Thursday May 31, 2012
SB resident Sally Borden, executive director of the KidSafe Collaborative, was honored with the Antonio B. Pomerleau Medal of Honor at the annual Queen City Police Foundation Benefit Breakfast. The award is given to “an individual who works closely with the Burlington Police Department and contributes significantly to the overall well being of the greater Burlington community”. Sen. Patrick Leahy, himself a 2010 recipient, presented this year’s award to Ms. Borden on May 21 at the Hilton Hotel in Burlington.
Presenting the award on behalf of Tony Pomerleau, Senator Leahy cited KidSafe’s interagency efforts to prevent and address child abuse and neglect, including the KidSafe Collaborative Child Protection and Family Support Teams convened by Ms. Borden, and KidSafe’s role in the coordination of medical and substance abuse services for pregnant women who have a history of opiate abuse, and their babies.
Accepting the honor, Ms. Borden pointed out that “there are children right here in our own community whose parents can’t safely care for them because they are struggling with substance abuse, or mental health issues, or incarceration, or domestic violence, poverty, or maybe they need help in learning how to parent, or maybe they’re just overwhelmed and don’t know where to turn. KidSafe’s Child Protection Teams, I have found, can be an amazing resource—by working together to develop plans to help parents get the help they need, or relatives or guardians, the teams can make a real difference—making sure children are safe and well cared for.”
Ms. Borden added that in coordinating KidSafe’s work with families, community groups and agencies, including the Burlington Police Department, she is inspired by “the behind-the-scenes heroes who quietly go about making a difference in the lives of kids. The grandparents, aunts and uncles who step in to help care for their grandchildren, nieces and nephews when their own parents can’t; by social workers, and by police officers, who go the extra mile to make sure a child is safe; by teachers and guidance counselors and after-school program staff and child care providers. By mentors, changing children’s lives one hour at a time. And by families and schools working to come up with creative ways to engage young people and make our community a better, healthier place for kids…I am especially honored because I know not everyone gets the opportunity to be recognized for something they feel so passionately about.”
The KidSafe Collaborative (www.kidsafevt.org) addresses the need for coordinated support to children and families through interagency Child Protection Teams, the KidSafe Collaborative Council, a Community Advisory Board, and its statewide trainings for mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect. KidSafe is a member agency of the United Way of Chittenden County.
SOURCE: KIDSAFE COLLABORATIVE