Catholic Charities Child & Family Services

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Catholic Charities Child & Family Services

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.  

Peace,

Bill
 

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:

http://www.forbes.com/2009/04/14/trappist-business-lessons-leadership-management-mepkin1.html

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.


 

 

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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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. 
 

 

Credit Requirement Dropped for Certain Licensed Positions

Recently the Staff Development and Training Committee determined that for licensed positions in certain departments, the Catholic Charities Child and Family Services Division annual credit requirement will be dropped.  The rationale for this decision is that there is already a requirement for a certain number of credits required by the licensing board for the various disciplines we employ.  Imposing a separate agency credit requirement is redundant and unnecessary. 

Specific courses mandated by the agency, such as CPR, Emergency Preparedness, and others, are still required.

Beginning immediately, staff in the following licensed positions will no longer have an annual requirement for a specific number of credits:

  • Nurses
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Therapists and Clinical Supervisors who work in the Residence, Villa Maria School, or for any of the programs of Villa Maria Community Resources

Social Workers, Therapists and Clinical Supervisors who work in a program of the Center for Family Services are still required to obtain a minimum number of credits annually (20), due to regulatory requirements and to maintain consistency within the department.  

If you are not sure whether you fall into any of the above listed categories, please talk with you supervisor or Human Resources Representative.

Thank you.

Jon Hackbarth
Chair, Staff Development and Training Committee
 

Team Building at CrossFit Baltimore

crossfit group supervision

On March 20, 2015, my supervision team from Fallstaff Clinic (Aimee Hoffman; Shannon Epps, Levern Williams, Molly Erdman, Sherry Sullivan, Ashley Fried, Danyelle Derry, Anna Rawa, and Kerry-Ford-Morancy) participated in team building through CrossFit Partner Workouts.  The experience enabled our team to improve our relationships while we also got a great work out (and had a lot of fun too)!
 
If you have a team that may be interested in this, contact Dominic Morisi at 443-841-9467.  CrossFit’s web site is www.cfbaltimore.com.
 

Volunteers Needed to Assist Villa Maria School Students 

altWe need assistance with administering the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) which has replaced the Maryland School Assessment (MSA).

The PARCC Assessments, administered in  grades 3 through high school, are measures of student achievement in Reading and Mathematics and it meets the federal testing requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB).

We are seeking volunteers to help proctor/provide accommodations. We have a great number of students who will require one-to-one assistance.  A brief, mandatory training is required and your school contact will provide you with further information.  PARCC Assessments will be administered in March and April 2015.

                                                                                     Villa Maria School at Dulaney Valley Campus
                                                                                                   March 2nd   9:00 am – 12:00 pm  
                                                                                                   March 6th    9:00 am – 12:00 pm  
                                                                                                   March 11th  9:00 am – 12:00 pm  
   
                                                                                                   April 20th     9:00 am – 12:00 pm  
                                                                                                   April 24th     9:00 am – 12:00 pm  
                                                                                                   April 28th     9:00 am – 12:00 pm  

                                                                    School Contact | Daniel Plakosh | 410.252.6343 ext. 129 |  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it                                                                                                     

                                                                                              Villa Maria School at Harford County
                                                                                                    March 5th    9:00 am – 12:00 pm  
                                                                                                    March 9th    9:00 am – 12:00 pm  
                                                                                                    March 10th  9:00 am – 12:00 pm  
   
                                                                                                    April 20th     9:00 am – 12:00 pm  
                                                                                                    April 21st     9:00 am – 12:00 pm  

                                                                   School Contact | Angie Jones | 410.297.4100 ext. 4119 |  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  

 

                                                                                                   Villa Maria School at Pot Spring
                                                                                                   March 3rd      9:00 am – 12:00 pm  
                                                                                                   March 4th      9:00 am – 12:00 pm  
                                                                                                   March 5th      9:00 am – 12:00 pm  

                                                                                                   April 21st       9:00 am – 12:00 pm  
                                                                                                   April 22nd      9:00 am – 12:00 pm  
                                                                                                   April 23rd       9:00 am – 12:00 pm 

                                                                       School Contact | Tia McLaughlin | 410.252.3725 ext.1515 |  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


 

Maura Pre-Vocational Center
Twenty Five Year Anniversary Dedication
March 10, 2015
Fr. Ray Chase

We gather today remembering the blessings of 25 years ago.  Let us pray:

Master Builder, We asked You for Your blessing upon the Maura Prevocational Center…and You gave it, generously. We asked that this building would create the kind of space for wonderful things to happen…and it has!   We asked that the staff who would work here would be women, men and young people of skill, hope and patience…and they have!  And we asked that each and every child would learn and practice the skills of life here…and they have!

With this Tool Box we asked that the Maura Center would always hold those valuable tools for life that are most necessary for the children…and it has! 

With this Hammer we asked for courage, strength and determination for each child reach out and take in hand the tools that are available to them to build a life full of meaning and joy…and they have!

With this Nail we asked that the children would be able to bind themselves to new skills and new ways for being in relationship with others and the world around them…and they have!

With this Cloth we asked that the children would be able to clothe themselves with integrity and self respect…and they have!

And in this small Needle we asked that the children would have the ability to create and the ability to repair what has been torn or damaged …and they have!

Father, we also expressed our gratitude for all those people who made the Maura Prevocational Center possible especially Mike Wolff, Mr. Bob and the Friends of Villa Maria.   May Your blessings continue to enrich each of them. 

And to this list we much now add Ida Collins and all her “assistants” over these years.   With such generosity You gave Ida to us to assure that all these blessings would be fulfilled…one child at a time, each day for all of these 25 years.  Thank You for sending her to us!  Bless her!

We asked for Your blessing upon these three plaques – making them signs for all to see of the dreams that have built these walls, the work that daily takes place within these walls and the beauty of the life that would be lived when children move beyond the confines of these walls.  They continue to bear witness that these things continue to be accomplished here.

We conclude by asking You to simply allow these blessings of 25 years ago to continue to be fulfilled here at the Maura Prevocational Center today and each day to follow.   

Amen!

alt


 

 

listening project

Child and Family Services Team Members:

Last week you received an email from Bill McCarthy, making you aware of the upcoming Listening Project. This survey is an opportunity for each of you to express your thoughts and feelings around how well the agency is doing, both with regard to living up to our mission and vision, as well as meeting the needs of our staff. I want to encourage everyone to please take advantage of this opportunity when it is released next week, on March 18.

As I have stated in the past, learning what people are thinking is very important to me.  There are things we are doing today, such as new trainings that have been assembled, that are direct results of feedback that we have gotten from you. 

Not only will this Listening Project give us feedback on the agency overall, but it will also provide feedback that is specific to the work of our division.  It is completely anonymous.  And the information that is learned from this exercise will be shared with everyone, and action plans will be put into place to address the areas that are identified as concerns.

This is the first of its kind here at Catholic Charities, and I hope that I can count on everyone to participate.  I realize that everyone is busy, and this survey is estimated to take around 15 minutes to complete.  I truly hope that we can count on everyone to participate. 

On March 18, you will receive a link, by email, to be able to take this survey electronically.  For those without email, you will receive instructions on how to take this survey from your supervisor. 

Thanks!

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


 

My Sister’s Place Another Delightful Evening

 Recently the Fallstaff Villa Maria Outpatient clinic staff, under the leadership of Diane Shannon, provided food for the customers at My Sister’s Place.  The group pulled together very well considering that most of the staff are spread around in various Baltimore City schools and Head Start centers.  The end result was a delicious meal of baked ziti, string beans, bread, salad and of course desserts.   The Fallstaff staff showed great spirit, cohesion and a sense of togetherness.   The center had the highest number of guests for dinner in the past three months.
 
Andrea, Denise, Kim- “The Missionettes”
 

Far From Finished | The Maura Pre-Vocational Center | St. Vincent’s Villa

Recently the Maura Pre-Vocational Center commemorated its 25 year anniversary.  The Maura Pre-Vocational Center is a life skills program, providing hands on learning to help students see how their academics relate to everyday activities through a multitude of work areas -- reading directions, using math in cooking measurements, learning about money and business, sewing, gardening, and woodworking.

The Early Years

Twenty-five years ago, Ida Collins was the art teacher at Villa Maria School. Jack Pumphrey, the school principal at that time, asked Ida to develop a pre-vocational program. Jack shared his vision to have a program to teach life skills that were not part of the students’ normal family exposure or residential placement. Jack and Ida believed that they could help to build the self esteem of the students through alternative learning methods and this happens on a daily basis.

The program began in the original St. Vincent's building, which is now the site of the Pot Spring School. After two years, the program moved into the Maura Center, which had been a garage on the St. Vincent's property. A generous donation was received from Mike Wolf, owner of a local model train and toy company, to convert the garage into a multi-use life skills center. Currently, the building is used for school programs, after hour mentors, volunteers, and residential staff. It is also used for additional educational opportunities with the students.

Results & Milestones

Students have told Ida that the program has actually changed their eating habits after learning about healthy eating, nutrition, and good food choices. Each month the program partners with the cultural committees using their recommendations to learn about the customs and prepare foods of a different culture.  Watching the students actually create items through sewing and woodworking has shown them that they can contribute in a way that they don't often have the opportunity, especially when they have made goods for donation to the Head Start, My Sister's Place, Our Daily Bread, and other programs.

Future Goals & Priorities

Ida states that she wants to continue to have the students reach out to the community to see that even they can make a difference in other peoples’ lives. She also plans to build in time to visit other people and workplaces to expose them to others working in jobs that relate to what the students are learning.

 

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Watching the children do things they had never attempted before or thought they could do is so rewarding! I feel that we open up their minds and lives to see there is opportunity beyond what they had known before. My life has been so enriched by many wonderful volunteers to our program and for the past three years the Project Serve volunteers have brought a new dynamic to the program. Over the past 25 years at the Center, I have been blessed to work with an unbelievably dedicated team of co-workers that have each enhanced my life and the kids in ways that are truly extraordinary.” Ida Collins

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New Staff, Volunteers and Interns

Please wait while JT SlideShow is loading images...
Chrishawn Calloway-Small<br/>Psycoeducator I<br/>VMS-TimoniumDiane Mackenzie<br/>Sr. Clinician<br/>BHC FallstaffJohn Wortham<br/>CFS<br/>BCARSSandy Strejcek<br/>CFS<br/>VM Community ResourcesSara Murry<br/>Community Resources<br/>BHC Lansdowne

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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