Child Protective Services in Vermont

The Family Services Division (FSD)  is Vermont's child welfare agency.  We are responsible for making sure children and youth:

  • Are safe from abuse
  • Have their basic needs met
  • Live in safe, supportive, and healthy environments

What We Do

  • Respond to reports of suspected child abuse and neglect
  • Evaluate children’s safety through investigations and assessments
  • Help parents get the services and supports they need to keep their children at home safely
  • Place children in temporary out-of-home care when necessary
  • Work with parents and relatives toward children's safe return home
  • Find permanent homes for children who can't return home safely

Our Practice Model

Our work is guided by the Family Services Practice Model, which:

  • Describes the values and practices we use in the work we do with children, youth and families
  • Provides a framework for staff to think about the work we do
  • Guides the development of policy and practice guidance.

The Values & Principles That Guide Us

  • Children have the right to be safe
  • Families have both strengths and challenges (safety & risk factors)    
  • Everyone can grow and change with support and adequate resources
  • Families know their situations best
  • Children should only be separated from their parents (or guardians) when it’s necessary to keep them or their communities safe
  • When children need out-of-home care, we first consider extended family members and friends
  • Success is more likely when we involve extended family members & friends in the process, early on
  • For real change to occur, we must work cooperatively with families, share responsibility, and hold each other accountable
  • Each family’s cultural, ethnic, and spiritual diversity deserves respect

The Outcomes We Want To Achieve:

Safety: Children are safe from abuse, neglect, and risk of harm
Permanence: Children have nurturing relationships that sustain them throughout their lives  
Well-Being: Children do well in their families, schools, & communities
Law Abidance: Youth are free from delinquent behavior