The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 33: Human Services


33 V.S.A. § 4702 System for services to children at risk of school failure


§ 4702. System for services to children at risk of school failure

(a) Definitions. As used in this chapter:

(1) "At risk" means those children from birth to age 72 months who have a diagnosed physical or mental condition that has a high probability of resulting in a developmental delay, or who have a high probability of experiencing failure in school due to biological, medical, or environmental factors.

(2) "School failure" means failure to develop essential skills in reading, writing, and mathematics appropriate to age level.

(b) The Secretaries of Human Services and of Education shall develop and implement, through community-based organizations, a coordinated system of State and local agencies that identifies children at risk of school failure, makes available to them and their families, as eligible and willing, coordinated early education and support services individually designed with each family and based on a family's identified needs, and encourages parents to use these services. After an informational meeting and prior to family participation in any screenings or services to be conducted in the home, the provider visiting the home shall explain the confidentiality policies and abuse and neglect reporting requirements. A parent shall be required to sign a form acknowledging their awareness of these policies and requirements. All services shall be voluntary, and when a local community chooses to offer services in the home, an alternative site shall be provided for families desiring services but not home visits.

(c) This system shall be accessible to local public review and comment in the Agency of Human Services districts where these programs are in service through two warned public meetings per year. Two weeks in advance of these meetings, documents which fully describe program activities, including reports, budgets, plans, and working guidelines, shall be made available to school boards in program service areas and at the area lead agency. These meetings shall be co-chaired by an elected school board director or superintendent in the district and an official of the program's lead agency. The lead agency in each district, in cooperation with the Agencies of Human Services and of Education, shall annually present a report of its activities and expenditures to appropriate committees of the General Assembly.

(d) The Agency of Education and the Agency of Human Services shall have authority to adopt rules under 3 V.S.A. chapter 25 as necessary to implement this chapter. In addition, either agency shall initiate rule-making if requested by a majority of the involved community-based lead agencies, or by the public as provided in 3 V.S.A. § 831(c).

(e) Nothing in this chapter shall create an entitlement. (Added 1989, No. 266 (Adj. Sess.) § 1; amended 1993, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 300, eff. Feb. 14, 2014.)