Human Services

Clark to take the reins on AHS finances

Sarah Clark, deputy commissioner of the Vermont Department of Finance and Management, will take over as chief financial officer at the Agency of Human Services in 2015. Clark, who’s been in her current post for one year, will replace retiring CFO Jim Giffin. Her term at Finance and Management, where Clark reports to commissioner Jim […]

Report recommends boosting staff, training, and coordination at DCF

Harry Chen (left), interim secretary of the Agency of Human Services, and Ken Schatz, commissioner of the Department for Children and Families, announce the results of a report on improving DCF. Photo by Laura Krantz/VTDigger

A new report calls for more staff, better training, and stronger coordination of services at the Department of Children and Families. The recommendations could run afoul of a Shumlin Administration drive to hold the line on spending in next year’s budget.

State officials prepare for another cut in LIHEAP funding

Gov. Peter Shumlin has directed an initial $13.5 million LIHEAP payment to assist families in need of heating assistance and called on Congress and the White House to boost heating aid to northeastern states. VTD/Josh Larkin

While Congress dithers over how much to cut from a program that helps low-income people heat their homes, Vermont officials work to manage the uncertainty.

Administrative rules committee accepts motel voucher plan for homeless

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LCAR agreed to the new limits Thursday but, to advocates’ disappointment, did not oppose a portion of the rule that required the applicant’s contribution of 50 percent of their gross monthly income toward their emergency housing costs.

Sanders encourages veterans to take advantage of benefits

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Veterans Affairs officials came to conference to speak about what Sen. Bernie Sanders called the “cutting-edge” changes in veterans’ health care.

Catch 22 surrounds proposed rule change for community homes

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Residential home staff are not allowed to physically intervene when residents act out, but should they be trained to do so?

Backlog of Adult Protective Services cases eases, but questions remain

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Lawmakers get first look at quarterly report after fighting with administration over flow of information.

State wrestles with the high cost of caring for the functionally impaired

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FY14 budget includes $3.3 million to care for 22 inmates or non-offenders with serious mental impairments, but there’s no money for new cases.

State peels back restrictions on motel vouchers for homeless

DCF Commissioner Dave Yacovone addresses advocates at a meeting at the Agency of Human Services Tuesday. Deputy Commissioner Richard Giddings is sitting behind him. Photo by Alicia Freese/VTDigger

Department of Children and Families reduces threshold in point system, opens up qualifying rules.

Advocates for disabled worry about new state rules

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The Department of Aging and Independent Living wants to make changes to the way it determines who is eligible for care and what types of services it emphasizes.

State may pull back on new rules governing motel stays for homeless

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DCF officials and advocates are trying to figure out how to comply with the Legislature’s seemingly contradictory mandate to cap expenditures at $1.5 million and provide housing for Vermonters when shelters are full.

DCF curtails motel voucher program for homeless; advocates object

Secretary Doug Racine. VTD/Josh Larkin

The Legislature wants the tab cut to $1.5 million, and to comply with that order, the Department for Children and Families has devised a point system to determine who is “vulnerable” enough to get a room.

Protective Services probe into Shumlin-Dodge affair might never be disclosed

Jeremy Dodge of East Montpelier holds the folder on which Gov. Peter Shumlin sketched out the details on the sale of Dodge's property. Photo by Andrew Stein/VTDigger

Sorrell confirmed the private nature of the probe.

Federal public housing program tightens competition for financing

The 80-unit Melrose Terrace public housing development in Brattleboro was evacuated in anticipation of flooding the day before Tropical Storm Irene struck in 2011. The Brattleboro Housing Authority hopes to tap into private financing to fund a new development for Melrose tenants on higher ground. Photo by Bob Daughtry

A new federal program would allow local housing authorities to raise their own money to fund public housing improvements and developments. But many fear the increased competition for financing.

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