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May 27th, 2017

Prevent Child Abuse Vermont Must Not Remain on Budgetary Chopping Block

Editor,
There is no doubt that the legislature has a challenging job ahead of it to balance a budget that has a $110 M shortfall. Reviewing the list of potential cuts which is available on the Joint Fiscal website is distressing to say the least. I have posted on Facebook my concern about two of those recommendations.

One is the impact to economic development and the elimination of the Travel & Tourism Department and the other is the elimination of funding for Prevent Child Abuse Vermont. It boggles my mind to think about eliminating prevention programs following the deaths of two children in DCF’s care this past year and the release of the Vermont Citizen’s Advisory Board’s Child Death Review Report which states that “Vermont must invest in proven prevention strategies such as research based parent education and support programs.”

No other public or private organization provides primary prevention training programs other than PCAV. In addition, all PCAV programs are research based, trauma informed, scientifically proven and measurable. In 2014 PCAV directly served or impacted 57,778 children, teens and parents, caregivers and educators through their programs, services and training. And they did it with an administrative overhead cost of 2.2%.

The proposed budget cuts before the legislature of $503,000 represents 42% of PCAV’s overall budgets. If PCAV’s funding is cut, programs like Shaken Baby Syndrome will be eliminated and other programs dramatically reduced. The impact to PCAV will be devastating. There must be a better way!

Pat McDonald
Member, Board of Directors PCAV

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