September 5, 2012

Lund Presents at Regional Partnership Conference in Washington, D.C.

Posted in Employees, Grants, Residential tagged , , , , at 8:15 am by Lund

Vermont’s RPG Team include Marc Carr (left), Associate Director of DCF’s Burlington Office, and Kim Coe (middle), Director of Lund’s Residential and Community Treatment Program, who both delivered a presentation at the conference, and Courtney Farrell (right), Associate Director of Lund’s Residential Services

In October 2007, the Vermont child welfare agency and Lund were awarded a HHS ACF grant to implement a Regional Partnership aimed at increasing permanency rates for children of substance abusing parents. Vermont’s Regional Partnership Grant has successfully built collaborative capacity between the local child welfare system and the substance abuse treatment system, by addressing systemic and practice challenges that are barriers to optimal family outcomes, including: early intervention, screening and assessment, engagement and retention of parents in substance abuse treatment; differences in professional perspectives and training; conflicting time frames across the systems to achieve outcomes; and service linkages in both child welfare services and substance abuse treatment systems.

Strengthened Cross-System Collaboration

Vermont’s RPG Team, represented by Lund and the Department of Children and Family’s Burlington District Office staff, presented at the Plenary Session “From Collaboration to Teaming” on August 22, 2012, at the final Regional Partnership Grants Close-Out Meeting held in Washington, D.C. August 22-24, 2012. The purpose of the meeting was to address relevant issues faced by grantees in the last phase of the five-year grant program and to disseminate knowledge developed from the grants amongst key policymakers and other grantees.

Lund and DCF staff were asked to participate along with two other grants in the opening plenary session of the meeting entitled “From Collaboration to Teaming”. The objective of this plenary session was to provide an opportunity for meeting participants to hear from three of the existing 43 partnerships about their successes in creating and sustaining cross-system collaboration. Developing and sustaining meaningful partnerships and strengthening collaborative practice across systems is one of the desired outcomes of the RPG program. Kim Coe, the Director of Lund’s Residential and Community Treatment Program, and Marc Carr, Associate Director of DCF’s Burlington District Office, delivered a presentation and answered questions on how Vermont’s RPG has developed true collaboration resulting in systemic change that has been key in the implementation of new child welfare practices through DCF’s Burlington District Office.

The meeting provided support to grantees in final sustainability planning, and result analysis and local evaluation. Grantees had time to meet with Federal Project Officers and Performance Management Liaisons to discuss pending issues around grant close-out, final reports and dissemination of knowledge, materials and products. The meeting provided a forum in which grantees could showcase promising RPG practices; successful strategies for sustainability; key findings in trauma-informed care, social and emotional well-being, collaborative practices, and relapse, recovery and continuing care.

Vermont’s RPG Team has applied for continued federal funding, we are excited about continuing to pioneer promising practices that promote child and family well-being and cross system collaboration.

Vermont’s RPG Framework and Partners:

Solid Partnership

A Summary of RPG’s Outcomes to Date:

Results to Date

Child, Adult and Family Outcomes

• Increased numbers of substance abusers identified early and families engaged in treatment.

• Increased number of families receiving community-based services.

• Fewer children in foster care in the Burlington district.

• Improved timeliness of DCF processes and the impacts of RPG collaborative service delivery model

Public-Private Partnership

• Solid partnership built shared values, expectations and understanding of outcomes

• Program design, implementation and evaluation processes collaborative from the onset

• Teaming co-located staff with case workers at initial contact has had a positive effect on early identification, referrals & family engagement

• Improved communication channels: two-way information sharing, collaborative cross-training  & cross-systems awareness building

• Impact of systemic changes implemented during grant have been understood and assimilated for improved service delivery and data collection

• RPG is Vermont’s Differential Response, further investment will allow for expansion of scope & consolidation of system partnerships

Community Support

“Time is of the essence in cases involving children. [The RPG] has been tremendously helpful for parents to have readily assessable drug and alcohol assessments. Determining treatment needs early can make the difference between returning children home within a reasonable time or their prolonged removal.”
Hon. Thomas J. Devine, Superior Court Judge, Chittenden Family Division

“I felt comfortable right away. There was nothing foggy about the process.”
A treatment client using a RPG Assessment Bed at Lund.

The impact of extensive systemic changes implemented in Vermont during the current RPG have been understood and assimilated for improved service delivery and data management during an extension period. Vermont’s RPG has enhanced the capacity of our community to respond and work with children and families affected by parental/caregiver substance abuse by improving the timeliness to reunification and adoption, and reduced custody rates through family engagement strategies. The RPG Team has built a solid partnership of shared values, expectations and understanding of desired outcomes.

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