True Colors United
NLCHP logo

State Highlights

Some areas where Vermont has moved the needle relative to other states include providing unaccompanied youth opportunities to seek legal independence, allowing access to critical supports and services, and protecting the rights of LGBTQ youth within key state programs. 

Law and Policy

Law & Policy

  • State law does not specifically criminalize running away.
  • The state allows youth in foster care to access extended foster care services to age 22 under any circumstances and allows youth who have exited the foster care system after 16 to re-enter care until age 22.
  • Unaccompanied youth under 18 years of age can apply for health insurance coverage without parental consent.
  • The state explicitly allows partial and alternative school credit accrual through regulations.

Systems

Systems

  • There is a current state plan to end homelessness that contains a youth-specific strategy component. 
  • There is a state interagency council on homelessness.

Environment

Environment

  • There is a state-level Youth Action Board of youth with lived experience of homelessness who inform state policy-making on youth homelessness.
  • The state promotes safe and inclusive environments in child welfare and juvenile justice programs by providing protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. 
  • The state has banned conversion therapy for minors on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. 

Recommendations for Improvement

There is room for improvement throughout the metrics for the Green Mountain State, with emphasis on the Law & Policy and Environment categories. Educational needs of youth experiencing homelessness should be prioritized.

Law and Policy

Law & Policy

  • Enact and fund a state law similar to the federal RHYA to provide key intervention and emergency services for youth experiencing homelessness.
  • Allow shelters to take in youth experiencing homelessness with a delay or waiver of notification requirements.

Systems

Systems

  • As part of the state plan to prevent and end youth homelessness, include a strategy to address homelessness among LGBTQ youth.
  • Create a state entity - such as an Office of Homeless Youth Services -  that focuses solely on designing, implementing, and evaluating youth homelessness programs.
  • Remove barriers to obtaining a state-issued identification cards, including parental consent and proof of residency requirements.

Environment

Environment

  • Organize and maintain a self-governing youth action board or council to inform youth homelessness policy within the state.
  • Require training about sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, healthy sexual development, or issues specific to LGBTQ youth for staff working in runaway and homeless youth systems.
  • Promote safe and inclusive environments in runaway and homeless youth programs by providing protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

 

Download The Fact Sheet

Download a print-friendly version of this state's scorecard.

DOWNLOAD