Catholic Charities Child & Family Services

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Catholic Charities Child & Family Services

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

Telepsychiatry Kick-off a Big Success in Anne Arundel County

Starting Tuesday, April 7, students that are seen by the VMCR therapist at Glenwood Elementary School in AA county can also have their monthly psychiatry appointment without leaving the school.  Pictured above is Melanie Wells, PMHNP-BC (left) who is providing the medication management sessions while stationed at our Millersville Clinic, supported by Sarah Rojas, office manager (standing) and Danielle Lafleur (on computer screen).  Danielle assists children and parents in a room equipped with technology that allows both the family and the doctor to see and hear each other. 
Telepsychiatry is a is a growing and researched practice that will result in greater access to psychiatry services for underserved populations, as well as less school and work time missed by children and parents who need these services.  Congratulations to the team at Millersville led by Dane Juliano, LCPC and Roberta Wasserman, LCSW-C,  and to the school team at Glenwood who were amenable to putting these innovations into their school.

The “Missionetts” Have a Calling For You

This month is the second anniversary of  Mission Awareness month  at Catholic Charities.  The theme is  “to serve”   and the Missionettes are trying to  spark interest in doing just that!  

My Sister’s Place has another available date for serving food - Thursday, April 30th .  You do not have to be a team or a group to help this evening - just yourself.     One person at a time is the motto.  

We need about 10 people who will help with the dinner and the task will require baking some cookies of your choice, bringing a loaf of Italian bread  and assisting with the serving of the meal.   We pay your parking so if your spirit moves you, let me know ASAP.   My e-mail is This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Andrea Commarata of “The Missionettes”

The Value and Importance of Promoting a Culture and a Language of Hope in a Trauma-Informed Environment of Care 

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”
Albert Camus
Research Literature in the Mental Health field suggests that both the services that are offered and the language that we use to convey messages of hope and optimism to our clients matter. Both language and services can make significant and life-affirming contributions to actively support and encourage one’s recovery endeavors by embedding and communicating tenets of hope, optimism, potentiality, choice, self-determination, and self-efficacy within the context of service delivery. Thus, all staff may contribute to an environment of recovery and resilience by offering our consumers respectful, person-centered relationships, practices, and services that inspire hope and optimism, and even more so in a trauma-informed environment of care by incorporating our mission in action in our daily practices; i.e., our core value of “cherishing the divine within all.”  
The language of hope and optimism in a trauma informed environment is conveyed by ensuring that the persons whom we serve are treated as full participants in the client’s treatment process while ensuring that they feel valued, important, welcomed, and safe.
In short, the vehicle that we use to convey the language of hope and optimism in a trauma informed environment is reflected in six major areas: 1) Values and Attitudes, 2) Knowledge, 3) Skills and Behaviors, 4) Resilience and Recovery-oriented Practice, 5) Recovery-oriented Leadership, and 6) Opportunities.

Undergraduate Interns Are Available This Summer or Fall

Volunteer Services is currently receiving undergraduate internship applications for Summer and Fall 2015.  We have a host of students who are excited to serve with Child & Family Services, and we are already starting to interview candidates and look for suitable placements.  If you or someone you work with could use any undergraduate interns or are willing to supervise during either period, we would appreciate if you could fill out this short, three minute survey notifying us of any internship opportunities in your program (in fact, if you can’t use any undergrad interns or aren’t sure yet, letting us know via the survey would be helpful, too).  These students tend to be studying Mental Health, Psychology, or Human Services.

Thanks.  Please don’t hesitate to contact volunteer coordinator Mikael Kristiansen This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with any questions.

LEAD Academy Reflection: February 2015 

I have to apologize for a rather lengthy reflection, some persons (and I would not be pointing any fingers) thought it prudent to cram a whole morning of Legislative Session Briefing, an afternoon of deep-spirit-provoking Leadership Guidance with Father Ray, a post-afternoon 360 Leadership Assessment Analysis with LaNae Croxton and an actual hour of “Happy” at the Middleton Tavern, all into one very short day.

Lesson learnt: Much can be accomplished in a very short day if Jack Pumphrey and Kevin Keegan have anything to do with it. 

I learnt some pivotal things about the human spirit—it carries a level of power and is a force to be reckoned with:

  • People perform tasks with a certain spirit and the spirit that they bear has an impact on others.
  • The spirit that an individual carries is a contagious force that has the power to infect, uplift,    deflect, transmit, or alienate.
  • There is diversity in spirit.
  • The spirit a leader carries holds the potential to impact followers positively or negatively.

So the question I cast back is why can’t we all bring our best spirit to work and infect all those around us with our positivity and absorb some of their positive vibes too, while contaminating any negativity that dares to lurk around with the sheer force of our combined positive spirits?

Other types of spirits lurking in the workplace include:

  • Spirit of Confusion—constant befuddlement—co-workers can’t rely on you
  • Spirit of Stress—constant complaining—co-workers get tired of hearing you complain
  • Uncommunicative Spirit—being unapproachable (please take those ear-buds off)
  • Spirit of Despair—constant unhappiness- you make others around you feel gloomy—because you zap their energy from them!

We know that all around us people are going through stuff. Their personal lives sometimes spill over to the workplace and they may be bearing a spirit of sadness, anxiety, anger, resentment or I-don’t-want-to-bothered. Surely this affects the manner in which they communicate with others and how they perform their duties. Sometimes they may not have life stressors happening, they simply don’t smile unless there is an obvious reason to. I am guilty of that, and I use flip epithets like, “I don’t have a smiling face or it does not mean I am sad if I am frowning,” to excuse myself. But knowing what I now know, I will leave my frown behind in the parking lot. If you catch me smiling at you in the hallway or clapping extra hard in a gathering, it is because the spirit I have chosen to bear henceforth is a cheerful, positive one and I intend to infect as many people as I can with it.

I have long been a member of the Catholic Charities Legislative Education Group (LEG) and so it was with great excitement that I welcomed the news that the sixth gathering of the class of 2015 LEAD Fellows on Friday, February 6th, 2015 would begin with attendance at the Catholic Charities Day in Annapolis. I knew deep inside me that it would be a wonderful opportunity to witness some of what goes on during the 90 days of Legislative sessions in Maryland. I imagined that we would hear from the programs on the impact of the laws on their clients and then some clients would come forward and testify, and their stories would be more compelling than facts and figures. I knew all this but still I had no idea that actually being there and smelling the bravery, seeing the journey and touching the palpable ardency in the dreams of these wonderful people we are privileged to serve, would be an experience like no other.

The sitting arrangement, Lisa Klingenmaier, the Assistant  Director for Social Concerns, explains is based on the five program divisions we have in ACC. The Senators and delegates have been pre-assigned to the tables based on what committees they sit on: for instance the senators/ delegates on the Health and Human Services Committees will be directed to sit at a Child and Family Services table. Lisa welcomes the audience made up of mostly employees and clients of ACC. She explains the way the State Government creates Maryland’s budget and our Agency’s legislative priorities for the 2015 legislative session. Her welcome is followed by Opening Remarks from Bill McCarthy who shares a past reflection written by an employee from SVV about one of the clients under her care that was eventually reunited with his biological father. There wasn’t much of a dry eye after his recounting. We are all reminded that what we do touches real lives, and it is not about being extraordinary but just doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.

Lesson Learnt: Bring some tissues with you if Bill McCarthy is going to be giving any opening remarks.

Back to Lisa, we are given an overview of the legislative process and policies. It may be deemed common sense to some, but I learn to differentiate between issues that fall under the jurisdiction of the Fed and those that are State issues. The Catholic Charities 2015 Legislative “asks” for the Maryland General Assembly are:

  1. Support the Maryland Healthy Families Act- this would allow all workers in MD to earn paid sick leave.
  2. Support Shielding Legislation: this would allow persons to petition the court to shield a specified number of misdemeanors. We have tried unsuccessfully to pass this bill for four years. We actually had to withdraw this, last year because the language was altered significantly. Some program managers spoke about the impact of this on our clients and then one of the clients from Christopher’s place stood up and shared with us how this has impacted him personally, as a recidivist who now has a HVAC license and is looking for a job.

It is important to understand that it is not numbers but real people that we serve! I cannot tell you well enough how much this client’s words impacted me. If you were there, you would have rooted for him with your heart and soul. If you were there you would have felt inspired by his courage to share his journey with us and realize that no task is insurmountable. If you were there then you would understand that no amount of advocacy is too much if the outcome is that people like him would be given that second chance which they deserve.

  1. Support the FY16 Budget for our safety net programs, as Gov. Hogan’s first budget cuts include 2% cuts to all departments.

We are actually taught how to talk senators—“They are normal people just like us,”—says Lisa, “we should be respectful of their time, ask them what committees they sit on, tell them how important our safety net budget is, and ask them what else they do when they are not law making in Annapolis.” We are reminded to thank our legislators for their past support and thank them for their continued support and told not to underestimate the value of their aides.

Lessons Learnt: One quarter of the people in the US have a criminal record. Not everyone with a criminal record is a criminal. You don’t give up and you don’t settle—not when people like our clients are counting on you.

Two gentlemen, Simon Powell and Richard Harris from the Department of Legislative Services, break down the Governor’s budget for us. At 11:00 a.m. the Senators and Delegates begin to arrive and get seated. Today I meet a new type of pillar of our agency today in the person of Senator Edward Riley, who sits on the Finance Committee and Joint Committee on the Management of Public Funds. He is a HUGE advocate of the work we do at Catholic Charities. He is so tall it is impossible not to notice him. He gets on the podium and trust me, he did not need the mic, his voice has a natural boom to it. He gives the audience a loud booming recap of what we do at Catholic Charities. With the aid of Scripture (Matthew 25) he summarizes what we do every day: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, A stranger and you welcomed me, Naked and you clothed me, Ill and you cared for me, In prison and you visited me.” He knows us so well it is incredible!

Lesson Learnt: Kevin Keegan is not the tallest pillar in the house.

The second part of the day takes place at the Catholic Conference Building. A lovely building—old and dignified, creaking hard wood floors, well preserved rugs and dated furniture sets the ambience of ages past. We are seated in a dining room, “George Washington ate on this table,” Jack informs us as if we were not already in enough awe.

Father Ray guides us through the Business Secrets of the Trappist monks. Everyone should take a stab at absorbing this article. See link:

He then challenges us to develop a spirit of openness, start our meetings or gatherings with a prayer, poem, meditation, recitation, foster selflessness, and passionately pursue a spirit of “more.”

Lessons Learnt: Orare est Laboris—Prayer is work. To open yourself is a selfless act.Our selflessness can feed us, remind us of the impact we are making. The more selfless we are, the less constricted our lives become. The more selfish we are, the less opportunity to achieve what we are looking for. The most powerful work that is done is going to be rooted to an organization that seeks to do more.

LaNae Croxton finally leads us through the most anticipated aspect of the day—the review of our 360 Leadership Feedback, an assessment by our supervisors and colleagues.

Lesson Learnt: We are not measured by what we are but what we seem to be.

Being a fellow of the LEAD Academy has shown me it is possible to lead from any chair and even more importantly it is the spirit that you bear that counts. With a spirit of gratitude, I thank everyone who made it possible for us fellows to have these insightful opportunities and I hope that those of you who have not given much thought to it would consider applying to be a fellow for the next class which they are currently accepting applications for. Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you have any questions about this.

Ifeoma Okolo is a Program Accountant with the Child and Family Services Division and a Fellow in the LEAD Academy Class of 2015. She prepares budgets and analyzes revenues and expenses for BCARS, MATCH, TFC, Respite programs, & BSFT. Supporting her in this journey, among others, are her supervisor, Vickie Hammond, and her mentor, Valerie Shaw-Jones in the Senior Communities division.



Presentation on Police Response to Individuals with Mental Health Needs

Child and Family Services is pleased to offer a presentation by Colonel M. Kim Ward and Sgt. Chuck Hart of the Baltimore County Police Department on how the Department responds to individuals who have mental health needs and how we can collaborate with them if one of our clients is involved.
The presentation will be held on Thursday, April 9 from 9:30 – 11:30 AM in the St. Vincent’s Villa – Pot Spring training room. 
The objectives of the training are the following:    
  • Learn how Baltimore County Police respond to children, youth and adults with mental health needs
  • Find out who to contact at Baltimore County Police for situations involving individuals who have mental health needs
  • Understand better how to work with the Police around situations involving our clients 
To register, please contact Christy Ferguson at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or at (410) 252-4000, ext 1479. 


2015 Mission Awareness Month - TO SERVE One Person at a Time

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to announce that we will celebrate our second annual Catholic Charities’ Mission Awareness Month in April 2015.  Mission Awareness Month gives us an opportunity to reflect on – and celebrate -- the work you do and to share the wonderful things occurring across the Agency.  The theme of this year’s Mission Awareness Month will be our value – To Serve.  And we are going to focus especially on serving one person at a time. 

We are planning a number of opportunities and activities for April.  Here are a few so you and your teams can plan ahead.  Please share this information with our colleagues who do not have access to e-mail.

*  Recognition of our 2015 Mission in Action Award Recipients.  I have recently announced five colleagues who will receive this award at Catholic Charities’ Annual Dinner on April 23rd.  We will also be recognizing these dedicated individuals through a video that will be shown at the Mission Awareness Month Celebrations mentioned below.  

*   Celebrations.  We will hold four celebrations – at Our Daily Bread Employment Center      (Mon., April 13), the Early Head Start Center in Harford County (Mon., April 27), the Jenkins Campus (Wed., April 29) and St. Vincent’s Villa (Fri., May 1).  Please consider attending one of these celebrations, and click here for more details and to register yourself and other members of your team.  It will be important for managers and supervisors to register their team members who lack access to a computer.  Please note that all of these celebrations will include a meal for our colleagues who register, so it is very important that you register if you plan to attend!  If you able to attend, please register at least seven days prior to that event.

 *  Project AWARE / Experiential Opportunities for Staff.  We will offer six field trip-like events giving you and our colleagues an opportunity to participate in Catholic Charities’ Project AWARE program.  The purpose of Project AWARE is to educate people about the issues facing Catholic Charities’ clients in many different programs.  We provide this education by exposing participants to experiences that deepen their understanding and appreciation of the realities of our clients’ lives.  The field trips will be held at the following locations, and we ask that you click here for more details and to register.  Space is limited, so register soon! And again, it is important that colleagues register anyone they supervise who would like to participate but does not have access to a computer. 

  1. Gallagher Services (Wed., April 1 from 9 a.m. until noon -- up to 24 participants)
  2. The Esperanza Center (Fri., April 10 at 2:30 p.m. -- up to 25 participants)
  3. St. Vincent’s Villa (Tues., April 14, from 5:15 p.m. until 7:15 p.m. -- up to 5 participants)
  4. Senior Housing/Jenkins Campus (Thurs., April 16, from 9 a.m. until noon -- up to 12 participants)
  5. The Weinberg Housing & Resource Center and Our Daily Bread Employment Center (Wed., April 22, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. -- up to 15 participants)
  6. St. Jerome’s Head Start (Tues., Apr. 28, from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. -- up to 12 participants) 

*  Reflections and Program Highlights.  Each week during Mission Awareness Month, we will send out one “reflection” written by one or more colleagues and one e-mail highlighting different programs or departments.  We hope these reflections and highlights are both inspiring and informative!    

*  Toolkits for Managers.  In late March, we will be distributing “toolkits” to managers across Catholic Charities.  It is my sincere hope that the contents will help make Mission Awareness Month more meaningful for our managers and the teams they serve and lead.    

Thank you for your service to every person who comes to us for assistance and for your service to our volunteers, donors, partners and each other.  



Social Work Month

In light of this month’s designation as Social Work Month, we would like to acknowledge our Social Workers and all of our Therapists and Clinical Supervisors for the amazing dedication and skill that is displayed everyday in each of our programs.

For those who practice Social Work within our organization, you change and literally save lives through your understanding of the problems people face and the resources needed to address those problems, coupled with a relentless drive to assist people to reach their potential.

Catholic Charities Child and Family Services is fortunate to have a very large and talented contingent of licensed professionals in social work, counseling and clinical supervisory positions.  And although this month is set aside to honor Social Workers specifically, it is a great opportunity to acknowledge all individuals in these positions for their expertise and commitment to helping the people we serve achieve happier and healthier lives. 

Thank you from your Division Leadership Team!  

Kevin, Anne, Jon, Laurie, Ezra, Jack, Jan, Rob, Joe





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New Staff, Volunteers and Interns

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Kaitlyn Van Riper<br/>Psychiatry Assistant<br/>Community Resources-FrederickCournie Marvel<br/>Therapist I<br/>Community ResourcesKenneth Howe<br/>Transportation Assistant<br/>CFS-BCARS


Current Forecast
Sun, 26 Apr 2015 1:43 am EDT
Mostly Cloudy
High: 54°F
Low: 38°F
Sunrise  6:12 am
Sunset 7:51 pm
Wind: 5 mph
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Visibility: 10 mi
Barometer: 29.72 in
 26 Apr 2015
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 27 Apr 2015
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 4 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