Guidelines for Safe Havens

Vermont’s Baby Safe Haven Law offers parents safe places they can relinquish their babies, up to 30 days old, without fear of being arrested or criminally charged as long as their babies have not been abused or neglected.


Safe Haven Staff/Volunteers

If you are an employee or volunteer of a designated Safe Haven, it’s important to know that:

  1. You may receive a baby at any time;
  2. To be covered by the law, the person must hand the baby to an employee or volunteer; and
  3. You're immune from civil or criminal liability for actions taken to fulfill your duties under this law.

Protocol

If you are presented with a Safe Haven baby, the following guidelines will help you carry out your responsibilities under this law.

  • Take physical custody of the baby. Briefly examine the baby to make sure he/she is not in immediate danger. If the baby appears to be in immediate danger, call 911.
  • Offer the person the Baby Safe Haven Brochure published by the Agency of Human Services.
  • Advise the person that while she/he is not required to reveal any identifying information, she/he can provide information about the child's medical history using the voluntary medical form attached to the Safe Haven brochure. Encourage the person to complete the form and leave it with you. If left with you, please complete the information at the bottom with the date you received the baby and your location.
  • Document any additional information about the child, the birthparents, and/or the situation that is offered voluntarily, including any names the person is willing to provide.
  • Call 911. Advise the dispatcher that you have physical custody of a baby abandoned under the Baby Safe Haven law. Ask the dispatcher to send an ambulance to transport the baby to the nearest hospital and a police officer to take legal custody of the baby. Provide any forms and information collected to the police officer who takes custody of the infant. Keep a copy for your records.
  • Immediately call your local Family Services District Office to report what has happened. If the baby is left after normal business hours, on a weekend, or on a state holiday, call 1-800-649-5285 to make a report.
  • If the person comes back to request the return of the baby and the baby is still there, do not give the baby back. Instead, instruct the person to contact the local Family Services District Office.

Outreach Materials

To request copies of the Baby Safe Haven poster or brochure, call Family Services at (802) 241-2131.

Family Services Division (FSD)

Deputy Commissioner Karen Shea
DCF - Family Services Division
280 State Drive
Waterbury, VT - 05671-1030
Phone:(802) 241-2131

http://dcf.vermont.gov/fsd

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