November 25, 2015

Parent Child Centers are the Answer

Posted in Events, Parent Child Centers, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services tagged , , , , , , , , at 10:25 am by Lund

“Being a parent is a lot of work.  At least there’s something out there for people,” said one parent at last week’s educational event for legislators about Parent Child Centers and the work that they do in the community.  Parents and staff members from each of Chittenden County’s three parent child centers gathered together at the VNA Family Room in downtown Burlington where legislators from Chittenden County were invited to join them and hear first hand the importance of these essential community resources.

Parent Child Centers are a network of non-profit organizations serving all of Vermont.  There are 15 in total and the focus of each is to provide support and education to families with young children.  The goal is to help all Vermont families get off to a healthy start, promote well being and build on family strengths.  This support and education helps to prevent problems such as school failure, poor health, welfare dependency, family violence and abuse.   A reduction in these problems helps to strengthen every community and to ultimately save the state money further on in the life of the child.  Families who are at risk for substance abuse, mental health conditions, trauma, domestic violence and poverty face significant barriers to accessing the help that they need.  Parent Child Centers offer help in ways that take these barriers into account and form trusting relationships with vulnerable families while engaging them in services.

Parents, staff members, legislators and members of the community had lively discussion about the crucial role of Parent Child Centers in the community.

Parents, staff members, legislators and members of the community had lively discussion about the crucial role of Parent Child Centers in the community.

The need for Parent Child Centers grows every year as the problems of opiate abuse, multi generational poverty and concerns for child welfare further permeate the community.  Yet state funding has remained level since 1995.  The goal of this meeting was to help legislators to understand the work of the Parent Child Centers to gain their support for the Parent Child Center Network’s legislative platform for the upcoming session which is to request additional funding – $135,000 for each center in Vermont for a total appropriation amount of $2,025,000.

Imagine that in one year that each Parent Child Center prevents one birth to a teenage mom, one woman entering the Correctional Facility, one child being placed in foster care, and one single mother receiving public assistance.  This would save the state $2,131,041 over that year which is less than the funds being asked for in the legislative session.  Of course each Parent Child Center does this critical prevention work with multiple families each year.

“I am so thankful we found Milton Community Center,” said one Mom at the meeting while her son played in the room nearby. “My son was born prematurely and has developmental delays.  I have learning difficulties too.  Without MCC he would never have come as far as he has.  Our children are the future of our world, how we raise them and the support team that we have is so important.  Milton Community Center is my second home.  I will never forget what they have done.”

Parent Child Centers are key in breaking multi-generational cycles of poverty, addiction and abuse because they work with the children and their caregivers at the same time.  “I know I’m going to be the total opposite of what I knew growing up,” said another Mom who had used multiple treatment and family support services here at Lund. “It’s hard to trust people if you grow up a certain way but Lund is like my second family and they are there for me when I need help.” The most important investment in the community needs to happen early and in a way that best supports the safe and healthy development of children.    As Vermont moves forward in developing innovative health care delivery systems, the Parent Child Centers must remain an integral home base for families.

One mom who came to participate in the meeting shared her struggles with post natal depression after the birth of her daughter and how she searched and searched to find something or someone who could help her in the way that she needed and in so doing asked the question that was at the forefront of everyone’s mind.  “I needed someone to tell me that I was doing a good job.  I needed someone to watch and learn from.  I found that here at the Parent Child Center.  But how are they going to keep doing this without the money?”


April 23, 2015

Lund’s 125 years of helping families in Vermont celebrated at the Statehouse

Posted in Events tagged , , , , , at 10:58 am by Lund

Click the link below to read about Lund’s recent trip to the Statehouse to celebrate 125 years of helping children and families thrive. (We’re trying out a new type of blog)


January 28, 2014

Lund Goes to the Statehouse!

Posted in Board of Trustees Spotlight, Events, Project Family, Residential, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, Volunteer Spotlight tagged , , , , , , at 2:47 pm by Lund

Staff and board members from Lund hosted a coffee hour at the Statehouse on Tuesday morning to raise awareness amongst legislators about Lund’s integrated, family-centered programming for pregnant and parenting women and the impact it has statewide. Lund provides treatment, education, family support and adoption services to over 4,250 people from 1,500 families statewide annually. With a mission to help children and families thrive, Lund helps break the cycles of poverty, addiction and abuse through enduring and nationally acclaimed public-private partnerships.


Lund staff and board members at the Statehouse

Later Tuesday morning, Kim Coe, Director of Residential and Community Treatment Services at Lund testified to the House Committee on Human Services on the topic “Opiate Addiction Treatment Programs”. Here she described Lund’s treatment program as well as stressing the need for integrated, family-centered services for pregnant and parenting women struggling with substance abuse disorders. “Addiction is a disease that profoundly affects the entire family system; it cannot be treated effectively without using a family-centered approach. Lund recognizes the critical importance of concurrently treating women for substance abuse while also developing employment and life skills, providing parenting supports and access to educational services. Lund individualizes treatment in response to the needs of the individual as well as the family,” says Coe.

Lund is on the only residential treatment center in Vermont where a woman can receive treatment without separation from her young children, which can be a prohibitive concern for many women as they seek help for substance abuse disorders.

Also on Tuesday, Courtney Farrell, Assistant Director of Residential and Community Treatment Services at Lund testified to the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare on Lund’s substance abuse treatment programming. The committee will also hear from a young mother currently engaged in treatment at Lund to gain a first hand insight. Both committees were interested in hearing what might be missing from treatment programs currently offered in the state so that focus can be put into comprehensive solutions. Farrell, Coe and other experienced clinicians and counselors at Lund applaud the Governor’s initiatives as laid out in his recent State of the State Address, “We are very pleased that the Governor is committing dollars to address this public health issue, and while increased resources are critical, the thoughtful and intentional implementation of services will be as important to ensure the investment pays off,” says Coe.

Lund believes it is crucial to build on the strength of the current system while also investing in the following key areas.

• Ensure a multigenerational treatment approach in breaking cycles of addiction and poverty.

• Provide effective outreach and early intervention. An effective screening and assessment process requires strong collaboration and a holistic perspective. There is not a “one size fits all” approach to assessments that will meet the needs of all people.

• Implement continuing care plans that recognize treatment for addiction must be flexible and responsive to the nature of the disease, which is chronic and relapses should be expected and planned for.

• Address systematic barriers to treatment. Ensure that families are not caught in the middle of conflicting mandates and demands from State Agencies and community providers.

• Offer seamless transition of services for families throughout the continuum of care.

The most vulnerable victims of increased opiate use in the state are children. Children impacted by parental substance abuse are more likely to experience maltreatment and lack the essential care necessary for their well-being. Families affected by parental substance abuse need early identification and timely access to effective treatment to optimize recovery and avoid family disruption.The Governor’s focus on this pervasive problem is a practical and timely call to action to help Vermont families combat opiate addiction.