Two legislative committees took testimony Friday on how to deal with young people who require placement in secure settings, and the need to keep them out of hotels and police stations as they await that placement.
The assault, according to Steve Howard, executive director of the Vermont State Employees’ Association, occurred when the state employee, who is pregnant, was assigned to supervise the youth during the teen’s stay at the Hampton Inn in St. Albans.
The Joint Fiscal Committee gave final approval to the Scott administration’s proposal to establish a six-bed juvenile treatment center run by a New Hampshire-based company to replace the state-run Woodside Juvenile Rehabilitation Center.
Sen. Dick Sears, D-Bennington, called the number of employees who are part of the probe “amazing,” while the leader of the union representing state workers questions whether releasing the information was a ploy by those pushing for privatization.
The administration hopes to replace the state’s only juvenile detention center with a five-bed program run by a private organization.
Legislators were urged to reject the governor’s proposal to privatize services provided at the Woodside juvenile facility and to boost funding for undocumented immigrants, business aid, and a program for LGBTQ youth.
Disability Rights Vermont says the current situation at the state’s only juvenile detention center is “really unacceptable.”
The facility is not currently taking new admissions and the state is looking for alternatives to care for youth in in custody, the DCF commissioner told lawmakers.
Disability Rights Vermont has submitted a filing alleging that the state has not lived up to the terms of a court-approved agreement to address “dangerous conditions” at the state’s only juvenile detention facility in Essex.
Vermonters experiencing homelessness have been able to find refuge from the pandemic in hotel rooms. But soon, they’ll have to move on.
Vermont opened up the hotel voucher system during the pandemic for 2,000 people without housing. Now the state is working on a plan for what to do next.
Sean Brown, a deputy commissioner at DCF who has overseen economic services programs since 2014, will take over leadership of the department.
The state has taken new measures to loosen eligibility requirements for 3SquaresVT to make it easier for Vermonters to enroll.
The Agency of Human Services has freed up the budget to restore around-the-clock access to the emergency referral service until the Legislature considers a permanent fix.