Special Efforts Being Made in Vermont to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities

DCF made a number of changes in response to the 2014 abuse fatalities of two toddlers. Changes included a 25% increase in frontline social workers; institution of a uniform protocol to assess risk to children; the creation of systems to encourage the judiciary, law enforcement, DCF, mental health and other state agencies to share information; and the creation of a Child Protection Oversight Committee.  [Recommendations 7.3, 6.1, 5.3]

In 2016, Vermont launched a new webpage aimed at the state’s mandated reporters. It provides the latest information about reporting guidelines; a sign‐up option for email updates; and links to relevant information, including the online mandated reporter training. An online portal is being developed that will allow mandated reporters to log in and check the status of their reports or calls.  The online mandated reporter training, which became available to the public in March 2016, informs mandated reporters of their legal obligations and explains the process for making a report to the Child Protections Hotline.  This was done in partnership with a local non‐profit and provides extensive information on abuse and neglect.   Additionally, an online portal is being developed to provide mandated reporters information regarding their reports or calls. Through this solution, mandated reporters they will be able to log in using a unique email address and password to check the status of reports they made. [Recommendation 7.2e]