Catholic Charities Child & Family Services

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Catholic Charities Child & Family Services

Using Text Messages with Clients/Parents/Guardians

Can we use text messages when communicating with clients?  

It is generally accepted that the use of texting with clients is too unreliable and too risky to be considered a safe method of communicating with clients.  Yet, we know that sometimes, the use of a text message may be the best way to confirm an appointment, communicate a change of location for an appointment or other logistical information.  The Joint Commission’s recommendation is that texting to confirm appointments or similar communication is acceptable, but using text messages for other communication is too unreliable to promote quality and safety in the provision of care, treatment, and services.  Our policy was recently revised to address the limited use of text messages with clients. The consent used for clients to indicate the preferred method(s) of communication has been updated to include the limited use of text messages. 

 Protected Health Information as defined by HIPAA should never be communicated using text messages unless the text message is encrypted both in transit and at rest.  The list of 18 identifiers is below as a reminder about the types of information that is considered protected and that could be used to identify a client.  

Please check with your supervisor if you have questions about the use of text messages with clients in your program.  

HIPAA 18 client identifiers:

  1. Names
  2. Addresses (including CFS’s address if CFS constitutes the client’s “home”.)
  3. Telephone numbers
  4. Fax numbers
  5. E-mail addresses
  6. Social Security numbers
  7. Medical record numbers
  8. Health plan beneficiary numbers
  9. Any and all account numbers
  10. Any certificate/license numbers
  11. All elements of dates, with the exception of the year, including the birth date, admission dates, discharge dates, date of death (all elements of date, including year, must be removed for individuals over the age of 89)
  12. Vehicle identifiers
  13. Device identifiers
  14. Web Universal resource locators (URLs)
  15. Internet protocol (IP) address numbers
  16. Biometric identifiers, including finger and voice prints (identifiers such as age, race, gender, and ethnicity do not have to be removed; however if the identifier is so unique to the resident that it could reasonably be used to identify the resident, then the identifier should be removed.)
  17. Full face photo image(s), if any
  18. Any other unique identifying number or code

Please click for the complete policy.


Training for Residential Direct Care Staff

On Wednesday, June 10, from 1 – 2 PM there will be a training for residential direct care staff entitled Responding to Sexualized Behaviors in the Milieu, presented by Dr. Eric Lane.  This training is specifically for residential staff who have direct contact with children, including unit, health services, operations and volunteers services staff.  All other staff who attend the Residential All Staff meeting from 12 – 1 on that day are welcome to stay for the training. 
The training will take place in the SVV-Dulaney Valley In-Service Room.  It will also be videotaped and placed on Relias for staff who are unable to attend the live presentation. 
Thank you.
Jon Hackbarth
Chairperson, Staff Development and Training Committee

Reframing Stress  

When I realized that I needed to write about this topic my own stress level shot off the roof.  I thought what do I say that most of us don’t already know? 

So I decided it was not about convincing anyone or stating the obvious but more about catching your attention and asking you to consider how you deal with your own stress.  We tell our clients all the time about the toll stress takes on one’s life, both emotionally and physically, but do we take the time to look at how we handle our own stress?  We tell our clients to take some time for themselves, go for a walk, listen to music, do physical exercise, but do we follow this advice for ourselves?  

Most people would say that stress happens and we just have to deal with it. But sometimes we have to take responsibility for our own stress and look at how we can change things around us.  Whether we realize it or not, we do have control over our how we respond to stress and understanding that is the key to successful stress management.  Instead of just complaining or fretting about a situation, do something positive about it.   Sometimes we have to make choices that may be difficult, but if it results in a positive outcome then there is nothing more to stress over. We may need to make some changes in our environment. Whatever the source of the stress, we need to look it in the eye and figure out a way that we change what we do, what we think, or how we feel about it.  That is what reframing is all about. 

In our efforts to become a fully Trauma Informed Care agency it is important that we recognize the resiliency is those we serve and in ourselves.  The words of Tonier Cain in the Healing Neen video, “Where there’s breath there is hope,” remind us that all things are possible, even reframing stress!

Bev Butler
Trauma Informed Care Committee



Villa Maria School Art Show and Spring Concerts

art show flyer 2015



Stream Restoration Project Beginning Near Villa Maria School – Dulaney Valley

 Environmental Quality Resources LLC has begun a stream restoration project near the Villa Maria School at Dulaney Valley.  The project will last about six months and will primarily take place behind the softball fields, across from the school.  Currently, there is a section of land that is fenced off towards the tree line near Dulaney Valley Road.  This area is going to be mulched and will serve as the service entrance for all heavy machinery.  At times, there may be service vehicles on or near our drive. 
Prior to starting the project, John Steuernagle, and recently, Dan Plakosh, spoke with the Project Manager about our school and the population which we serve.  The company has agreed to manage their tools and machinery to ensure there will be little risk to the children. 
Steve Branson

Serving at My Sister’s Place 

Last Thursday the “Missionettes” added an extra evening  at My Sister’s Place as it was the anniversary of Mission Integration Month.  This was very timely due to the issues in the city which had been impacting the delivery of meals to some of the groups.   The group included Maria, Lauren, Mikael and Kathy from Volunteer Services,  Wayne Marley, Bev Butler,  Terry Lawler and Barbara Johnson.  Nicole Gorski also joined us from the Volunteer Service Department. The meal was fantastic and included Honey Baked Ham, potato salad, green beans and homemade cookies.   Thanks to Chef  Averille  for cooking the hams for us.    The entire meal was funded and supported by an internal  staff member who wanted to do his part in serving one person at a time.   

Our next meal is May 21 and the health services will be the sponsor.
Andrea, Deniese, Kim

Residential Update

April 28, 2015

First of all, my thoughts and prayers are with all of our staff and their family and friends who are impacted by the recent events in Baltimore City.  Thank you for providing consistency and predictability to the children and support to them and their families. 

While we are in the midst of a lot of change, it is very apparent that staff continue to live the mission by providing high quality care and treatment to children and families in a safe, family-focused, strengths-based and therapeutic manner. At the recent Sojourner closing ceremony, I was profoundly touched by the depth of love that the children were able to express toward their staff and vice versa and the gratitude the children felt toward the staff for hanging in there with them through the tough times.  It was quite powerful and the staff used the unit closure as an opportunity for a therapeutic and healing experience for children who have a long history of painful separations and losses. 

The next Quarterly All Staff meetings will take place on Saturday, June 6th (2:15p.m. to 3:15p.m.) and Wednesday, June 10th (Noon to 2:00p.m. and 9:00p.m. to 10:00p.m.).  All of the meetings will take place in our Dulaney Valley building.  Since the residential program will no longer be located there after August, I thought it was appropriate we hold the last ones there.  Our Blood Drive will also be held on Wednesday, June 10th from 11:00a.m. to 4:30p.m. in the PS gym. We hope staff will make an effort to give blood either right before or after the staff meeting.

The Planning Committee for the Dulaney Valley Closing Ceremony is working hard on planning a special and memorable closing event for current and former staff.  Just a reminder: It will take place on Friday, August 28th from 1:00p.m. to 4:00p.m.  It will include a celebration/prayer service with reflections in the chapel followed by a group picture, refreshments, and a special memento for attendees to take with them. 

In our continuing efforts to keep you informed and address staff questions and concerns, below are a few more answers to the questions that have come up recently.

Has the timeframe for the consolidation changed?  No.  The plan remains the same.  Nazareth will be closing by the end of June and Gonzaga will close and Ambrose move to Pot Spring by the end of August.  Genesis will move into the Nazareth space by July 1.  The name of the one diagnostic unit will be Genesis.

Just to reiterate what was shared a few weeks ago, the DV campus will remain open at least one more year for the following purposes only:

  1. 1.Operation of the kitchen by Culinary Services Group
  2. 2.Placement of several school offices (due to unavailability of space in the school).
  3. 3.Use of the gym and pool. 

What is the status of the rate increases for RTC 1’s, 2’s and Sr. RTC’s?  As was mentioned back in February, the plan is for the rate increases for this group of staff to go into effect at the beginning of July.  At the time this change occurs, we will make the adjustments to those RTC staff who will receive an increase.  These individuals will receive a letter in June with their new rate.  It will also be at this point we will begin hiring a limited number of staff who are non-degreed and transition all RTC staff from Exempt to Non-Exempt.  The Agency’s Human Resources Department is continuing their process of evaluating the salaries all of the positions within the organization. 

What is the status of the bedroom renovation project? We recently finalized the plan for the project with the Interior Decorator/Donor, Joe Fava.  All 77 bedrooms will be painted (with a variety of rich colors—likely 3 different colored bedrooms in each unit) and have new, matching (Velcro) window treatments, rugs and bedding.  It is understood there will be some children who will not be able to have the Velcro window treatments or rugs in their respective rooms due to health and safety concerns.  The large magnetic boards will be removed and walls patched and painted over.  We will begin with the current Genesis (future Ambrose) space after the unit closes at the end of June and before it reopens at the end of August/beginning of September.  We will then wait a month or so to see how it all works and if there is anything we want to change before we proceed with the other units.  This is a very exciting project and one we know will be special for the kids.

Please continue to share questions/concerns with me, Mike, Ray or your supervisor. 

Stay safe.

Thank you.



BCARS Receives Generous Donation from the Chesapeake Detention Center

The BCARS team was invited to the Chesapeake Detention Center in Baltimore this past week to receive some gifts.  These gifts were the result of a fundraiser the staff at the jail held for Victims Awareness Week, as well as the efforts of the female inmates who knitted baby booties, hats, headbands and purses.  They had decided to give the proceeds from their efforts to BCARS as an acknowledgement of the wonderful work that they do.  Pictured from left to right are Jen Baskette and Janet Herilla from BCARS, as well as Renee Alexander, the Assistant Warden at the Chesapeake Center.   You can see many of the items that the inmates created lying on the table. 

This experience offers a reminder that many of the children and families we work with are impacted by someone in their family being in prison.  I have had so many experiences through my career visiting jails and interacting with prisoners for a variety of reasons, and each time I do this I walk away with a reminder that each prisoner is someone’s child, someone’s brother or sister, and frequently someone’s mother or father.  Certainly there are victims associated with many of the crimes for which they are in prison, but it is not only the victims impacted by these poor decisions – the prisoner’s family is impacted as well.    The fact is that most times I have walked away with the thinking that the person that I was interacting with is a bright person with a lot of positive potential, who unfortunately made some very bad decisions.  The gifts presented to us are a reminder of this potential. 

Thanks to the staff and inmates of Chesapeake Detention Center. 

Kevin M. Keegan
Division Director





Catholic Charities Mission in Action Award Winners

Congratulations to all of the Catholic Charities Mission in Action Award Winners from last night’s Annual Dinner.  We are so excited that two of our division staff received this award.  Congratulations to Darnel Bias and Suzie Templeton - well deserved recognition. 

Kevin M. Keegan
Division Director




Catholic Charities has a unique opportunity to work as a part of the BCARS Management Team.  BCARS, a Crisis Program for Children and Adolescents provides short term, intensive behavioral health services to youth residing in Baltimore City.  Services are provided in the Urgent Care Clinic located in Federal Hill and in the community at individual’s schools, home or other identified locations.  As a Program Supervisor for BCARS you will assist in managing the daily operations of the program and provide direct supervision to 4 licensed mental health professionals and 2 behavioral specialists.  The staff you supervise respond to behavioral health crisis within Baltimore City and have an identified goal of reducing the number of emergency department visits, stabilize placements and improve the behavioral health needs of Baltimore City youth. 
In addition to the direct supervision of staff you have the opportunity to develop and train staff regarding clinical interventions that can be implemented with the identified population.  You will work closely with the Associate Administrator to ensure the program maintains compliance with program grants, COMAR and program goals. As a member of the management team you will participate in the on call rotation providing after hours phone support.
Applicants must be an LCSW-C with three years of previous clinical experience in an outpatient mental health clinic, residential treatment or related mental health services program; it is preferred that applicants have 2 years experience providing direct supervision to clinical staff or to social work interns.
Please pass this along to your friends and colleagues.

Spring Has Sprung at St. Vincent’s Villa 

The children and staff at St. Vincent’s Villa have been very busy with many activities these past few months.  We have seen the Knights of Columbus sponsor a pizza lunch and basketball shootout, as well as the Jacksonville Optimist Club’s very popular Bingo game for both campuses.  The Sports Groups have been well attended during the weekends and the as the Spring Break week came upon us, we were treated to so many different activities and events.  The Embassy Suites and Superior Tour Bus Company sponsored a very lovely Breakfast with the Easter Bunny, complete with arts and crafts and a scrumptious brunch.  We were transported to the event (downtown at the Historic Venue) by the tour busses that were fully equipped with movies and music and plush seats.  Each child received a specially made basket upon heading back to the campus and everyone who attended raved about the food, the fun and the morning’s activities. 
On Easter Saturday volunteers came to Pot Spring to invite both campuses to the annual Easter Egg Hunt held in the courtyard outside of the art room and prior to the hunt, the volunteers supplied the children with bunny bags that were part of the arts and crafts prior to the hunt.  Everyone was surprised and delighted to see the Easter Bunny once again and pictures were taken on the lawn with the bunny and the children. 
Easter Sunday dawned with a special chapel service that was held in the  Dulaney Valley chapel with both campuses in attendance.  Immediately following the service, a delicious Easter brunch was served in the Children’s Dining room at Dulaney Valley (which had been decorated in spring colors and at each place setting were Easter favors supplied by Immaculate Heart of Mary students).  The final event of the Spring season (as well as my final event prior to retirement) was the annual Earth Day sponsored by our Service Learners at Stevenson University.  The event had the classic arts and crafts depicting the earth day events, as well as planting flowers, and the ultimate treat of edible dirt pies, complete with bug juice and gummy worms! 
It has been a fun-filled nine years here at the Villa and I will miss the children very much, but I am on to a new adventure in Colorado with my one month old grandson!
Mary Lee
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Current Forecast
Mon, 25 May 2015 7:49 pm EDT
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Low: 62°F
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 26 May 2015
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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