Our report found that from 2018 to 2021, the percentage of Vermont children ages 3 to 8 with anxiety, behavioral/conduct problems, and/or depression rose from 8.7 to 13.8%. During that same time, overall U.S. rates remained stable at 8%. Meanwhile, Vermont has an 18.1% vacancy rate in the workforce of Designated Mental Health Agencies and Specialized Service Agencies (as of October 2022). Our state also has the lowest residential treatment program bed availability in more than two decades.
In addition, the 2022 Vermont Early Childhood Family Needs Assessment highlighted the challenges that families had accessing mental health services due to availability. According to one caregiver, “Children’s mental health services are hard to find, even for a persistent, well educated parent.”
In short, there’s ample evidence that the need for children’s mental health services is growing—both in the number of children requiring services, and the acuity of those needs.
We are at a critical moment in the continuing public health emergency of childhood mental health—a moment that will have long-term consequences based on our action or inaction.
The Families & Communities Committee strives to elevate family voice and connect families to leadership opportunities. We are one of seven VECAP Committees that are guided by Vermont’s Early Childhood Action Plan (VECAP), and we work to develop a statewide approach that enriches and expands family partnership and leadership at the provider, agency, and community […]
On Jan. 18, 2024, Building Bright Futures and VermontKidsData.org released The State of Vermont’s Children: 2023 Year in Review. This report provides an objective, data-driven assessment of the well-being of young children and families in Vermont and includes the 2024 Policy Recommendations from Vermont’s Early Childhood State Advisory Council Network. Download a PDF of […]
To mark the start of the 2024 session of the Vermont General Assembly, BBF Policy and Program Director Anna Brouillette recorded this message with Senator Ruth Hardy. In the video, Anna highlights how the BBF Network develops annual Policy Recommendations and how our team will use this year’s Policy Recommendations during the legislative session. Sen. Hardy […]