Howard Center Receives Designated Agency Recertification

BURLINGTON, VT— Howard Center recently received designated agency recertification from the Vermont Department of Mental Health and the Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living (DAIL). The authorizations recognize Howard Center’s high-quality mental health, substance use, and developmental disability supports and services for Chittenden County adults, children, and families.

Howard Center, one of sixteen designated and specialized service agencies that comprise Vermont’s System of Care, is the designated agency for the Chittenden County region. Designated Agencies are responsible for ensuring needed services are available through program delivery, local planning, service coordination, and monitoring outcomes within their region. The comprehensive re-certification review included interviews with consumers, family members, board and staff members, standing committee members, and community partners. It also included a review of the agency’s delivery of services, policies and procedures, strategic plan, quality improvement and outcomes, human resource management, data and information security protocols, and fiscal management.

In awarding the recertification, Sarah Squirrell, Commissioner for the Vermont Department of Mental Health, praised Howard Center for its initiatives which engage families and clients; promote diversity, equity and inclusion; and an impressive strategic plan.

The State Program Committee for Adult Mental Health that advises the Commissioner cited the quality of services Howard Center provides to children and families, despite cuts to reimbursement rates; and commended the focus on staff retention in the strategic plan, and the strong collaboration with Family Services.

DAIL Commissioner Monica Caserta Hutt praised Howard Center staff for their dedication, noting that “It is clear that the Howard Center staff work hard to meet the needs of the people they serve. We congratulate you all on your re-designation.”

Bob Bick, Howard Center Chief Executive Officer, said, “It is a privilege to provide a broad array of services to our community and we are so pleased to receive these re-designations that affirm the need for the critical work being done at Howard Center.”

For more information, contact Adam Brooks at 488-6911 or


ABOUT HOWARD CENTER: Howard Center has a long and rich history as a trusted provider in the community. With a legacy spanning more than 150 years, we have been providing progressive, compassionate, high-quality care and supports to those in need. Today, we offer an array of exemplary mental health, substance use, and developmental services across the lifespan. As Vermont’s largest social service organization, our 1,600 staff help more than 16,000 people each year in over 60 locations throughout Vermont in collaboration with hundreds of community partners. Howard Center’s 24/7/365 crisis service, First Call for Chittenden County, is available to meet the needs of Chittenden County children, adults, and families in crisis by calling 802-488-7777. Help is here. A United Way of Northwest Vermont Funded Agency.