VSEA Warns It’s Past Time For Solution About How Best To Protect Vermont’s At-Risk Youth

Today, three Senate Committees heard testimony from DCF Commissioner Sean Brown about DCF’s “plan for placement of youths” with nowhere to go after the closure of Woodside. It was a much-needed hearing, and it came as VSEA warns in a press release this morning that something has to be done NOW to protect the kids and the state employees who are caring for them in the interim.

VSEA Press Release:

The Vermont State Employees’ Association (VSEA) is calling today for the Legislature and the Scott Administration to take immediate and urgent action to address Vermont’s System of Care that includes “justice-involved youth” and children involved in the child protection system. The union representing state employees is warning that the system is at a breaking point due to a​ lack of resources, including detention, mental health beds and foster homes.

“Since the Administration and the Legislature closed Vermont’s only secure facility for justice-involved youth, DCF Family Service workers are too often being forced to put themselves in extremely dangerous situations with these young Vermonters, some of whom are in mental health crisis and exhibiting violent and assaultive behavior,” explains VSEA Executive Director Steve Howard.

Howard adds that the State is expecting DCF Family Service workers to step in and do work performed up until now by Youth Counselors at the Woodside Rehabilitation Center in Essex.

The VSEA recently sent a letter to DCF Commissioner Sean Brown, demanding that DCF immediately hire retired law enforcement officers and former Woodside employees to help ease the crisis. The union also advised involving staff from the Department of Mental Health to help provide oversight to youth who are in mental health crisis.

VSEA also recommended that the Scott Administration immediately open a secure residential facility to house justice-involved youth and to open beds in community facilities that previously did not accept youth in need who would otherwise be housed at a secure residential facility. This includes mental health beds, when required.

“Being assaulted attacked or worse is not an acceptable working condition, but it’s happening right now to VSEA’s DCF FSD members,” warns Howard. “The Administration and the Legislature must act quickly to address the situation before someone else is seriously hurt—or worse.”

VSEA’s Week In Action Newsletter: December 17, 2021!

Corrections Bargaining Team Reaches Tentative Agreement On New Contract

Next Non-Management Unit Contract Informational Meeting Is Monday!

Next Supervisory Unit Contract Informational Meeting Is Tuesday!

VSEA Circulates Fact Sheet On Vermont State Employee Vacancies

VSEA Member Featured In Story About New Employment Doors Opening For Parolees

Buy Union This Holiday Season!

Only Two Weeks Remain In The 2021 VSEA Chapter Fundraiser Challenge!

Reminders:

AFLAC’s Cancer Protection Assurance Policy

VSEA Dues Clarification

Discounted Bolton Valley Passes For VSEA Members

VSEA Diversity Committee Seeking Members

View/Download Your Contract on VSEA.org

Solidarity Stories:

Arbitrators Side With VtNEA On Health Care

Sign The Vermont AFT’s Petition To Get Higher Education A Seat At The Table

Kellogg’s Reaches Tentative Agreement With Workers

Kellogg’s Workers’ Supporters Flood Company With Fake Resumes, Shutting Down Site

New Mexico Corrections Employees Cast Vote Of No Confidence In Leadership

Read The Full Newsletter Here

Subscribe To Week In Action Here

VSEA’s Week In Action Newsletter: December 10, 2021!

VSEA members, teachers and troopers packed three rooms inside the Pavilion Building for yesterday’s meeting of the State Pension Task Force, which was meeting to begin preparing a final report to sent to lawmakers in January. It’s safe to say the Task Force knows workers, other than those on the Task Force, are listening.

Pension Task Force Meets

Past Legislative Leader Pens Letter Blasting Some Lawmakers Reluctance To Find New Revenue Source For Pensions

VSEA President Says Vermont Youth In Need Are Suffering Due To DCF’s Failure To Replace Woodside

Non-Management Unit Schedules Two Contract Informational Meetings!

Supervisory Unit Schedules Two Contract Informational Meetings!

With AHS Secretary’s Departure, VSEA Calls On Governor To Vet Replacement Carefully

Remembering Lisa Kelley Vigil

Buy Union This Holiday Season!

AFLAC’s Cancer Protection Assurance Policy

Help Your VSEA Chapter! Help The Vermont Foodbank!

Reminders:

VSEA Dues Clarification

Join The VSEA Legislative Committee

Discounted Bolton Valley Passes For VSEA Members

VSEA Diversity Committee Seeking Members

View/Download Your Contract on VSEA.org

Solidarity Stories:

Starbucks Workers Say “Union Yes” For First Time Ever

Kellogg’s Workers Reject Contract Offer. Strike Continues.

New Website Tracks Union Busting Nationwide

Read The Full Newsletter Here

Subscribe To Week In Action Here

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