Catholic Charities Child & Family Services

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Catholic Charities Child & Family Services

LEAD Academy Reflections: January 2015

Part One
 
            “You can’t stand still and proceed,” said Richard “Dick” Lombardo, President and CEO of Harkins Builders, to the LEAD class during our January field trip.  This month the class got the opportunity to go on a field trip to Harkins Builders in Marriotsville, MD.  Harkins Builders is a large company that builds houses for seniors, the homeless, and many other populations.  Harkins Builders and Catholic Charities have a long history since 1980.   The CEO, Senior Vice President, and Construction Vice President all met with the Fellows to discuss how they lead their company and the challenges they face.
 
            Harkins Builders has an interesting concept of ESOP which means that employees own the company.  They believe this is a cornerstone in their company because it attracts employees that want to stay and are interested in the long-term well being of the company.  I found this notion similar to Catholic Charities because our culture also attracts employees that are interested in the well-being of our clients. A culture of quality in an organization is crucial and something to always strive for.  Also like Catholic Charities, Harkins Builders believes in the importance of a relationship-based company.  They realize their success is viewed on the happiness of the clients.  This is something we strive for everyday at Catholic Charities - we value the people we serve.
 
            The more we learned about Harkins I couldn’t help but notice how much they are not only invested in their clients but also their employees.   The company recognizes that you need to look past your own time and look for the next generation so there is meaning and a reason to be successful.  Catholic Charities is always striving to invest in their current employees so we can continue to help people generations from now. 
 
            The other Fellows and I believed that the leaders that we met at Harkins shared lots of valuable advice on leadership.   Some of the most important lessons to share are how a good leader is always vulnerable and full of integrity.  They also stressed to develop your own solutions to issues and have a large team to be able to go to in times of need.  The need for developing future leaders in your organization is important not only for the organization but also for the employees in order to feel part of the larger organization.  As our LEAD journey continues I am so thankful for the people I have met so far who are helping me to continue to grow as a leader.  At the end of the meeting, someone asked about the theme of this year’s LEAD academy, “Leadership Under Fire.”  The Senior VP responded with what is my favorite response to best deal with hard situations, saying you just “go hard.”  
 
Kayleigh Coulson is a Therapeutic Support Specialist at the Fallstaff Outpatient Clinic within the Child and Family Services Division and a Fellow in the LEAD Academy Class of 2015. Kayleigh teaches coping and social skills to children and adolescents in the community and through groups at Baltimore City schools and the Fallstaff clinic. Kayleigh also works as an on-call Residential Treatment Counselor 2 at St. Vincent’s Villa – Pot Spring. Supporting her in the LEAD program, among others, are her supervisor, Lisa Giacobbe, and her mentor, Pat Ross, of the Central Services division.
 

Problem Solving and Coping Skills in a Trauma-Informed Environment

(5th in a series of articles from the Trauma-Informed Care Committee)
 
Last month, we looked at how demonstrating care and respect for others can result in a positive environment that supports resiliency.  This capacity to be resilient (survive and thrive despite challenging or threatening circumstances) can be found in our children and families as well as our staff (paid and unpaid), and is certainly one of the defining qualities of a trauma-informed agency.
 
This month, in reflecting on problem solving and coping skills and their place in further strengthening a resilient community of care, take a moment to reflect and discuss these two questions with your colleagues:
 
1. Is the clinical care being provided in our agency strength-based; is it evidence-based; and does it include culturally sensitive strategies/tools that will empower children and families to develop healthy coping skills,  problem solve, and make informed choices?
 
2. Does our entire staff (paid employees, volunteers, interns) recognize and practice self-awareness, self-care, and positive role modeling so that helping others develop healthy coping and problem solving skills regularly occurs in our interactions with clients and each other?
 
Now, a quote to ponder: “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” – Robert Collier   
                                                                                                                        
Check back again with us next month when our message will explore the importance of optimism and hope in a trauma-informed environment of care.
 

Assistance Needed | Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College & Careers

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
                                                                                                  

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Another Successful Night at My Sister’s Place

On a recent Thursday evening the Environmental Services Department, under the leadership of John Steuernagle, provided meals for the patrons of My Sister’s Place in Baltimore.   The department was like a well oiled machine as they arrived in the vans, all food cooked, properly transported and on time!  Almost the entire department participated in this event.  On the return trip back our staff commented how great it felt to give back and how poverty does not discriminate.
 
The dinner started out with homemade spring rolls made by Maung Myint and his wife Ti Ti.  The residents enjoyed honey baked chicken with homemade macaroni and cheese.  To top it off, they had a choice of several deserts to choose from.
 
This department exemplified team work, cohesion and a sense of camaraderie.   Music was played throughout and some members of our staff and some of the clients engaged in some dancing.  Several people came up to us and thanked us for such a delicious home style cooked meal.
The next date is set for Thursday, March 19 and the host is the Outpatient Department under the leadership of Diane Shannon.
 
Mission Integration Event Committee - Andrea, Deniese, Kim
 

Committed to Service | Michael Carr | Project SERVE Volunteer 2014-2015

altTell me about yourself, why were you interested in becoming a Project Serve Volunteer?

My name is Michael Paul Carr and I am from Upstate New York. I went to undergraduate for a double major in English/Creative Writing and European Studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY. For the last four years at college, I participated in America Reads as a one-on-one literacy tutor in Geneva, NY, and have also spent the last 3 summers as a camp counselor at a United Methodist facility called Camp Findley. Also, my father has been very active in the community both as a homeless shelter director and currently as a United Methodist pastor. So I was interested in being a Project SERVE volunteer because I believed working at the Villa Maria Schools would be a perfect fit for me, and so far I’ve been right. For me, Project SERVE presented a perfect opportunity to get real-world job experience whilst committing myself to service.  

What would you like to get from this volunteer job?  

I would like to become more and more experienced in the workforce as a post-undergraduate. At the same time, I find it ever so rewarding to provide guidance and good role-modeling for students, especially for the many students here who are in great need of such things.

Which specific Associated Catholic Charities’ program(s) interests you the most? Why?

Specifically it was the Villa Maria Schools programs in Child and Family Services that caught my eye. I was interested because it was a school-setting and I felt most comfortable working with children each day.

What have you enjoyed most in your current volunteer assignments?

I’ve enjoyed getting to know the students more and more each week and develop a rapport with them. All of the staff at the schools are friendly and inclusive, and I’ve relied on them as I’ve gotten to know how the schools are managed. 

What thing have you done as a Project Serve Volunteer that has given you the greatest personal satisfaction?

After school Monday-Thursday we leave school and spend some time in the residential units where we help the students with homework and after-school activities. It’s given me the opportunity to get to know some students more than just in a classroom/school setting, and I find personal satisfaction in helping them in any way I am able.

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Project SERVE (Service and Education through Residential Volunteer Experience) is a unique, year-long, service learning opportunity where recent college graduates dedicate a year to full-time volunteerism and live in a small intentional community.

Project SERVE provides an ideal environment in which to obtain practical, meaningful work experience while serving people who are marginalized and working for social justice.

Project SERVE volunteers participate approximately August 25 through July 25. In exchange for your volunteer services, Project SERVE provides rent and utility-free housing, health insurance, a monthly stipend for living expenses, and an AmeriCorps Education Award upon completion of the program (pending annual AmeriCorps approval).

For more information, please visit: http://www.catholiccharities-md.org/volunteer/serve/#sthash.WqOUdA23.dpuf


 

 

 

 

Retirement Celebration for Dr. Maisami

Please click the following link for information regarding the retirement celebration for Dr. Maisami.


 

Behavioral Health Integration Update

12-30-2014

One of the elements of our mission statement……To serve… is the driver for one of Catholic Charities’ strategic initiatives.  This is to:

Develop the capability to care for and treat individuals who struggle with both mental illness and substance abuse and extend the Behavioral Health Services available within the Child and Family Services Division to the other Program Divisions. 

With the assistance of the Behavioral Health Integration Committee and our Behavioral Health Consultant, we have embarked on a journey in which we first completed a self-assessment of our current capacity to provide dual diagnosis treatment. Then, based on those results, we developed a strategic plan that will move the Division toward implementing a range of services for individuals with  both mental health and substance use challenges.  Depending on the various populations of individuals that we serve in the division, there will be two levels of competency toward which we are moving; Capable and Enhanced

Capable Dual Disorder Services (Year 1-FY2015) are those in which we create a welcoming environment for individuals who are struggling with mental health and substance related disorders, we provide a comprehensive dual disorder assessment, a brief intervention, and then a referral to resources and/or treatment in the community.  The majority of our division services will move towards competency at this level.

Enhanced Dual Disorder Services (Year 2-FY2016) are those in which we create a welcoming environment for individuals who are struggling with mental health and substance related disorders,  we provide a comprehensive dual disorder assessment, and we will also provide the dual disorder treatment to those individuals. This level of competency will be created primarily  for some youth at our Villa Maria School program and individuals served through our Behavioral Health Clinics in the community.

We are now working with our Staff  Development & Training Committee to develop both the online and live workshop curriculum that will be required for competency and credentialing at each of the two levels of service, either Capable or Enhanced. All staff will be required to complete a basic core set of training requirements.

I will be updating our division as we progress in our journey, so please stay tuned for future updates.

Thank you,

Robert Canosa, Ph.D.
Administrator-Villa Maria Community Resources
Director-Behavioral Health Services
Catholic Charities Child and Family Services


 

 

Behavioral Health Integration Update

12-30-2014

One of the elements of our mission statement……To serve… is the driver for one of Catholic Charities’ strategic initiatives.  This is to:

Develop the capability to care for and treat individuals who struggle with both mental illness and substance abuse and extend the Behavioral Health Services available within the Child and Family Services Division to the other Program Divisions.  

With the assistance of the Behavioral Health Integration Committee and our Behavioral Health Consultant, we have embarked on a journey in which we first completed a self-assessment of our current capacity to provide dual diagnosis treatment. Then, based on those results, we developed a strategic plan that will move the Division toward implementing a range of services for individuals with  both mental health and substance use challenges.  Depending on the various populations of individuals that we serve in the division, there will be two levels of competency toward which we are moving; Capable and Enhanced.  

Capable Dual Disorder Services (Year 1-FY2015) are those in which we create a welcoming environment for individuals who are struggling with mental health and substance related disorders, we provide a comprehensive dual disorder assessment, a brief intervention, and then a referral to resources and/or treatment in the community.  The majority of our division services will move towards competency at this level.

Enhanced Dual Disorder Services (Year 2-FY2016)  are those in which we create a welcoming environment for individuals who are struggling with mental health and substance related disorders,  we provide a comprehensive dual disorder assessment, and we will also provide the dual disorder treatment to those individuals. This level of competency will be created primarily  for some youth at our Villa Maria School program and individuals served through our Behavioral Health Clinics in the community.

We are now working with our Staff  Development & Training Committee to develop both the online and live workshop curriculum that will be required for competency and credentialing at each of the two levels of service, either Capable or Enhanced. All staff will be required to complete a basic core set of training requirements.

I will be updating our division as we progress in our journey, so please stay tuned for future updates.

Thank you,

Robert Canosa, Ph.D.
Administrator-Villa Maria Community Resources
Director-Behavioral Health Services
Catholic Charities Child and Family Services


 

 

 

 

CFS Social Worker Helps Foster Children Light Chanukah Candles

Tonight marks the eighth and final night of the Jewish holiday Chanukah.  Jewish people celebrate for eight nights to remember the miracle of Chanukah. The miracle is that one night’s worth of oil used to light the menorah in Jerusalem’s second temple that lasted eight nights.

Each night of Chanukah families celebrate by reciting a prayer and lighting an additional candle on the menorah. Candles are lit from right to left, using the tallest candle called the Shamash.  In many families, it is tradition to exchange gifts, play dreidel with chocolate coins known as gelt, sing songs and eat potatoes latkes. 

Below are the lyrics for a popular children’s song “Dreidel” that is sung during the holiday and a fun remixed version (see YouTube clip) of the dreidel song with blessings sung while lighting the Chanukah candles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtlLHwk9_Rw

Jennie Cohen, LGSW
Social Worker
Catholic Charities Center for Family Services
Treatment Foster Care

 

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LEAD Academy Reflection: December 2014

December was the fourth official gathering of the 2015 LEAD Academy class.  We began the day with the Mentor breakfast, open to both the LEAD Academy and the LEAD Mentor program.  It was a great chance to relax and meet with our mentors as well as other leaders throughout the agency. Breakfast was an excellent omelet bar! After we finished eating, Robin Rich (Chair of the Mentorship Committee) led us in an activity that was a modified version of Scrabble.  It was a fast-paced game which really forced us to work together under pressure.  The letters in the word “leadership” were blindly drawn from a bag and then used to produce various word combinations. The team with the most words related to leadership was declared the winner but everyone had a great time. The laughter and spirit of competition was contagious.  

After we bid farewell to our mentors and guests for the day we switched gears and got to work.  Jan Carson (Administrator) gave us a presentation on Famous Leaders from the Past and authentic leadership.  Her presentation drew from the work of Simon Sineck and looked at leaders such as Bill Gates, Rosa Parks, the Wright brothers, Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, Joshua Chamberlain and Ernest Shackelton.  What all successful leaders are able to do is transcend the mechanics of something and stir emotions and loyalty with intrinsic values.  I learned that in order to be a compelling leader, we must explain why it is good, not just how.  For example, we can motivate our teams to embrace change by focusing on the good that it will do for each person and the group. 

We then presented the layout and premise of our project for April on “Leadership under F.I.R.E.” to the committee and received some very constructive feedback.  We discussed everything from the broad theory of the topic and the flow of the presentation down to possibilities for the details.  There were some last minute changes inspired by the breakfast that morning. The panel, facilitators, and participants commented on how it has been truly amazing to see such a large group work so collaboratively and efficiently. 

LaNae Croxton from Human Resources then prepped us for a future assignment called the 360 Assessment.  Our peers and supervisors will anonymously answer a series of questions about us that will help us identify our strengths and weaknesses.  Some of the Fellows found this daunting— it’s frightening to learn what people really think of us and expose our shortcomings but it is also an exciting proposition as it gives us a chance to learn how others view us.

Our last activity was receiving our results from the Myers Briggs Type Indicator personality assessment.  This identified the four dichotomies of our personality traits based on the work of psychologist Carl Jung.  It really helped us see ourselves and how we relate to those around us and provided insight on how we might change our approach based on different interactions and personalities.   It was amazing to realize how many different personalities were in the room and despite the differences, everyone has been able to work together as a large team and treat each other with respect and compassion.

The journey so far has been interesting and informative. I see myself and others in a clearer light. I believe that I and the other LEAD Academy Fellows are acquiring tools, skills, and relationships that will aid us in better understanding and communicating.

Paul Evans is a Fellow in the LEAD Academy Class of 2015. Paul is a Senior Accountant supporting the Senior Communities division.  He is responsible for the financial reporting of 3 of the 25 senior apartment buildings, preparation of tax returns, training of new staff as well as just the general go-to for the team. Supporting him in the LEAD program, among others, are his supervisor, Ellen Vargo, and his mentor, Jon Hackbarth, of the Child and Family Services Division. 


 

Gaining New Life Perspectives | Nyerre Osiomwan | Project SERVE Volunteer 2014-2015

 

alt

Tell me about yourself, why were you interested in becoming a Project Serve Volunteer?

I was born and raised in Baltimore, MD. I lived in the Baltimore area from birth until college when I moved to Blacksburg, VA to attend Virginia Tech. There, I studied Spanish Language/Culture and International Studies.  After four years away from home I was excited to return to Baltimore. During my time at Virginia Tech, I grew a heart for service and I was really eager to bring that enthusiasm back to my hometown and give back to my community. Not long before graduating, I remembered hearing about Project SERVE and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to get involved and do service in Baltimore. One thing that really stuck out about the program was the time commitment.  Instead of doing a couple hours of service per week, with Project SERVE I would be committing to an entire year of work. I saw this as both a challenge and an opportunity for growth and I was very excited to get involved. 

What would you like to get from this volunteer job?

I would like to experience personal growth, gain new perspectives on life, and hopefully figure out what I want to do career-wise. 

Which specific Associated Catholic Charities’ program(s) interests you the most? Why?

First, I have to say Villa Maria because I love being able to be a positive force in the lives of the children that attend. I also am very fond of the work done at the Esperanza Center and more specifically the ESL programs. I am a lover of language and I love that Esperanza creates a space for learning English and provides a place for hope (as the name implies) for a lot of newcomers to the country. Esperanza also has a very open atmosphere that promotes clients to share their cultures and life stories.

What have you enjoyed most in your current volunteer assignments?

I am currently working at the Villa Maria School and my favorite part of the job is interacting with the kids; they always seem to brighten my day.

What thing have you done as a Project Serve Volunteer that has given you the greatest personal satisfaction?

This is a tough question to answer because I always feel like I can be doing more to help or giving more of myself. Perhaps, by the end of the year I will feel more able to answer this one!

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Project SERVE (Service and Education through Residential Volunteer Experience) is a unique, year-long, service learning opportunity where recent college graduates dedicate a year to full-time volunteerism and live in a small intentional community.

Project SERVE provides an ideal environment in which to obtain practical, meaningful work experience while serving people who are marginalized and working for social justice.

Project SERVE volunteers participate approximately August 25 through July 25. In exchange for your volunteer services, Project SERVE provides rent and utility-free housing, health insurance, a monthly stipend for living expenses, and an AmeriCorps Education Award upon completion of the program (pending annual AmeriCorps approval).

For more information, please visit: http://www.catholiccharities-md.org/volunteer/serve/#sthash.WqOUdA23.dpuf


 

 

 
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New Staff, Volunteers and Interns

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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