This op-ed was originally published at

As a new father, I see an innocent and optimistic little girl striving to absorb the world around her. My wife and I returned to Vermont to raise a family, and because I love this state where I grew up. I am excited for my daughter to experience the uniqueness that characterizes Vermonters as resilient, creative and pragmatic.

We hold values here that I found wanting in other parts of the country such as integrity, openness and community. I came back because I wanted this “village” to help raise my child.

However, as a social worker and non profit administrator, I am genuinely concerned for the community in which my daughter will grow up. I see brutal child abuse and heart-breaking neglect and I am frustrated by the bureaucracy intended to protect them. I am concerned for Vermont’s children.

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