In today’s world many grandparents and other relatives are stepping up to raise the children when the parents are unable to because of substance abuse, physical or mental health issues, incarceration, military deployment, or other reasons.

The VT DCF Family Services Division is updating its Foster Care Regulations

The VT DCF Family Services Division (DCF-FSD) is updating its Foster Care Regulations which have not been fully reviewed and updated since 1992. In October 2017, the Residential Licensing and Special Investigations Unit (RLSI) completed its initial review and began discussing revisions. In early 2018 the US Congress passed the Family First Prevention Services Act which requires the federal government to develop model standards for foster care licensing. These federal standards have been considered and incorporated into the VT draft regulations and the conversation about how this will impact current practice continues.

They are beginning to share this draft with their closest internal stakeholders for review and comment before the formal distribution for comment occurs. Foster and adoptive parents are imperative to and valued by DCF-FSD and we wanted to ensure that they were all part of our initial reviews.

The draft regulations have been shared with the Vermont Foster/Adoptive Family Association (VFAFA) and Vermont Kin as Parents (VKAP).  Any comments or questions can be emailed to the workgroup alias also listed below or directed to VFAFA or VKAP representatives.

Overview of major changes: Draft regulations are updated to…

• align with the Reasonable and Prudent Parenting Standards;

• encourage culturally sensitive and inclusive foster parenting;

• update bedroom requirements and encourage developmentally appropriate sleeping arrangements;

• address “vaping” and marijuana use.

• address water safety

• reflect federally proposed Model Family Foster Home Licensing Standards. Changes include, but are not limited to: variance allowance to encourage and support kinship care, immunization requirements, functional literacy and the ability to communicate with a foster child in their own language, physical exam requirements, etc.

Here is a link the full document.

VKAP Kinship Navigator Program Franklin/Grand Isle Counties

Do you work with Kinship Caregivers (relatives raising children)who find it challenging to arrange childcare or who are working with schools that have changed so much?
Are they feeling alone and could use an empathetic ear?
Are they struggling financially caring for the children?
We are here to help you and them navigate the issues kinship families often face!

What we can do:

Educate Kinship Caregivers about resources and supports.
Directly refer Kinship Caregivers to appropriate services.
Help establish and maintain relationships between Kinship Caregivers and their formal supports.
Advocate for services and resources for Kinship Caregivers.
Bring the voice of Kinship Care Families to community collaborative meetings.

For more information contact:

Melanie Steeneck, Kinship Navigator

Our Mission

Vermont Kin as Parents is committed to support relatives who are raising children and to educate the public and community partners about the joys and difficulties these families experience. 

Vermont Kin As Parents was established as a 501c3 non-profit organization in 2005.