Parent Child Centers (PCCs) are a network of 15 community-based non-profit organizations, serving all of Vermont. The purpose of each PCC is to provide support and education to families with young children. The goal is to help all Vermont families get off to a healthy start, promote well-being and build on family strengths.
Parent Child Centers Are The Answer
Increased Funding for Parent Child Centers is a Critical Need
Parent Child Centers deliver critical and essential state services to families with young children, yet staff wages and benefits are continually 30% below market rates to comparable positions in education and state government. If PCCs are expected to continue to provide high quality state services, their wages and benefits must sustain the highly skilled people who do the work.
Years of level funding for both government-delivered programs and state services delivered by non-profit agencies have created a widening gap between the real costs of these state programs and the state funding provided to deliver them. This means that the state government is requiring non-profit agencies to pay for the delivery of state services, or to reduce or eliminate those services without specific policy changes.
A state funded budget must be developed that reflects the true cost of providing necessary and critical state services at the levels required by state law. Funding must increase by $8 million to close the salary and funding gap to $10 million.
All dollars invested in Parent Child Center services can dramatically reduce the rising health care costs in the state of Vermont.
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Preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
Addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences early can help support children’s health and development and has the potential to prevent chronic physical and mental health problems later in life, reducing chronic illness expense. The Family Center now offers families immediate interventions at Pediatric Primary Care in Berlin, including secondary screening, parenting support resources, and community resource referrals.
Research has shown many adults with chronic physical or mental health conditions can trace the roots of their problems to social, economic and toxic stress experienced in early childhood.
At scheduled visits, families with children aged 0-36 months will be screened for four Adverse Family Events: Divorce/Separation, Financial Hardship, Substance Abuse, and Mental Illness. Positive screens will be referred to on-site family support specialist.
Fifty-seven percent of Vermonters have one or more ACEs and 22% have 3 or more ACEs. Safe, stable, and nurturing relationship and environments can have a positive impact on a broad range of health problems and on the development of skills that will help children reach their full potential.