose or misplace essential items like their phones or schoolbooks.  

 Make sure everything is connected and works correctly

Check that everything is connected correctly and tested regularly to make sure they work. This way, you can rest assured that if anything does get misplaced, you'll be able to find it in a matter of minutes.

(Re)establishing a school routine after the pandemic

One of the big challenges parents and kids can face when going back to school is establishing or re-establishing a routine that works for everyone. This is especially true when it comes to this new style of hybrid learning, involving study both at home and in class. Here are some tips to help with establishing a routine for going back to school after the pandemic.

Check in with the school to coordinate a schedule that works for you

A good way to start your child's new hybrid learning program is to speak with the school and get their input. Find out what the school's plans and schedule will be like and try to adapt to that in ways that allow your child to make the most of every learning opportunity.

Stay flexible for back to school days

You'll need to be flexible and adaptable in the early days when your child goes back to school, and parents have to be available to pick up their children, help with homework, and so on. Try to manage your own time more effectively so that you're ready for your child when needed.

Be ready for nerves and worries for going back to school

It's perfectly normal to have some nerves and worries when your child moves away from e-learning and into a new kind of hybrid learning. Plenty of parents are feeling the same thing. Find your own ways to de-stress, like talking to teachers and fellow parents or enjoying shared or personal hobbies.

Set aside some fun time with the family

Your new schooling schedule should also include some downtime. Everyone needs a break from work and study now and then, and it's important to have quality time together as a family. Try to find time each day to chat with one another and do things you love.

Checking in: when to check in with your kids

This is perhaps the most crucial tip to help prepare your kids for post-pandemic school routines. This last year has been an upheaval for kids and parents alike and although there is comfort in returning to normalcy, many young people will still be struggling with their mental health because of the pandemic. It's important for adults – parents, teachers, coaches – to be aware of this and be ready to check in with their kids, the kids they are responsible for, as well as other people in their social circles, to offer support and comfort when needed. 

Checking in with your child 

It's important to check in with your child on a regular cadence and find out how they're feeling about going back to school or how they're coping with systems of e-learning and hybrid learning. They might have questions and worries they've been bottling up.

Checking in with other parents and friends 

As stated earlier on, other parents you know might be worried about their kids and other aspects of life caused by the pandemic. Check in with those you know and care about to share your concerns. This can help people on both sides of the conversation feel less alone and more supported.

Checking in with yourself

Don't forget your own mental health during all of this, too. The pandemic has taken a real mental toll across the population, with many people feeling scared, lonely, confused, and so on. Take time for your own emotions and do what you need to do to feel at ease, as well.

This new school year will be thrilling, joyful, bittersweet, and busy but these going back to school tips can help ease that transition and make your new normal at school successful.

As we continue to work to safely navigate Covid-19,  please rely upon your District Office should you need support during this critical time. Here is a link to each of our District Offices:  https://dcf.vermont.gov/fsd/contact-us/districts

IN YOUR DISTRICT

news from around the state


Send us news of what's happening in your community and district.
We'll post highlights here.  Email to:
mary.collins@vermont.gov
We are in need of caregivers who are willing to be contacted by Centralized Intake to support after-hours emergency needs. If you might be interested in serving this need, please reach out to the Resource Coordinator in your district.  Thank you.  

Here is a link to each District Office:  https://dcf.vermont.gov/fsd/contact-us/districts
This is our shot, Vermont!
Everyone age 12 and older is now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. Sign up for your shot today at: healthvermont.gov/MyVaccine or follow @healthvermont on Facebook and Twitter for walk-in opportunities. #OurShotVT
Foster Parent Workgroup Update

Share your experiences, ideas, thoughts, and frustrations to help make things better and consistent for foster parents and the children/youth we work with. Every voice and experience is important and valuable!

Attend and share your thoughts on agenda items during the Foster Parent Workgroup collaborative virtual meetings:

Thursday, August 26, 2021 10am-12pm
Thursday, October 28, 2021 10am-12pm
Thursday, December 16, 2021 10am-12pm

- Email Lindsay Barron (Lindsay.Barron@vermont.gov) to ask a question about the workgroup or to join and receive meeting invitations, agendas, and notes.
 
- Share your anonymous ideas, thoughts, experiences, needs, and suggestions through this input-gathering tool as often as you like!
 
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7RMLXNC

The information gathered through this tool will be used to create future agendas for discussion and bring change to processes, policies, and practices. Come back to this tool whenever you have an experience, thought, or idea that needs to be considered for change. This is a live document and can be used as many times as you want.
 
8/26 Agenda Topics:
Respite Care
Pre-Permanency Placement Disruptions

VERMONT CHILD WELFARE TRAINING PARTNERSHIP


Here is the link to our training catalog:

 
Vermont Kin, Foster, and Adoptive Families Training Catalogue August 2021
 

                                          This also includes a link to our online training catalog

RPC +     All RPC+ classes are currently offered virtually via Zoom so you can take it anywhere in the state, although there is some advantage to taking it locally in order to get to know other participants and resources in your own community.

The RPC+ course lasts for 10 weeks -- with some work for participants to do on their own at home between classes -- such as watching a video or reading a short article.
 
Questions?   Contact:
Amy.Bielawski-Branch@uvm.edu  802-578-0426 
 
Classes are for kin, foster, and adoptive caregivers.

LUNCH AND LEARN SERIES WITH THE
CONSORTIUM FOR ADOPTION AND GUARDIANSHIP

The Consortium for Adoption and Guardianship is sponsoring a Lunch and Learn Series being held at noon on the 3rd Wednesday of each month throughout 2021.  For more information and to register go to:  Lunch and Learn Series 2021 - Vermont Consortium for Adoption & Guardianship (vtadoption.org)

Lunch and Learn Series 2021

Sponsored by supporting Foster, Adoptive, and Guardianship families, and their supporters, with listening, discussing and learning around topics that touch their lives. Join us each third Wednesday at noon for this free virtual series. To Register click on the session’s title or go to the Consortium Website to Register https://www.vtadoption.org/

September 15th
Being a Transracial/Transcultural Family in Vermont with Karen Hack
October 20th
Strengthening Transracial Families—continuing the conversation with April Dinwoodie
November 17th
Keeping Connections with Birth Families Positive with Christina Shuma
December 15th
Working with Extended Families with TBD
 

ADOPTION NEWS
children and youth who are eligible for adoption in Vermont

There are many children in foster care in Vermont who are looking for their forever families. This new biweekly feature will introduce you to all the children and youth in hopes of finding their adoptive families.  Some of the children have requested a pseudonym. You will know by those names listed in quotes. For more information, please visit:
 Children Waiting for Adoptive Families | Department for Children and Families (vermont.gov). Thank you!
Meet "Charlie"!
 
Here's a little bit about Charlie that will help you to get to know him better! Charlie is 14 and is looking for his forever family.

My Favorite Things: I like four-wheeling. Dirt bikes. I like Remote Controlled Cars. I like fixing things. I love working with all power tools. I am an outdoor person. I like baseball.

Things I do not like: People yelling and fighting. Bullies. Being restricted by lots of rules. Pickles!

Favorite Foods: Gummi Bears. Pizza. Brussel Sprouts. I actually like most veggies. BBQ Ribs. Pop-Tarts.

What I want in a family: I want someone to treat me nice. I want them to cheer me on in sports. I want to be loved. Help me be a good person.

What I want families to know about me: I really like working with my hands. I like being outside. I want to learn how to build and fix things. I would love to make my own robot.

What we want families to know about Charlie: He is very smart and energetic. Wants to please people. Wants to learn and needs a loving parent to help teach and guide him. He is close with his siblings and wants to remain close to them. Charlie's family will need to have patience. Understand childhood trauma and attachment issues.

Contact Information: Kirk Brewster Permanency Planning Counselor. The best way to contact Kirk is thru email
kirkb@lundvt.org or you may call him at: 802-772-0703

    

VFAFA NEWS
helpful news and information for our VFAFA partners 

VFAFA MEETINGS

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 email:  mary.collins@vermont.gov.  Thank you!

 VFAFA board members:

Currently, the position of Board President remains open. The newly-elected Vice President will serve as acting president until further notice.

Interim President: Debbie Boyce
Vice President: VACANT
Treasurer: Linda Couture
Secretary: Robyn Sweet
 
Past President: Erinn Rolland-Forkey

 

JOIN US FOR OUR SEPTEMBER MEETING!   

Tuesday, September 14, 2021     7 pm

________________

 You can join the ZOOM meeting here:

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85160431007?pwd=NW9QaVI4cHdpdGs1Z0Z1aTVwUHMxQT09
Dial by your location
‪+1 646 876 9923
Meeting ID: 851 6043 1007
Password: 084646
 

In addition to the above information, you can always find a link on the Vermont Foster and Adoptive Families Facebook page.

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VKAP NEWS
helpful news and information from Vermont Kin As Parents

For information on Vermont Kin as Parents visit: www.vermontkinasparents.org
 

Vermont Kin as Parents, (VKAP), has moved to 1205 North Ave Burlington, 05408. The phone number is 802 871 5104. This number is answered 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. VKAP can help caregivers navigate the various educational, medical, legal, and financial services the children need.  A support group is available on Tuesday evening.  Please contact VKAP if you have any questions. 

Email Jim Holway:  
 president@vermontkinasparents.org

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YOUTH NEWS
helpful news and information from the Youth Development Program
https://vtyouthdevelopmentprogram.org

Thank you to all who contribute to the care, wellbeing, and support of Vermont's youth.  To learn more about YDP, contact us at: YDP@wcysb.org

VSAC’s NEWEST GRANT PROGRAM OFFERS 2 YEARS OF FREE CCV TUITION
 
WINOOSKI (July 27, 2021) – A new grant program will offer eligible Vermonters the chance to obtain a college degree tuition-free. Yes, really.

The grant, called 802Opportunity, pays for up to two years of free tuition to the Community College of Vermont.  Any Vermonter with a family Adjusted Gross Income of less than $50,000 per year can qualify.

Students can choose from 33 flexible programs in highly sought-after career fields. Here in Vermont, most high-demand and high-wage jobs require college or training. An associate degree or certificate from CCV can provide the skills and credentials students need to pursue a higher-paying job or advance in their professions. The program is open to new or returning students of any age, starting in the fall of 2021 and continuing for two years. This means that if someone starts in the fall of 2021, they could attain a two-year associate degree tuition-free.

The Community College of Vermont offers associate programs leading to Associate of Arts (A.A.) and Associate of Science (A.S.) degrees. CCV also offers several certificate programs that provide necessary knowledge for employment or a foundation for further study. With CCV’s transfer agreements within the Vermont State College System and schools such as UVM, students can apply their associate-program credits toward bachelor’s degrees. 

802Opportunity, in combination with state and federal grant aid, covers tuition for all credits in a degree program of the student’s choice, as well as the $100 administrative fee. The grant does not cover lab and studio fees, books, or other supplies.

Funding for 802Opportunity was approved by the Vermont Legislature and Governor Scott earlier this year. That approval meant that Vermont joined 14 other states that have made community college tuition-free.

For more information on 802Opportunity, visit vsac.org/802Opportunity.

VIRTUAL AND LIVE EVENTS
events of interest
for vermont foster and kincare families

PLEASE CONFIRM THAT EVENTS OF INTEREST POSTED ON THIS CALENDAR ARE HAPPENING.  CHANGES AND CANCELLATIONS MAY OCCUR WITHOUT NOTICE. 
 
EVENTS & ACTIVITIES
 
PLEASE FOLLOW ALL VERMONT STATE SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES AND BE SURE TO CHECK IN ADVANCE TO CONFIRM THAT EVENTS OF INTEREST ARE STILL HAPPENING.


Summer Reading Finale 
F
ri., Aug. 20, 1 p.m.
Norwich Public Library
368 Main Street, Norwich
Norwich Public Library closes out summer vacation with an interactive concert and arts and crafts from Jools Skeet. 802-649-1184



Summer Reading Finale Celebration! 
Fri., Aug. 20, 4-5 p.m.
Fairfax Elementary/Middle School
75 Hunt St., Fairfax
Fairfax Community Library throws a fête on the lawn for the end of the summer reading program, featuring food, games, music and prizes. 802-849-2420



Forest Fairy Hunts
Sat., Aug. 21, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Vermont Institute of Natural Science
149 Natures Way, Quechee
The VINS Fairy Godmother leads small sprites on a fairy hunt through the forest, followed by fairy house craft time. 802-359-5000



Foolaroo 
Sat., Aug. 21, 1-5 p.m.
Downtown Middlebury
Main Street, Middlebury
Street performers take over the town while folks support local restaurants and celebrate the completion of the rail bridge. 802-388-1436



RiverFest 
Sat., Aug. 21, 1-5 p.m.
North Branch Nature Center
713 Elm St., Montpelier
Community members cool off as they partake in activities and adventures along the North Branch of the Winooski River. See 
northbranchcenter.org for full schedule. 802-229-6206


Vergennes Day 
Fri., Aug. 27, 7-10 p.m. and Sat., Aug. 28, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Vergennes City Park
Main Street, Vergennes
Vermont’s smallest city goes big on Friday with a street dance. The fun continues on Saturday with bandstand concerts, artisan vendors, road races, a chicken barbecue and more. 802-388-7951



Nulhegan Abenaki Heritage Gathering
 Sat., Aug. 28, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sun., Aug. 29, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Mount Norris Scout Reservation
242 Boy Scout Camp Road, Eden Mills
Singing, drumming, dancing and traditional games for kids and adults honor Vermont's indigenous history. 802-635-7415



Car Seat Safety Study
Tuesdays. Continues through Aug. 31
UVM Medical Center
111 Colchester Ave., Burlington
Caregivers who regularly use a car seat for their child engage in a collaboration between Safe Kids Worldwide, Safe Kids VT,  and the Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham. Participants get a free car-seat check and a $50 gift for 45 minutes of their time. 205-492-6148


 
Quechee Hot Air Balloon Craft and Music Festival
Fri., Sept. 3, 3-10 p.m., Sat., Sept. 4, 6 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sun., Sept. 5, 6 a.m.-10 p.m.
Quechee Village Green
Village Green, Quechee

The beloved balloon bash returns with rides, food, activities for all ages and live music from A2VT, Dave Keller Band, and The Tricksters. 802-295-7900


Caterpillar Lab 
Sat., Sept. 4, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun., Sept. 5, 1-5 p.m. and Mon., Sept. 6, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
North Branch Nature Center
713 Elm St., Montpelier

Entomology enthusiasts get a close-up view of a variety of species found in Vermont's woods, fields and backyards. Exhibits closed noon-1 p.m. 802-229-6206

 

'Dinosaurs of Antarctica 3D'
Through Sept. 6, 10:30 a.m., 12:30, 2:30 & 4:30 p.m.
Northfield Savings Bank 3D Theater: A National Geographic Experience
ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain

1 College St., Burlington
Moviegoers join scientists on a journey through a surreal world of bug-eyed giants and egg-laying mammals. 802-864-1848



Splash Dance 
Fridays, 4-5:30 p.m. Continues through Sept. 10

Burlington City Hall Park
149 College St., Burlington
A splash pad in the newly renovated park serves as a dance floor as music from Vermont DJs fills the air. 802-865-7166


Concerts in Currier Park & Food Truck Thursdays
Currier Park, Barre, VT, 05641
Through September 30, 2021
Join us every Thursday between July 8th - September 30th in Currier Park for live music from 6 pm - 8 pm. Check out our website for a full list of performers. Food trucks will be on-site from 4 pm - 8 pm so bring your appetite.

 https://www.thebarrepartnership.com/currier-park-concerts


Pay-What-You-Can Tuesdays 
Tuesdays, 1-5 p.m. Continues through Oct. 19

Rokeby Museum
4334 Route 7, Ferrisburgh
Visitors set their own price at the historic farm property and museum. 
802-877-3406

 

COMMUNITY PARTNERS

Thank you for your generous support!

THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR COMMUNITY PARTNERS  FOR YOUR GENEROSITY IN RECOGNITION OF OUR FOSTER, KIN AND RESPITE CARE FAMILIES!  
We appreciate every Vermont community and individual for all the ways you support children and youth in foster care throughout Vermont.  If you would like to learn more about ways that you or your organization can support a child in foster care, our Recruitment & Retention Specialists and Resource Coordinators would love to work with you!

 Here's how:   Contact your District Office Recruitment & Retention Specialist and Resource Coordinator at: 
https://dcf.vermont.gov/fsd/contact-us/districts
 

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES  

DCF has the following job opportunities available. Follow the link in the message to inquire and apply, or visit the State of Vermont Job Website at:  https://careers.vermont.gov
FRONT END SUPERVISOR - NEWPORT: Join the NDO team and live in the most beautiful place in Vermont!  The Newport District Office has a fulltime permanent front end supervisor position beginning in September.  This Is a wonderful opportunity for someone to join a dynamic and developing team.  NDO is a multinational team with dedicated workers who really care about their case families, colleagues and implementing best practices. While there are two teams who support each other across team lines, the office really operates as one team.  
 
Located on beautiful Lake Memphremagog, the office has stunning views of the Newport skyline, the lake and surrounding mountains. Newport is the central hub of the northern Northeast Kingdom.  This area is a hiker, hunter, kayaker, mountain biker, boater, fisher, camping, tubing, skiing, snowshoeing, and more!  
 
For more information and to apply, please contact me via phone or email. 
 
Jay W. Simons
jay.simons@vermont.gov 
Newport District Director
Department for Children and Families
Family Services Division
Cell (802) 760-8291

 
For all newsletter inquiries, please contact:
Mary.Collins@vermont.gov 

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? 
Copyright © 2021
Vermont Department For Children and Families, Family Services Division
All rights reserved.
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Our mailing address is:
280 State Street HC1N Building B Waterbury Vermont 05671
Tel: (802) 241.0896
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