Catholic Charities Child & Family Services

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Catholic Charities Child & Family Services

Living the Mission: Cooperation and Collaboration


I am continually amazed by and appreciative for staff who demonstrate the highest standards in their commitment to supporting our mission, vision and values. I want to take a moment to acknowledge all of the hard work that has gone into our school consolidation in Timonium.  After a year of planning and a lot of hard work by staff from our Pot Spring and Dulaney Valley Schools, as well as our Housekeeping and Maintenance staff, we were able to complete the consolidation of our two schools by the end of June.  

On Wednesday, July 1st both elementary and middle school students walked into our Dulaney Valley School building to begin the summer session.  To date, students and staff have begun to embrace our new “dynamic” and we’ve already seen positive signs of the “older” students serving as good role models for our younger students.

Many changes have been completed, yet there are still more to come.  We now have 12 classrooms, with a combined Art and Music space. We also have a new Alternative Learning Classroom and a second Resource space for elementary students.  The boy’s bathroom has been completely remodeled and some new office space has been made available in the Main Office area.  Additional offices, parking spaces, a new staff lounge, a new Media Center that will include a 10 student computer stations have been added.  Also, we are looking forward to hiring a new Instructional Technology Specialist to assist staff and students in fully benefiting from our Smart Boards and IPads. We anticipate having a Smart Board in each of our 12 classrooms and we currently have a rolling cart of 10 IPads, allowing us to further improve our instruction and enhance our curriculum.

Many thanks and kudos to all of the staff and students who have worked so hard to make this monumental change occur as smoothly as it has.

More to come!


Kevin Keegan

Director, Child and Family Services Division

Catholic Charities of Baltimore








My Sister’s Place Event 

Recently there was was another successful night at My Sister’s Place.  The event was facilitated by Deniese Baslik and included members of the administrative support staff, consisting of Joan, Darlene, Shena, Shelley, Jennifer and Danni.
Despite some challenges in getting to the center on time due to Artscape, the group rallied, demonstrating their organizational  and leadership skills.  The meal was delicious and included baked chicken, string beans, potato salad, rolls and pudding.   Many of the clients ate their pudding first as this was a treat for them.
The group worked very well together and commented how much they learned from the experience and how they appreciated what they had in their lives.   Their efforts were definitely appreciated by the clients!


Adoption Program News

Twenty-five people in 6 families participated in the annual “Korea Homeland Tour,” sponsored by Catholic Charities’ Adoption Program.   Along with Catholic Charities’ social worker Mary Ellen Bean, the Korean adoptees and their parents, siblings and grandparents visited Korea for 12 days in July. They toured the entire country, visited Holt Children’s Services (the agency which placed them for adoption), met their foster parents, met with expectant parents in a maternity home, and learned about the Korean culture.  Catholic Charities has provided social work support for this tour for the past 20 years, and hundreds of families have benefited from this experience.
The attached pictures are from the most recent “Korea Homeland Tour.”

korea group pic  


Personnel News To Share

Two recent changes within the Division’s administrative support staff have been made as a result of organizational changes which have occurred within the Division:

Trish Hampton, who has been serving as the Administrative Assistant for both Kevin Keegan and Jon Hackbarth, is now Kevin’s full time Administrative Assistant.   The need for this position to report to the Division Director full time is a result of Gallagher Services becoming part of our Division coupled with the recent retirement of the Administrative Assistant for Mark Schulz, who currently oversees Gallagher Services.

Robin Metcalf has accepted the position of Administrative Coordinator for Jan Carson and Jon Hackbarth.  Robin had been holding the position of Dietary Liaison, however this position is being eliminated and those duties folded into the Administrative Coordinator position.  In her new role, Robin will provide administrative support to the Centralized Services that Jan and Jon oversee. 

Our organization is very fortunate to have administrative support staff of the caliber of Trish and Robin!


Villa Fair 2015

Sponsored by: The Baltimore Chapter of Grand Knights and Harkins Builders.
When:        Saturday, July 18th
Time:         10:00—1:00
Where:       Dulaney Valley Building of St. Vincent’s Villa
RSVP:       Darlene Prell (410)252-4700 *218 by July 9th
Transportation:   There will be shuttle runs from the Timonium light rail station beginning at 9:30—11:00 and drop off will begin at 12:15 and last run will be 1:15. If you are interested in this service please include in your RSVP by July 8th.  

LEAD Academy Reflection

I thought the LEAD Academy was over after our presentation on April 17.  This tells you how much I know.  But this was a good thing.  How many of you know what sociometry really means?
I have heard of the word sociometry and read the definition, yet I still didn’t quite get it. While studying the relationship between social structures and psychological wellbeing, Psychiatrist Jacob Moreno coined the term sociometry. Sociometry is a quantitative method measuring social interpersonal relationships. Mari Pat McGuire began the class by talking about how to shift the culture, make connections, and bring people together by believing in a mission.  Two people who exemplify these characteristics are Nelson Mandela and the nation’s rugby team and Abraham Lincoln in naming his rivals to his Cabinet.
To begin a sociometric exercise it is important at the beginning for everyone to understand that by choosing one person they are not rejected others.  Instead, it should be noted that people are often attracted to others, but rarely have the opportunity to tell them about it.  Each of these choices is an interpersonal gift to that other person, as stated by Alton Barbour.
We did a number of exercises.  Mari Pat announced criterion, such as who here seems to have qualitites or traits that you would like to see in yourself?  We were then told to go to that person and place our hand on their shoulder. While this is in action, the person they chose will also be choosing someone based on the same criterion.  Because of the choices, it can be expected to be unequally distributed.  Each choice might lead to the formation of a small group or a chain of choices. Once the choices were made, Mari Pat suggested that we talk with that person about why that person fits that particular criterion for attraction. It was interesting to see how the group dynamics worked. 
We also discussed “work atoms”-- communication in interpersonal relationships.  This was illustrated through a diagram that represented the relationship between the self and all individuals or issues with whom we are emotionally related.  The diagram begins with you in the middle with a circle surrounded by hearts, representing hope, wishes and dreams; squares representing committees; and rectangles representing issues/concerns. The placement of these diagrams to the circle depicts the need to communicate now or later.  If the hearts and committees are near the circle, then communication lines are open and good; if the diagram, like the rectangle is far away from circle, you may have work life challenges with staff, peer or others that need to be addressed now.  This is a tool that you could use now to measure your effectiveness.
Next, Mari Pat presented us with a poem on leadership by Adrienne Rich.  We read the poem several times, and then were asked that each person should repeat out loud a word or portion that speaks to them and explain.  I selected the phrase, “remembering your name.” The most important and memorable of my experience in the LEAD Academy has been the people I met.
Pat Bennett is a Manager of Employment Services at Our Daily Bread Employment Center and a Fellow in the LEAD Academy Class of 2015. Her position includes managing a team of four, negotiating employment opportunities with potential employers, and providing job readiness trainings to low income clients. Supporting her in this journey, among others, are her supervisor, Christine Kay, and her mentor, Susan Franklin.

Maria Busko Graduates from Leadership Baltimore County    

Volunteer Services Manager Maria Busko has completed the ten month Leadership Baltimore County (LBC) program and recently received her diploma in a ceremony held at the historic Grey Rock Mansion in Pikesville. 
Along with about 35 other senior level leaders selected in a competitive application process from many different organizations in Baltimore County, Maria went through a series of experiential activities that explored Baltimore County’s challenges and issues, including economic development, public safety, social services, education and health. Leadership Baltimore County activities include field trips to different organizations, police ride-alongs, shadowing a school principal and working at a shelter.  The program is designed to utilize the talents of the participants to make Baltimore County a better place to live and work and to enhance each participant’s leadership skills.
Maria successfully completed all of the requirements of the program and is now applying what she learned in her work at Catholic Charities. 
Congratulations, Maria!

Farewell to Jen Lochte and Welcome Sara Ross

We say goodbye to Jen Lochte who is leaving her position as the Program Supervisor of the Towson Clinic to move to North Carolina.    Jen accomplished many things in the agency, first in the Residential Treatment Center, then as a pioneer in school  based mental health services, and for many years as  the manager of  our behavioral health clinics in  Anne Arundel County and Towson.  Everyone who met her will say that she was always pleasant and positive, but many of us also have deep respect for the skill Jen showed while facing very challenging situations and while accomplishing so much.  She is tough and resilient as rubber nails and made a positive difference for hundreds of children, adults and family members.
Sara Ross, LCSW-C  is the new manager at the Towson clinic.  Sara also has a background in Residential Treatment services, and has an extensive background providing school based mental health services and clinic services to individuals and families in the Parkville, Loch Raven, and Towson communities.  Sara is known for her poise, clinical skill and perseverance.  She is a strong advocate for families, and is one of less than a dozen therapists in the state who are trained in Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), which is an evidenced based practice that serves children ages 3-8 with significant behavior problems.   Sara will be working along with Bonnie Pfeffer and colleagues to take the Towson clinic services to the next level, both growing the clinic in the number served,  and enhancing the outcomes.  We are looking forward to having Sara as a leader, a colleague and a coach.

Blood Drive

Because of Catholic Charities Blood Drive on June 11, up to 78 patients' lives were saved. Blood donation is the act of giving life.  Every donation can save up to 3 lives.  During the summer months fewer people donate.  This year we had a 37% increase in donors from 2014!!!
So a Big THANK YOU to all who participated in making this year’s blood drive a HUGE SUCCESS. 
Beth Lewis
Ornelia Gillum
George McCullough
Monireh Vossoughi
Nicole Gorski
Mark Greenberg
Tom Cauley
Diane Polk
Letisha Tyrell
Emily Toler
Melissa Wengler
Keynica Robinson
Kim Kiriazoglou
Melissa Hamburg
Nicole Alexander
Robin Cauley
Rebecca Biedenback
Jennifer Concepcion
Susan Straus
Jack Pumphrey
Brian Trees
Chris Donaldson
Tennese Bryant
Becky Stein
Jon Hackbarth
Carl Fornoff
Aggie Callahan
Mikael Kristiansen
Debbie Sorrels
Lorraine King
Judy Wilson
Erika Abrams
Suzie Templeton
Bev Butler
Jan Carson
Celena Hoey
Steve Branson
Ellen Warnock
Dan Plakosh
Thomas Jones
Anthony Jules
Kevin Keegan
Anne Ober


LEAD Academy Reflection

Let me start by saying I have never been to the aquarium without children and I had a completely different experience during the LEAD field trip than anytime I have ever been there in the past. One Fellow felt guilty for having so much fun there without her children. I felt completely relaxed, which I do not get to experience a great deal with a 4 and a 7 year old at home.

It started as any other day, anticipating another exciting field trip arranged for us by the LEAD Committee. The National Aquarium was to be even more special because it would be our last trip together before commencement, and the Aquarium administrators are developing their own leadership program for their employees based on Catholic Charities’ LEAD program, which is an enormous compliment. They picked our brains about how to go about developing it in a way which supports the expansion of world-renowned programs here in Baltimore and supports the staff making it happen.

Our day started in the 4D theatre where we watched  “Sea Monsters.” It was more of an experience than a movie viewing. Water and wind sprayed us at various parts of the movie, and we were educated about the life of “Dolly,” a prehistoric sea creature whose bones had been discovered in 1812 in Kansas.

We met a Hyacinth McCaw who said “hello” and only visits with guests because she is not on display at the Aquarium. She works throughout each day with various trainers so as not to get attached to any one in particular and practices skills which make her better able to respond to emergency medical procedures if ever needed, such as putting on an oxygen mask. The trainer who introduced us to the McCaw, Christine, was a delight as she was so passionate about her work.

We were then free to explore the aquarium on our own and the same approach was taken in the dolphin training experience that Christine facilitated with the McCaw. They cancelled the dolphin shows a few years ago and now educate the public at various times throughout the day about the training the dolphins experience, which helps them thrive in the aquarium environment. Their rewards for practicing their fin movements consist of pushing balls with their noses and eating fish. The staff told us they make changes in programming according to feedback received from attendees and this seems to have been a positive change as the dolphin experience is now included in the price of admission.

The National Aquarium also had to adjust and make changes in programming due to attendance levels which were negatively impacted by the curfew imposed as a result of riots that took place in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray on April 19, 2015. The negative image Baltimore has received in the aftermath has affected tourism and businesses that rely on worldwide attention have suffered. Our 2015 theme “Leadership under Fire” has been applicable to the Aquarium during the attendance shortfalls in April and they appear to have handled it with grace, being as truthful with concerned guests as possible. Guests have been calling prior to their planned visits, asking if they would be safe. The Aquarium has been making assurances, but the numbers do not lie.  The Aquarium may have to sacrifice future programming if attendance does not pick up, so I would encourage everyone in and near Baltimore to take a trip to local businesses which rely on tourism.

One of the newest additions to the National Aquarium is the touch exhibit which opened on May 12, 2015. Guests are encouraged to touch jellyfish and sting rays in order to feel their skin and educators are on hand for any questions. The exhibit is bright and seems to have filled a once empty space from which it is still easy to view the black-tipped reef below. It surprised me how nervous I was to touch an animal, but I quickly encourage my children when they have the opportunity to experience something live up-close and personal. I was glad to have a different experience at the National Aquarium and plan to take my children again soon so they can see the new exhibits that were not there when they went last summer.

I was completely surprised how relaxing my experience was. I encourage you to go by yourself sometime to the National Aquarium and to listen to the soothing music, reflect on the movement of the water, take in the beauty of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, and appreciate our connection to the ocean. It will surely help you become a better leader in your own right.

Kerry Ford Morancy is a Therapist at the Fallstaff outpatient mental health clinic and a Fellow in the LEAD Academy Class of 2015. Kerry works mainly at Pimlico Elementary/Middle school providing individual and family counseling and prevention activities such as small groups and teacher presentations. Supporting her in this journey, among others, are her supervisor, Sherry Sullivan, and her mentor, Kristen Kinkopf of Mission Integration and Planning.


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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