Off we go again! Hopefully everyone had a wonderful 4th of July. Parades, fireworks, and good old family fun. This week I'm going to provide information and resources in the state of Vermont just in case someone doesn't know and needs some assistance. Let's get started...
First and foremost Vermont unfortunately doesn't have an ombudsman specifically for Foster Care. The definition of an ombudsman according to Google is "an official appointed to investigate individuals' complaints against maladministration, especially that of public authorities." However, upon returning home to Vermont later this month this topic is going to be one that I am going to elevate and hopefully implement in the state of Vermont.
The head of our Youth Development Program (YDP), which can be considered the equivalant to Oregon's Independent Living Program, is Dana Lawrence. Mr. Lawrence is the policy specialist and over sees the Youth Development Program. I personally have had several interactions with him throughout the last 5 years and each and every one is very positive. Mr. Lawrence is very kind and knowledgeable.
Also in the state of Vermont in order to access the Chaffee Grant you need to create an online account with Vermont Student Assistance Cooperation (VSAC.) VSAC is where anyone looking to obtain a higher education in Vermont should start, right after the FAFSA. There are several different scholarships that youth in care or former youth in care are eligible for and an entire list of them is posted in VSAC's website, vsac.org
Lastly, if you are a former youth in care or a youth in care seeking employment in Vermont getting involved with Vocational Rehabilitation is your best bet. VocRehab can assist with finding and maintaining a employment as well as apply for SSI and SSDI. VocRehab also has access to funds that can assist people with transportation, getting specific work attire or tools and so on. There are several different offices located throughout the state to be able to ensure everyone in our state who is eligible for these services can access them easily.
I hope you have found this information helpful. If you would like more information about any of the information above feel free to go to the following websites: