Lund was awarded a Regional Partnership Grant

Sep 19, 2023 | 5 min read


Lund was awarded a Regional Partnership Grant (RPG) from the Children’s Bureau in 2017 for the Vermont Family Recovery Project (VTFRP). The VTFRP aimed to provide services that would improve parent’s stability in recovery and promote improved family functioning, well-being, permanency, and safety for children. In this regard, Lund partnered with the Vermont Department for Children and Families-Family Services Division (DCF-FSD). During intake, DCF caseworkers in Burlington and Newport referred families who met specific eligibility requirements to Lund workers providing RPG services.


Eligibility requirements evolved throughout the 5-year grant. By the end of the Grant, to be eligible for RPG services, families must

  1. have an open case in the Burlington or Newport district office
  2. have an identified substance use issue in the home
  3. have a child between the ages of 0 and 12 who is at risk of being removed from the home. Additionally, families could be court-involved

Lund RPG Services

Once referred, families had the option to receive intensive, home-based, collaborative intervention services from Lund project staff. The services provided aimed to transition the family from the DCF caseload to a stable situation in which long-term clinical providers and social supports were in place. Those who opted for RPG services were connected with a Lund Clinician and Family Engagement Specialist (FES). In general, the Clinician was responsible for developing a short-term therapeutic treatment plan and helping clients establish a long-term plan by connecting them with a local therapist if they did not already have one. The FES focused on creating goals related to everyday life (e.g., getting a driver’s license, scheduling necessary healthcare appointments) and concrete action steps for achieving those goals. More specifically, the Clinicians and FES used the Attachment, Regulation, and Competency (ARC) framework and McGill Action Planning System (MAPS) to guide clients’ treatment.


The ARC framework is an individual level clinical intervention for children who have experienced trauma and their caregivers. The process begins with the family’s hopes and strengths rather than any issues associated with their DCF case. Guided by the Lund staff, families identify goals for their treatment and define what goals look like in concrete terms. For example, a family might have the goal of “communicating calmly and effectively.” In concrete terms, this might be “no more yelling.” For this goal, the Clinician and FES would help families work on their self-regulation skills and document incidents in which yelling occurred. ARC worksheets facilitate skill building. Lund clinicians and FES were expected to help the family connect with therapists/agencies who could provide long-term ARC care upon completion of RPG services.


MAPS is a transitional planning process for families. The goal of MAPS is to help families plan for their transition out of RPG services. RPG services typically included a preliminary MAPS discussion and up to two MAPS meetings (one initial, then one follow-up).[1] During the preliminary discussion, the client was introduced to MAPS and talked about their history, hopes, fears, and their personal (positive) qualities with Lund staff. Then, the FES explained what the initial MAPS meeting will entail, and clients identified individuals in their lives that they wanted to attend the meeting. At the conclusion of the MAPS discussion, the client identified which aspects of their history they wanted to focus on during the initial MAPS meeting. At the initial MAPS meeting, the client would meet with Lund staff and other participants they identified. MAPS participants could include close family, service providers, and others such as relatives, close friends, clergy, or advocates. The initial MAPS meeting was mostly client led (FES might sometimes interject to spark discussion or bring the discussion back on track) and produced a plan that identified the family’s goals, priority needs, a timeline, and the contact information for every person or organization that will help meet identified needs. In some cases, a follow-up meeting was utilized to assess progress on goals established in the first meeting and solve any problems that may have arisen.

[1] The use of MAPS evolved throughout the grant. Initially, MAPS was intended to be a single meeting that occurred at the end of the client’s RPG services. However, by the 3rd year, Lund staff had begun incorporating MAPS concepts and planning earlier in client’s treatment.

Intended Outcomes

A logic model was created to identify desired outcomes of RPG services (see Table X). Through this model, 6 short-term outcomes were identified:

  1. reduced trauma symptoms for children and parents
  2. increased social supports for children and parents
  3. reduced psychological stress for children and parents
  4. fewer children enter care
  5. improved developmental outcomes for children
  6. parents establish and maintain recovery goals


Four research questions guided the outcome evaluation (see right). The evaluation employs a quasi-experimental design in which individuals who received RPG services provided by Lund are compared to similarly situated individuals who received typical DCF-FSD services. Initially, the evaluation design planned to create a randomized control group for services in Burlington and a control group constructed from administrative data for Newport. However, the number of participants was lower than expected in both district offices. As such, researchers utilized an administrative control group in both regions.