Howard Center Street Outreach staff receive award from Burlington Police

Our staff are the heart of Vermont Care Partners’ network agencies – they provide support, treatment, and care to Vermonters — in some cases, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Their dedication to the mission of the network and the people we support is unparalleled. Every day staff goes above and beyond to care and support the children, families and individuals we serve, developing deep bonds that often last for years and which strengthen the fabric of Vermont communities.  Every day we fight stigma and social isolation by supporting people to lead active lives and achieve their goals.

Staff at Vermont Care Partner member agencies provide excellent support to the people we serve

What do the people we serve think of their staff?

  • 96% of people supported by VCP network agencies indicated that they were treated with respect
  • 93% of the people supported by VCP network agencies indicated that they received the services that were right for them

Vermont Care Partners and network agencies ensure that staff receives the training and support they need to provide excellent care:

  • Clinical staff receive more than three hours of individual and four hours of group supervision per month
  • 33% of clinical staff receive training and supervision specific to obtaining professional licensure
  • Agencies provide excellent post-graduate professional development including clinical internships, online certificates, and continuing education credits
  • Many agencies help their developmental services staff obtain certification as Qualified Developmental Disability Professionals
  • Vermont Care Partners provides statewide education and professional development through online trainings, conferences, and webinars

We actively advocate for and support our staff who support others

We know that quality services depend on trusting relationships between the people served by skilled and experienced staff. When agencies can’t fill staff vacancies, it can reduce access to needed services and strain existing staff as they stretch to provide support to more people, which can lead to burn out. At this point two out of every 10 licensed clinical staff positions are vacant.

Staff turnover rates can run higher than 40% in some agencies, but we are working to bring them down.

  • For fiscal year 2018 e were able to achieve a 2% – – $8 million funding increase to improve compensation levels.
  • For fiscal year 2019 we were only able to achieve a 2% increase for mental health staff, but were unable to achieve an increase for staff providing developmental disability services.
  • Right now we are advocating for a 4% increase for all staff fiscal year 2020 and loan forgiveness and tuition assistance for our staff in exchange for a 3-year commitment to work at Agencies

We are hopeful that the Senate choose to invest in our workforce after Senate President Pro Tempore Tim Ashe toured agencies last summer and fall and heard first hand from staff about how they love their jobs, but struggle with the compensation levels.

Many of our staff has taken out loans to pursue advanced clinical degrees and others are attending local schools or taking online classes to achieve degrees and credentials to improve their knowledge and skills, as well as to advance in their careers. Recently agencies have begun to develop online coursework that staff can access while at work to strengthen their skills.  Vermont Care Partners is also working with the Vermont State College system to find ways to support curriculum and educational programs that will give staff the knowledge and skills they need for serving children, families and other people who have developmental disabilities, mental health conditions and substance use disorders.

Staff and youth enjoy summer fun

You can support the work of Vermont Care Partners Agencies by Supporting our Staff

Your donation to a network agency helps them provide services by retaining high quality staff.  You can also volunteer in our programs, serve on advisory groups, or contact your representative to let them know you support the work of your VCP Agency and the need to better compensate our staff. To learn more about our advocacy agenda and our progress in our legislative work, see our Legislative View page.