In their work on S. 9, “An act relating to improving Vermont’s system for protecting children from abuse and neglect,” the Vermont Senate has been working hard to help develop safeguards to prevent the kinds of horrific tragedies that happened over the last year when young children fell through the cracks and died at the hands of people who should have been taking care of them.
Ironically, the Senate Health and Welfare Committee discussed this very topic just an hour before hearing testimony on Act 39 last week. That these Senators clearly care about the health and safety of vulnerable Vermont children was evident in the discussions around S.9; what was not clear was why some of these same legislators seemed unable to fathom that Act 39 could well lead to similar tragedy, i.e., vulnerable Vermonters falling through the cracks and dying on the watch of people who should have been taking care of them.
The “cracks in the system” through which disabled, elderly and financially vulnerable Vermonters may fall under Act 39 are so big you could drive a truck through them, and they can’t be patched up. Our legislature would do well to repeal this dangerous legislation before the first person falls through.
Then, they will be doing damage control.