Vermont lawmakers consider next steps in Kurn Hattin abuse case


MONTPELIER, Vermont (WCAX) – Vermont lawmakers are seeking new protections for children following an investigation into allegations of systemic abuse at a Westminster residential school.

Lawmakers this spring heard details of decades of alleged abuse at Kurn Hattin Homes for Children. The state launched an independent investigation into the allegations and determined that the school could retain its license as an approved independent school.

Lawmakers and lawyers for some of the survivors say policies around mandatory reporting and background checks need to be reconsidered. “The findings and recommendations will hopefully bring about further changes that need to happen in homes and set a precedent for other schools that are both educational and residential homes,” said Kimberly Dougherty of the Justice group. Law Collaborative based in Massachusetts.

The state is currently reviewing background check procedures and will review reporting practices in the spring. Children’s advocacy groups say they are also setting up a survivor support group similar to survivors at Saint Joseph Orphanage in Burlington.

Related stories:

New law could empower more survivors of St. Joseph’s Orphanage to sue, but obstacles remain

Westminster Boarding School will face ongoing compliance checks following allegations of abuse

Vermont bill would end time limit for civilian physical abuse

Vermont lawmakers consider reforms following allegations of abuse at Westminster residential school

Westminster nonprofit to investigate decades-old child abuse allegations

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