Helping Kids in DCF Custody

When we can do so safely, we keep children with their families and provide services and supports to help the families get back on track.

Sometimes, however, a judge determines that a child cannot safely stay home — at that time. When that happens, the judge will grant temporary custody to someone else, in the following order:

  1. A non-custodial parent;
  2. A close relative;
  3. Another relative or person known to the child; or
  4. The DCF Commissioner.

When a judge grants legal custody to the DCF Commissioner, this means the child is in DCF Custody and we are reponsible for finding a safe, temporary place for the child to live.

How You Can Help

There are several ways you can help children and families in your community:

  • Adoption
    On any given day in Vermont, there are about 60 children waiting in foster care for families to adopt them.
  • Foster & Kinship Foster Care
    Foster parents provide safe, stable, and nurturing homes for children, while Family Services works with the parents and extended family members.
  • Permanent Guardianship
    Permanent guardianship is a legal relationship, created in Family Court, between a child and relative or family friend.
  • Respite Care
    Respite provides foster parents with much-needed breaks and children with opportunities to experience new things and develop new relationships.