HCRS is pleased to announce partnership awards recently presented to two of our community partners – The Department for Children & Families (DCF) and The Richards Group. Both awards were given to these organizations by HCRS’ CEO, George Karabakakis, at our Annual Meeting held on November 12 at our headquarters in Springfield, Vermont.
The Brattleboro, Springfield, and Hartford offices of the Department for Children & Families were chosen for this award as a group of dedicated, committed, and passionately caring partners, collaborators, and friends of HCRS. Though this has been one of the most difficult years for the staff and managers of these DCF offices, their response to the loss of a fellow colleague and the 35% increase in the number of cases coming into custody over the year has been to forge a stronger bond between the two organizations. With HCRS having 15 staff embedded within these DCF offices, and many shared clients, the two agencies have developed an even stronger relationship, built on a set of common core principles of empowering families to be safe and healthy, valuing family preservation, and understanding the effects of developmental trauma on the child and family. The dedication and courage of DCF staff to do their work in partnership with HCRS is a model of the best in what people can do when they come together to help children, youth, and families in their community.
The second Community Partnership Award was presented to The Richards Group. Over the years, the Richards Group has provided HCRS with the expertise needed to navigate the highly regulated and increasingly complex benefits environment to ensure that we continue to offer one of the best benefit packages in Vermont for our employees. With a reputation for innovation, The Richards Group has been an invaluable partner in helping us to strategically respond to the complexity of the Affordable Care Act, evaluate our staff retirement savings plan, and provide effective leadership training to managers. The Richards Group works closely with our human resources staff and shares our belief that providing a great benefits package is an important part of ensuring the health and financial well-being of employees and their families. Ben Taggard, a partner at The Richards Group, was very instrumental in bringing the Kindle Farm School into HCRS. As a member of the Kindle Farm Board, Ben understood that Kindle Farm needed to collaborate with a larger entity in order to survive and flourish. More importantly, Taggard saw the potential for significant synergy between Kindle Farm and HCRS. As a result, that partnership was forged and it continues to thrive.
HCRS has enjoyed many effective collaborations with individuals and organizations in the community. These partnerships evolve recognizing the unique qualities and strengths of each partner. George Karabakakis presented both organizations with a plaque in honor of this year’s community partnership awards.