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Vermont Network Against Domestic & Sexual Violence, VT

The Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (The Network) will establish the Healing Together Project to develop specialized, trauma-informed, developmentally and age-appropriate, culturally relevant, and linguistically accessible services for non-abusing parents, children, and youth who are exposed to family violence, domestic violence, or dating violence (FV/DV) in Vermont’s rural Caledonia, Essex, Franklin, and Grand Isle Counties. In its third and fourth years, Healing Together will continue work on enhanced goals and objectives with an explicit integration of activities that enhance services and supports for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ people and families and provide racial and social equity learning opportunities for staff and partners.

Activities will strengthen and increase integration for child and family-focused FV/DV services that support parents and children together. The Network will 1) work with DV agencies, programs for incarcerated women and their children, and clinical mental health and substance use treatment partners to improve systems to support abused parents and their children and youth; 2) provide direct services for those who experience the intersection of FV/DV and addiction or/and incarceration through individual and group advocacy to support their resilience and healing; providing transitional and long-term advocacy, parenting support, and education for incarcerated and re-entering mothers; supporting healing through the A Window Between Worlds curriculum and connections with local healing and expressive arts practitioners; facilitating referrals to counseling services for program participants with mental health and substance use disorders (SUD); and establishing a BRANCH pilot to provide trauma-informed, family-centered clinical mental health counseling and support for children under age six and parents/ caregivers; offering opportunities for a diversity of parents and caregivers to write lullabies for their children through a partnership with the Vermont Lullaby Project to support healing and connection; and working with partners to support the creation of a parent’s toolkit to educate parents and community members about gender inclusive education and its impact on the wellbeing of LGBTQ+ children and youth; and 3) enhance evidence-informed and practice-informed responses for children and youth exposed to FV/DV by conducting strategic planning with children’s mental health, SUD recovery and treatment partners, and FV/DV advocates; training providers in best-practice approaches for supporting children and parents with experiences at intersections, healing arts, harm reduction, family healing, and racial and social equity including how racial trauma impacts family healing; ; engaging partners and youth in two in-depth racial and social equity focused arts-based learning cohorts using the cultural humility model; creating and disseminating products and publications to share stories and lessons learned from Healing Together and further support collaborative models to support families at the intersections of DV, incarceration and addiction; and evaluating Healing Together to identify successes.

To learn more, watch this video about the Healing Together Project.