VPRC uses a two prong approach to achieve our Mission:
- Direct Service
Direct Service: Multidisciplinary social work–lawyer child protection model.
VPRC provide families in crisis with free legal assistance and social work services to enable children to stay with their parents safely. We strive works to keep children out of foster care entirely, or to keep their time in care to a minimum. Service collaboration and client/service provider relationships are the keys to success for our program model. The multidisciplinary teamwork builds trusting relationships and improves outcomes. VPRC has implemented this multidisciplinary approach through several different program models.
Rapid Intervention Prenatal Program (RIPP).
The Rapid Intervention Prenatal Project, or RIPP, is our most recent direct service program. RIPP supports individuals in treatment for chronic pain management or opioid dependence who are pregnant or parenting young children (ages 0-3). RIPP is a prevention and early intervention strategy designed to help strengthen families before, during, and after the birth of a child. Learn more here.
Minor Guardianship Innovation Project.
VPRC and K.I.N.K.A.N. Vermont (Kinship Information & Navigation/Kinship Advocacy Network) partnered in 2012-2013 in a grant funded project to provide legal education and support services to families in Addison and Chittenden counties considering minor guardianship. The project offered an opportunity to consult with interested parties before the court hearing to provide information about custodial minor guardianships, the legal consequences of creating a minor guardianship, and the support and services available in Vermont. Read more here.
Family Intervention Team
VPRC’s collaborative team includes an attorney, and a social service provider who also is has learned experience with our child protection/foster care system). It is intended to represent and support parents at risk of experiencing the placement of their children into state custody and out-of-home care. The team works with parents to address the issues that threaten their children’s safety and to prevent a petition from being filed in court (either Family or Probate).
“Parents in the child welfare system tend to be disenfranchised; they are used to not having a voice and can be easily intimidated by the child welfare power structure. They need someone to stand up for them. When they have a strong voice in the process, the system works better for everyone.” Marc Cherne, Director, Allegheny County, Department of Human Services.
Our child protection system is dependent on many parts, including people, laws and systems to work well. VPRC advocates for changes in all of these when necessary to be most effective for the families involved.
VPRC recognizes the value of performance and client outcome analysis. We are committed to working with both our clients and our community partners to identify what works best and how we can continue to improve our services. VPRC uses Results Based Accountability to improve our service delivery, to gauge our system advocacy efforts, and to measure our client outcomes and VPRC’s performance.