What does the KidSafe Collaborative do?
KidSafe works to improve our community-wide response to child abuse and neglect. Read more on our What We Do page.
Why haven't I heard of KidSafe?
All families have needs; some families’ needs are profound. KidSafe supports families confronted by extreme stressors. Our work regularly involves the criminal justice system, state agencies and child protective services – and much of our work is confidential. Respect and discretion are core values. Due to the sensitive nature of each case, KidSafe works quietly behind the scenes. Among our partners in human services, KidSafe’s role in child protection is well known and valued.
What about DCF? Isn’t child protection their responsibility?
Yes and no. Vermont’s DCF, Family Services Division has a clear mandate to protect children but works within a relatively narrow set of definitions and procedures.
- KidSafe’s team model is often called upon in family situations that are complex and in which DCF may or may not have an open case.
- KidSafe often provides consultation on cases. For example, what if three different teachers have each reported their serious concerns about a family whose children attend their school, phoning Vermont’s child protection intake line. The case has not been opened and they are still worried about the kids. What can they do now? KidSafe can provide information and propose next steps.
- KidSafe believes it takes our entire community to help ensure child safety – and that includes a range of service agencies and individual and corporate supports.
In leading both of these teams, KidSafe:
- serves as ‘neutral convener’ with no agenda other than improved child safety;
- makes sure everyone is communicating and providing services effectively;
- cuts through interagency red tape and prevents waste and duplication of effort
...while ensuring that no child ‘falls through the cracks’.
What does KidSafe do on the state policy level?
KidSafe promotes systems change through the KidSafe Council and the Community Advisory Board. Read more on our Systems Change page.
Is KidSafe involved in the effort to report child abuse and neglect?
- has trained thousands of the Vermonters who work most closely with children on how to recognize and report concerns about child maltreatment;
- has created the first state-wide interactive online training for mandated reporters, for launch in 2016.
Are there any other organizations doing the work that KidSafe does?
KidSafe is the one Chittenden County based agency whose primary focus is the improved community response to and prevention of child abuse and neglect. Prevent Child Abuse VT – one of our partner agencies -- is a statewide organization which:
- emphasizes increasing awareness of child abuse and neglect
- provides programming including Nurturing Parent classes and Parents Together support groups.
- PCAV’s work in raising awareness about child abuse helps KidSafe in its work, and vice versa.
Safe Kids Vermont is led by the University of Vermont Medical Center/VT Children’s Hospital and focuses on preventing unintentional injury. The focus for KidSafe is on working together with many agencies to improve safety for children.
How many children does KidSafe Collaborative help in a typical year?
KidSafe serves approximately 400 children and parents/caregivers per year -- in addition to the hundreds of professionals trained annually to report abuse and neglect.
How does that number compare to the scope of the problem?
In 2014, DCF accepted approximately 900 cases for intervention in Chittenden County. That represents 36 classrooms filled with 25 children and youth – each.