About Howard Center

Who We Serve

Howard Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization serving children, adults, families, and communities. Howard Center is the designated provider for mental health and developmental disability services and the preferred provider for substance use services in Chittenden County.


We help people and communities thrive by providing supports and services to address mental health, substance use, and developmental needs.


Howard Center is a national leader in the delivery of integrated and seamless community-based support for individuals, families, and communities in need.


  • Clients are at the heart of our decision making.
  • We are committed to individual and collective well-being and success.
  • We are responsible stewards of the resources entrusted to us.
  • We are steadfast in our practice and pursuit of excellence.


Howard Center was founded in 1865 as an agency to serve the widows and orphans of the civil war at the Home for Destitute Children. Since then, Howard Center has been a trusted provider in our community for more than 150 years, offering progressive, compassionate, high-quality care and treatment for those members of our community in need. View a timeline of our history (PDF).

Learn more about Howard Center’s early history >>

Present Day

Today, our staff of 1,600 support workers, clinicians, nurses, teachers, case managers, psychiatrists, and others provide help and support to more than 19,000 people each year in over 60 locations throughout Vermont. We serve children, adults, families, and communities in a range of settings with a broad array of services for mental health, developmental, and substance use needs. Additional information can be found on our Howard Center Fact Sheet and on our Publications page.

Designated Agency Status

Vermont is fortunate to have a broad and coordinated system of care serving the mental health, substance use, and developmental disability needs of our communities. Within this system, Designated Agencies are private, non-profit, community-based providers that are responsible for ensuring needed services are available through program delivery, local planning, service coordination, and monitoring outcomes within their region.

In Vermont, Howard Center is the Designated Agency provider for mental health and developmental disability services and the Preferred Provider for substance use services in Chittenden County.

View or download the Vermont Developmental Disabilities Local System of Care plan.

Accreditations & Certifications

Howard Center currently holds accreditations from the Commission on Accreditation for Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and Substance Use and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

CARF International is an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human service organizations. In October 2023, Howard Center’s Chittenden Clinic was awarded a three-year accreditation—the highest level of accreditation. The CARF report cited several program strengths, including the experienced and highly credentialed staff, the complete continuum of services, and client satisfaction.

Centers of Excellence
Howard Center holds a Centers of Excellence (COE) accreditation through Vermont Care Partners (VCP). The COE accreditation is based on numerous quality and performance measures, including world class customer service, comprehensive care, easy access, excellent value, and excellent outcomes. The achievement identifies Howard Center as a provider of high quality care, and enhances the organization’s ability to provide much needed services for vulnerable Vermonters.
Modeled after the National Council for Behavioral Health’s Centers of Excellence, the VCP’s COE accreditation process promotes quality improvement and high quality services through agency review by expert peers from VCP member agencies and the University of Vermont Medical Center Jeffords Institute for Quality.

Howard Center’s Chittenden Clinic received a three-year re-certification from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)

Howard Center’s Chittenden Clinic received a Certificate of Recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as a recognized Patient-Centered Specialty Care Practice (PCSP). NCQA is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. It is noteworthy that in 2015 we were the very first program in the country to undergo the review and to be acknowledged.

Howard Center Code of Ethics

Howard Center employees, when acting within the scope of their responsibilities as agents of the agency, recognize the important role we serve for our clients. Our primary duty is to do no harm, and our commitment is to work toward improving the health and well-being of individuals, families and our community.

Howard Center Code of Ethics

Equal Opportunity Employer

Howard Center is an equal opportunity employer.  The Agency does not discriminate in its employment decisions on the basis of race, color, ancestry, national origin, place of birth, citizenship, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, marital/civil union status, military/uniformed services/veteran status, disability, genetic information, being a crime victim, having a positive test result on an HIV related blood test or other legally-protected classification.  Howard Center will provide reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities or with pregnancy-related conditions in compliance with applicable state and federal laws. For more information on your rights click here. For more information on your rights and how you will be supported as a member of our community, please email hrhelpdesk@howardcenter.org. Thank you!

Privacy Policies

Notice of Privacy Practices effective October 15, 2020

Choose from one of the following links to see the Notice of Privacy Practices in that language:





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