In 2004 the Vermont Legislature set aside $5,000 to fund a conference for and about relatives who were raising the children of others. The first “Parenting Revisited” kinship conference was held in April of 2005 and was a major success. Because of the impact of the conference, a small group of grandparents raising their grandchildren together with community partners who saw the needs, applied for and received nonprofit status in October 2005. So began VKAP’s journey.
With three year grants from Fanny Allen Foundation and the Department for Children and Families, a part-time coordinator was hired in 2007. The VKAP office, generously donated by Casey Family Services, was opened in Winooski in June of the same year. In 2012, Vermont Kin As Parents moved to its current location in Williston. VKAP has become known throughout Vermont as a strong advocate for relative caregivers and the children they are raising and as a resource for kinship caregivers as well as social service providers. VKAP works with families throughout Vermont, sits on a number of committees representing the voice of kinship families, and advocates for legislative and policy changes to improve the lives of children and families in the state while maintaining connections with national agencies working on behalf of kinship families.
Board of Directors:
- Evelyn Sawyer, Chair; Washington County Mental Health
- Deidra Razzaque, Child Welfare Training Partnership
- Heather Simmons, Lund Family Center
- Catherine Harris, Post-Permanence Manager, VT DCF
- Sally Borden, KidSafe Collaborative
- Pam Piper, Family Foster Care Liason
- Brian Southworth, Lund Family Center
- Brenda Hamlin, Kinship Support Specialist