Chittenden’s BBF Regional Action Plan continues to be our guide as we look ahead to the next 6 months of our work. December was a month of giving, and our BBF Regional Council developed a creative way to reach families in need in our community. Utilizing Help Me Grow Education materials as our platform, and HMG funds to purchase diapers and books, we were able to reach over 150 children through various agencies and shelters. Each council member did their part by stuffing bags and being a liaison in the community to help educate families about HMG as they were given the diapers and books. January’s meeting focused on educating folks about Strong Families Vermont home visiting, as there has been some confusion around this roll out in our region (there were concerns that CIS was going away, etc.) Our council is taking action by sharing messaging, materials, and knowledge gained within our circles of influence to help alleviate the confusion.
We have developed a small leadership team to look at scaling up Early MTSS in Chittenden. Our first steps included creating an inventory of who the players are in our region. We asked school districts and child care centers to report on how many modules they’ve been trained on, if they have trainers or coaches embedded in there programs, and if they would be open to sharing resources in our county. Our small team hopes to create a system for sharing resources such as trainers, coaches, and mentors. It should be noted that many folks responded that are eager for more training on the modules and the TPOT assessment tool.
The Substance Use Disorder Community of Practice has completed 5 meetings across several partners and agencies that serve adults and families in our region. As a group, we’ve decided that it is extremely important to place value of hearing the family voice in our work. The next steps for this project entail working with the Turning Point Center and the Chittenden Clinic to help identify families with lived experience interested in participating in a stakeholder engagement group that will respond to our strategy ideas and and help us fine tune and finalize our implementation strategies. Our goal is convene the stakeholder group(s) over the next 8 weeks.
The Early Learning Partnership Group that supports Act 166 in our region has been working on better supporting programs around inclusion practices. There is a big need for more tools, support, and trainings to reduce the number of children being suspended and expelled from early learning programs. Over the next 3-4 months, a small team will be sharing sample strategies with the group of 60-70 providers that attend the monthly meetings. A wonderful resource document will be shared at our upcoming February meeting. If folks would like a copy of the resource, please reach out to Amanda Biggs.