Catholic Charities Child & Family Services

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Catholic Charities Child & Family Services

October 1, 2015

As we enter into a new organizational structure where the former Child & Family Services Division joins with Gallagher Services, we are all now a part of the Family Services Division. I wanted to take a moment of your time to express my excitement about this change and offer a few thoughts. As the Division Director for the Family Services Division, I am looking forward to meeting many new people and learning many new things as I take on the responsibility of Gallagher Services.

I have worked on the Timonium campus in a variety of capacities over the past 30 years, from a volunteer, to unit director, and now as Division Director. It is exciting for me to think that all of our programs located on the campus will be part of the same division. I believe that there are opportunities for partnerships that we have not seen in the past. That being said, in the short-term I don’t think anyone will see or feel anything terribly different. Over the coming year, we will look at our programs and identify areas where we can work more closely together; but there is no need to rush this given the high quality of programming that we are currently providing across the entire division.

I offer my congratulations to Kathy Clemente as she takes on her new leadership role with Gallagher Services, and I know that everyone shares my excitement for her. For our Gallagher staff, you will also begin to see me around more frequently. Over the past month, I have had a chance to visit many of Gallagher’s programs, as I have visited homes in the Southern region and some of the central region. In coming weeks, I look forward to more chances to see the remaining homes and regions, and meet many more people.

I was originally hoping to hold a picnic this Friday to bring all of our Timonium Campus people together, but given that there was just a picnic honoring Mark Schulz for his many years of leadership at Gallagher, the timing for that was not great. As the holidays near, we will look for an opportunity to bring everyone together, and we will look towards the Spring to host a cookout at the Gallagher pavilion.


Kevin Keegan

Director, Child and Family Services Division

Catholic Charities of Baltimore


Real Men Get Their FLU Shots!



 Staff Delroy, Khalid & Greg received their flu shots at the All Staff Meeting earlier today.


Anne H. Ober, RN, MSN

Director of Health Services | Nursing

Child and Family Services Division | Catholic Charities of Baltimore


Benefits of the FLU Vaccination

  • Flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick from flu. Protecting yourself from flu also protects the people around you who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness.
  • Flu vaccination can help protect people who are at greater risk of getting seriously ill from flu, like older adults, people with chronic health conditions and young children (especially infants younger than 6 months old who are too young to get vaccinated). 
  • Flu vaccination also may make your illness milder if you do get sick. 
  • Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of more serious flu outcomes, like hospitalizations. 
  • A recent study* showed that flu vaccine reduced children’s risk of flu-related pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) admission by 74% during flu seasons from 2010-2012.
  • One study showed that flu vaccination was associated with a 71% reduction in flu-related hospitalizations among adults of all ages and a 77% reduction among adults 50 years of age and older during the 2011-2012 flu season. 
  • Flu vaccination is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions. Vaccination was associated with lower rates of some cardiac events among people with heart disease, especially among those who had had a cardiac event in the past year. Flu vaccination also has been shown to be associated with reduced hospitalizations among people with diabetes (79%) and chronic lung disease (52%).
  • Vaccination helps protect women during pregnancy and their babies for up to 6 months after they are born. One study showed that giving flu vaccine to pregnant women was 92% effective in preventing hospitalization of infants for flu.
  • Other studies have shown that vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-related hospitalizations in older adults. A study that looked at flu vaccine effectiveness over the course of three flu seasons estimated that flu vaccination lowered the risk of hospitalizations by 61% in people 50 years of age and older.

*References for the studies listed above can be found at the CDC's Publications on Influenza Vaccine Benefits. Also see the What are the Benefits of Flu Vaccination?[264 KB, 2 pages] fact sheet.

Submitted By: Anne H. Ober, RN, MSN

Director of Health Services | Nursing

Child and Family Services Division | Catholic Charities of Baltimore











September 30th & October 1st 


If you receive the vaccination elsewhere, please forward your information to Anne Ober. SVV child clients are required to be vaccinated. The more staff vaccinated the safer we all are.

EXCEPTION: Your health care provider provides a note evidencing you have a medical contra-indication to the vaccine. If that happens, please share a copy of your health care provider’s letter with Anne Ober or Terry Lawler.

PLEASE NOTE:  Medical contraindication to influenza vaccination is rare. Most health care providers want people of every age greater than 6 months old to be vaccinated; including pregnant or nursing mothers and immune compromised individuals. Check with your provider if you fit one of those categories. (We use Fluzone Quadrivalent IM). Inability to tolerate trace amounts of a preservative called thimerosal is rare. However, single dose preservative free vaccines exist.

See your personal health care provider or pharmacist if you think you need (or prefer) preservative free vaccine. Shots given to staff to protect them from influenza have killed virus. YOU CANNOT GET FLU FROM THE VACCINE.  The vaccine is not 100% effective. You can get a case of flu even if you are vaccinated. Evidence shows the case is usually milder/less life threatening because you were vaccinated.

NOTICE:  Staff who elect not to get vaccinated and could be vaccinated, will be mandated to further educate themselves about influenza. Those staff will be required to take a RELIAS education course during the month of November 2015.


Submitted by:

Anne H. Ober, RN, MSN Director of Health Services | Nursing

Child and Family Services Division | Catholic Charities of Baltimore


Residential Programs Demonstrate Continue Behavioral Intervention Success 

In the last Behavioral Intervention Supports (BIS) meeting, committee members reviewed the hold numbers for the residential programs and had a productive discussion about the recent consolidation.  This was followed by a discussion with representatives from the Building Supervisor and Behavior Specialists group.  The result of the discussions demonstrated the level of team work and dedication shown by the staff.  During a time of intense change, it would seem that our restraint numbers would increase.  Instead, we saw a significant decrease in restraints.   Why?  Many felt that by consolidating our programs into one building, we were able to combine and focus our resources.  Several people spoke of how the units have been able to predict and identify many concerns before they came to pass.  For example, staff were able to use their knowledge and relationships with the kids to work in a proactive way to interrupt the crisis cycle.  Behavior specialists spoke of the teamwork of the units and how they have been able to utilize their skills differently, from proactive placements to being able to divide themselves between the same units.  The BIS committee would like to recognize all of the staff from both the residential and school programs for their hard work and dedication to the kids during this time of consolidation.

Villa Maria School

Volunteering with Energy and Enthusiasm

Over the past year, various groups of Child & Family Services staff have been serving dinner at My Sister’s Place.  I thought that Aggie Callahan’s reflection of last night’s team, from Villa Maria School, really captured the energy and  enthusiasm that I have seen each time we visit. 


Last night was truly enjoyable! Everyone went right to work and the smiles and laughter never stopped. I would like to share a few things I learned about my colleagues:

Ann and Dan - You two are the hardest working people I know! And Ann is dangerous with a frying pan in her hand (ask Jack!). You also make a great team!

Ron- You run a smooth lemonade cart!

Sharon- You jump in wherever you're needed (just like you do at VMS every day!)

Sue - You are wise..."just throw it all in the pot, it will be fine!" And you were right ;)

Stuart and Judy - For two people who don't know their way around the make a mean orange sauce!

Carol- Always looking out for everyone, you kept the dining room looking nice and made sure the ladies had what they needed :) thanks for keeping us all hydrated and for bringing Larry, it was a pleasure to meet him!

Ida- You seemed right at you work in a kitchen often ;) Must be all those years at the Maura Pre-Voc Center??

Brenda- It was no surprise but you can really work a room! You made sure each and every woman had a clean place prepared and that they didn't have to wait for their meal :) I know they appreciated your warmth and your smile.

Melissa- I have never seen anyone sport a chef hat with more style! You are also a great 'supervisor'...but I already knew that ;)

Jack- Your quick reflexes saved your life! (Refer back to my earlier comment about Ann and the frying pan)

Andrea and Deniese- You truly are 'Missionettes'!! Thank you for all you do to make these meals happen. So many women commented last night about how good the meal was! It was really special and the extra thought and care you put into planning it was appreciated :)

It was a pleasure serving with you all and I feel blessed to be part of such an amazing team!

- Aggie


Kevin Keegan

Director, Child and Family Services Division

Catholic Charities of Baltimore









Sense of Purpose and Meaning 

This article is part of a series of articles related to Trauma Informed Care – a treatment framework that involves recognizing and responding to the effects of trauma. Most of the children, youth, adults and families that we treat have been significantly impacted by some sort of trauma in their lives. 
The good news is that many people find healthy ways to cope with, respond to, and heal from trauma.  An essential role of our treatment staff is to help our clients find purpose and personal meaning in their lives, an integral part of the healing process. A clear purpose and direction can help restructure difficult crises into opportunities for growth and make trauma far less devastating. 
Development of a sense of purpose and meaning is a resilient response to trauma.  Personal traits that help to promote this response include: 
  • Positive self-concept
  • Sense of self-control
  • Relationship-building skills
  • Emotional regulation skills, and
  • Problem-solving skills 
These are skill areas that we typically try to help our clients develop.    When successful, over time and with help from supportive people, a sense of purpose and meaning will ultimately result and the experience of trauma can be successfully navigated.


The BCARS team took a night off and celebrated the upcoming wedding of Anne Malia.  The team stepped outside the box and participated in a Paint Nite activity.  The evening was fun, relaxing and a great way to decompress after a busy week of work.  Coming together as a team outside of the office leads towards  success and a positive climate inside the office.  Best Wishes to Anne on the next chapter of her life.

Janet Herilla, LCSW-C
Associate Administrator
Center for Family Services





Inspiration in Action

I wanted to take a moment to share with everyone some feedback from a family who received services in one of our units at St. Vincent’s Villa, and then with our in-home services team to support a successful return to home.  I am filled with pride when I see this type of feedback.  While Patricia is the focus of this letter, and I am so appreciative for her dedication, it reminds me of all of the work that happens every day across all of our programs.  Thanks to everyone for your commitment to our families and the life-changing work that you do, as is so well described in this letter. 

     I wanted to take the time to share with you our work with Ms. Rose.  It is so important for you to know, because we have changed in such positive ways because of her.  She came to our family after our son was first discharged from St. Vincent’s Villa. We found out that an in-home worker would be coming to our house twice a week for 30 to 45 minutes.  I immediately thought, "What can get accomplished in 30 minutes?"   Well, I found out that A LOT can be done in that short amount of time when Ms. Pat Rose is your worker, and she stayed for as long as was needed. I never felt that she cut the visit short when work needed to be done.
     You see, I am a LCSW-C and I have been my son's case manager since he has been 4 years old. I have experienced the few services available to insured families that just were not helpful and the workers were not experienced. I have observed dozens of therapists and social workers that did not have the skill set to work with the complications of a child that has chronic emotional and behavioral issues, plus learning disorders, and who has been hospitalized numerous times, in multiple types of schools, and the family's trauma associated with that. 
     After an excruciating year of hospitalizations and extreme behaviors, we decided that residential was necessary for us to survive.  We watched how he grew, learned coping skills, and became very stable in that setting.  We were so nervous for him to return home.  We soon found out that we had Ms. Rose's clinical support to get to the next level of stability. She came twice a week and built relationships with the 3 children and my husband and me.  She observed the dynamics of the children and our parenting.  She showed my husband and me parenting skills for our 3 very rowdy boys.  We worked on behaviors and consequences and how to have strong boundaries and expectations with the children.  Over the years of our son's explosive behaviors, violent behaviors, and being out of control.....the other kids were also hard to control.  She taught our family rules of behavior and how to manage our household.  We were so disorganized from all of the struggles with our son that we just felt overwhelmed and out of control with all of the children.  Ms. Rose helped every one of us with being a part of a healthy, functioning family.
     I was so scared when our time was coming to a close.  I didn't feel ready to do this on our own. Her weekly visits helped keep us in a direction and reminded me and my husband how to keep his behavior under control.  She had many talks with him when he was showing old behaviors and these talks would get our son redirected and using his newly learned coping skills from Mercy.  
     Now, as the summer is ending......I am feeling capable and ready. We all feel that our house is running much smoother, that my husband and I are the authority, and that our kids are listening much better.  Our family is just healthier and happier. We greatly appreciate that Catholic Charities extended their services a bit longer.   We are feeling strong in our skills, our family feels organized and under control, all of our kids have developed patience, and more respect for us. These are all due to Ms. Rose's exceptional work with our family.   She is an extraordinary worker and person in general. We will be forever thankful to Catholic Charities and her work. 

I hope everyone was as touched by this message as I was. 

Kevin Keegan
Director, Child and Family Services Division
Catholic Charities of Baltimore






A New Era

August 28, 2015 marked the beginning of a new era for Catholic Charities, when our children’s residential services were consolidated to one building on Pot Spring Road, and the facility at Dulaney Valley closed. As the world changes, the services we offer change with it.

“There’s been a huge shift in the child serving system,” said Kevin Keegan, the Director of Family Services. “Now we treat far more children and families in their homes, schools and communities than we do in the residence. By providing services where the families are helps to remove barriers, like transportation and missing work or school to get to appointments, allowing more children to safely remain at home."

The Dulaney Valley building and pool will remain open. The kitchen, gym, and some of the offices will continue to be used until a longer term plan is established for the building use. “Our countless fond memories of our children and staff will last forever, but the brick and mortar will eventually change,” said Keegan.

The transition we are going through, and the closing of this building, is all about preserving the good work that we do, and making sure that we are here to provide the highest-quality residential services well into the future. 

Kevin Keegan

Director, Family Services Division

Catholic Charities of Baltimore


Villa Slide Show  


Villa Talent Show





Villa Maria School News

Villa Maria School has begun another school year.   Our Dulaney Valley and Harford Schools – and our Diagnostic program – all welcomed students back to their classrooms today (August 26th).   Please join me in wishing our school staff – and all those who support them – the very best for a great 2015-16 school year!
A few updates:
We are really pleased that the Consolidation of our Pot Spring and Dulaney Valley schools has gone so well.   Except for a few building related tasks, we are essentially complete.   Many thanks to the school staff and to our Maintenance, Housekeeping and IT colleagues for helping to make this happen so well.
I am pleased to announce that we just received final approval from MSDE for our newly consolidated school to now serve Nursery School through 9th grade and to do so for both special education and general education students.   This “dual accreditation” will allow us to serve children who come to us (residential and partnership, primarily) who may not be considered full time special education students in that they are able to be provided “general education curriculum” for some subjects   This change occurs as a result of many of our Dulaney Valley teachers either having or now being willing to secure general education teaching certificates.
Also, yesterday, I announced to the school staff that Aggie Callahan’s title has changed from School Placement Supervisor to Assistant Director of Education.   Aggie’s essential job duties are unchanged. She will continue to manage school placement issues but she will as Assistant Director serve as Administrator in charge in my absence.   That title will also make it easier for her to represent us, as she does so well, to the LSSs that we serve and in her new role as member of the Board of Directors of MANSEF.   This position, not to be confused with the Associate Director position which we had to eliminate, is a Principal level position.  I also thank Aggie for serving as the Interim Principal at Harford County these past two months. Congratulations and thanks to Aggie!
Yesterday, we also celebrated 30 years of service to Villa Maria School and Catholic Charities by Ida Collins.   Ida came to VMS as our Art Teacher in 1985 and by 1990 moved into her current role as the Coordinator of our Pre-Vocational Center.   You all know that Ida tirelessly provides a wonderfully unique set of experiences for our children – and she has touched the lives of countless staff and volunteers who have worked with her over these past 30 years.   Ida Collins is a true Villa Maria treasure.   Congratulations to Ida!!
Finally, on September 8th, we will be welcoming Gary Vosburg, our new Principal for Villa Maria School of Harford County, and LaRon Martin, our new Assistant Principal for VMS at Dulaney Valley.   LaRon, besides joining Brenda, Dan, Melissa and Sharon, as members of Dulaney Valley’s management team, will also serve as our overall coordinator for PARCC testing.   We look forward to welcoming Gary and LaRon to our Villa Maria School family.
Best Wishes to all for a great school year.
Jack Pumphrey
Administrator / Director of Education
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Current Forecast
Mon, 05 Oct 2015 9:52 am EDT
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High: 65°F
Low: 46°F
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Child & Family Services

Our Vision:
Catholic Charities Child and Family Services will be a National model of a fully-integrated system of innovative, effective, state-of-the-art programs that assists children, adults and families to achieve their full potential.

Our Mission:
Catholic Charities Child and Family Services provides an integrated, state-of-the-art, comprehensive system of care that includes: child welfare; delinquency diversion; behavioral health; special education; and early-childhood and family-development services that assist children, adults and families to achieve their full potential.

Our Values:
Respect Partnership Knowledge Excellence Diversity Data-driven
Cherishing the Divine Within