Catholic Charities Child & Family Services

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Catholic Charities Child & Family Services

Kids at Work Hosting 4th Annual Canned Food Drive for Our Daily Bread Employment Center (ODBEC)

Whether you’ve got five minutes or five hours, you can help build a better world and teach children the value of compassion, kindness and community responsibility.

Kids at Work consists of one child representative from each unit at St. Vincent’s Villa (SVV). The children discuss various things that affect the lives of everyone at SVV. One of the many duties for the Kids at Work representatives is to participate in a holiday project to give back to others. Overwhelmingly, feeding the hungry topped the list for the Kids at Work representatives. Trisha Ey, SVV Recreation Therapy Coordinator, partnered with ODBEC, which resulted in the Annual Canned Food Drive.

The Kids at Work Project:

1. Collects non-perishable items
2. Loads non-perishable items into the bus
3. Delivers the non-perishable items to ODBEC

The Kids at Work representatives tour ODBEC and speak with some of the residents from Christopher’s Place Employment Academy, a residential employment program that provides the necessary skills and financial standing for formerly homeless men to be successful in the community. This is an influential discussion for the children as the residents talk about where they came from and the not-so-good things they have been through in life and how Christopher’s Place has given them an opportunity of a lifetime to better themselves and their future.

On the ride back to SVV, there is a discussion about the trip. The older children usually talk about the Christopher’s Place residents and how they were once like us and if they didn’t focus on their future they could end up on the streets like they did.


Drop off un-expired canned goods in the DV or PS mail room by 12/29
Most Desired Items - Oatmeal Cylinders, Tea Bags with Strings, Coffee, Pepper
Donations will be delivered to ODBEC on December 30th






The Children Have Arrived!!

I was privileged yesterday to have the chance to join our Adoptions staff at BWI Airport as they welcomed five children from Colombia, South America, who arrived for a two week stay with host families in Maryland. The goal is to find permanent adoptive families for these children. Thanks to our colleagues in Colombia who worked so hard to make this possible. Thanks to Ellen Warnock and all of our fabulous adoption staff, particularly Margie Van Dyk, Liz Long, and Mary Ann Goetz, who worked at record speed to complete all the paperwork, training and support for the Host Families!

I also had a chance to meet the host families as they waited for the arrival with great anticipation at the gate.  They are a truly amazing and generous group of people, and what a special gift this is, during the Holiday season, to share with the children. 













Licensed Employment Forum

Come learn about employment opportunities at Center for Family Services
December 17, 2014
St Vincent’s Villa- Pot Spring Left Lounge

Residential Update

December 10, 2014 
I hope you and your families had a nice Thanksgiving.  I am grateful to be able to serve with you as together we work to improve and transform lives.  Your dedication, compassion and competence are truly inspiring.  
Per Bill McCarthy’s e-mail last night, we finally received a communication from the Office of Refugee Resettlement yesterday stating that they have “deferred” their decision on our grant application and will wait to see if there is a similar influx of unaccompanied youth as last year. At this point, we will proceed with the plan to close the Dulaney Valley building by the end of August.  The fact we received an almost perfect score on our application is a testament to you and the quality of work we do for the children and families we serve. 
In our continuing efforts to keep you informed, below are a few more answers to your questions that we have heard.  Please continue to share them with me, Mike, Ray or your supervisor.
What is the reason behind Mercy staff being designated as “safe”?   Why does the Mercy census tend to be lower than the other RTC units?  What will happen after the consolidation when we have fewer RTC units and need all of them to remain full?  Will all the residential units look like Mercy?  The State and Catholic Charities invested a great deal of resources into the development of this very unique unit and into the training and preparation of the staff to operate the unit.  There remains a great deal of attention on the unit and we need to ensure we can sustain the gains we have made.  We believe that census has struggled due to referral sources and families still getting used to the new model, but are confident that moving forward that this will become the standard for how RTC services are delivered for many more families.  The future of residential treatment across the country will look different; with enhanced family engagement, reduced lengths of stay, and improved long-term outcomes through a trauma-informed and community-based approach.  So while not all of the units will look just like Mercy, the expectation is that each unit will have RTC and clinical staff work with families in their homes (particularly closer to discharge), establish a Family psycho-educational and support group, provide specialized education and training (e.g.. TCI for Families), and coordinate/ collaborate with community service providers to ensure a smooth transition.  These changes will help position ourselves for long-term sustainability and health of the residential program.  
There are rumors going around about full-time RTC staff going to non-exempt (hourly status) soon.  Is this happening?  When?  Will this impact the amount of overtime I can work?  When will RTC positions be made available to non-degreed staff?  We are currently planning to convert the RTC position to an hourly, non-exempt status.  We are in the process of working on different aspects of this change including revising job descriptions, and evaluating whether we need new and more time clocks since all direct care staff will be clocking in/out.  Additionally plans are moving ahead to reclassify the base rates of the RTC positions, as well as to opening a limited number of positions up to non-degreed staff.  Staff working more than 40 hours weekly will be eligible for overtime in accordance with current policies instead of using ESCs, although as always, we are constantly making efforts to reduce overtime use, and these efforts are continuing.  We plan to implement all of these changes concurrently in late winter or early spring.  
Thank you.

Behavior Health Home Program Is Now Accredited

The Child and Family Services Division is proud to announce that the newly created Behavior Health Home Program has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Health Home Accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. The Gold Seal of Approval is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective care.
The Behavior Health Home Program underwent a rigorous on-site survey on October 3, 2014. During the survey, compliance with health home care standards reflecting key organization areas was evaluated, including the provision of care, treatment and services, emergency management, human resources, individual rights and responsibilities, and leadership. The accreditation process also provided the Behavior Health Home Program with education and guidance to help staff continue to improve its health home care program’s performance. All of our Evidence of Standard Compliance reports were accepted by the Joint Commission. The Behavior Health Home Program is certified through our next survey cycle in 2016.
This accomplishment was made possible by the vision, commitment, and hard work of a select group of individuals to launch a one of its kind, Children’s Behavior Health Home Program. The Behavior Health Home Program will promote wellness and prevention and will provide facilitated referral service for children to ensure that primary physical health needs are being met. Special recognition and congratulation to the following for creating the program and working on receiving the Joint Commission Gold Seal of Accreditation:  Robert Canosa, Kevin Mason, Eileen Kavlich, Anne Ober, Rodney Lee, Latia Suite, April Miller, Crystal Marsh, Kysha Naylor, Michelle Poindexter, and Erika Morgan.

Center for Family Services – Treatment Foster Care Program

We would like to acknowledge the following adoptions, guardianship, and reunification.
Tyrese  – Guardianship to The Oakmans
Brittany  – Adopted by The Watkins
Simere  – Reunited with his birth family
Building and Strengthening Families by Creating Safe and Permanent Connections

Promoting Resilience Through Caring and Respect for Others

Being a Trauma Informed Care agency includes helping to build resiliency in others.  There are several ways to do this.  Having a caring attitude and respect for others is one.

Caring and respect can be shown in countless small ways which may result in a big difference in the quality of our relationships and how we feel about ourselves and others. Something as simple as a smile and a greeting when another enters the building, a room, or an office can go a long way toward making that person feel welcomed.  Other ways to show caring and respect are to:

  • Show gratitude by saying thanks when being helped by another
  • Compliment the achievements of others
  • Offer assistance when it seems others may need it
  • Respect the abilities of others
  • Be a good listener
  • Respect others’ perspectives
  • Avoid judging others

These are just a few ways to show caring and respect for others.  Try brainstorming with your colleagues to see how many different ways to show caring and respect can be identified.

Next month we will tell you about the role that problem solving and coping skills play in building resilience.




Everyone benefits from children serving as volunteers. There are several advantages that children receive and contribute to organizations and society by serving as volunteers. Volunteerism has the potential of dramatically making a difference in the lives of young participants. The importance of children as volunteers promotes healthy lifestyle and choices, enhances development, teaches life skills, improves the community, and encourages a lifelong service ethic.

During one of their Safety Unity Respect Fun (SURF) groups, the Ambrose Girls expressed a desire to help people and families in the community.  We discovered that the Ambrose Girls wanted to reach out to terminally ill children in hospitals and volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House (RMH) and donate to the organization. 

RMH provides a home away from home for seriously ill children and their families, and helps to fund programs in the local area that directly improve the well-being of children.


The Ambrose Girls contacted RMH and found out that there were several opportunities to volunteer for group activities between the hours of 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm, and that each family at RMH has a mailbox/cubby that can be stuffed with gifts.  Additionally, they could serve dinner at RMH between the hours of 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm. 

The Ambrose Girls continue to make art gifts and cards for the mailboxes in hopes to deliver them to RMH. They also organized a holiday activity for RMH and volunteered there on a Saturday evening for an hour where they led art and craft activities and provided snacks for the RMH children and their families.

The experience was great for the Ambrose Girls and allowed them to understand and appreciate community outreach. RMH was very thankful for our work and the girls who attended reported that they really enjoyed the experience and would like to volunteer there again.

Melissa Stewart
Social Worker Intern
St. Vincent's Villa



Think about how current volunteer roles might be adapted for a young person. Remember to take into account commitments that young people might have, for example school work or faith barriers such as not volunteering on the Sabbath.


Almost all young people are familiar with new technology, software and social media. A huge range of volunteer opportunities can be created easily with this as a springboard, such as getting a young person to manage social media sites, blog regularly or make and edit videos, photos and publicity – all of which can even be done remotely.


By developing training sessions with young people in mind, you can easily cover lots of potential issues, such as confidentiality, what it means to be a responsible volunteer, and what to do if they have any issues. Don't forget to prepare current staff and volunteers for working with young people – sometimes a bad experience with other volunteers can put young people off.


Sounds obvious, but we all like to be appreciated. Include young volunteers in an awards evening or recognition. 


If we all shout about what we are doing to support young volunteers, it will gradually become more acceptable to include young volunteers, and we can learn from one another's experiences. Use newsletters, social media and local schools or youth groups to publicize their good work.

Bringing young people into a volunteer program is great for the community, and builds a young person's skills and confidence.



ronald mcdonald house




B-CARS Staff Serve Dinner at My Sister's Place

Last week another amazing experience took place at My Sister’s Place as the staff from B-CARS prepared and served a wonderful meal.  The staff exhibited incredible teamwork and camaraderie as boundless energy filled the air.  Celena Hoey was the leader of this event and she inspired the group.  The staff was thoughtful in its planning and made the women feel special.
The gourmet meal was planned by Nicole Miller; it included wonderful deserts and flowers with inspirational messages on them.  This group was so passionate about the mission that the women who came that evening left receiving so much more than a meal. 
Many thanks to Janet Herilla for facilitating her staff’s participation in this meaningful event.
The next event is scheduled for Thursday, January 15th and the host is Environmental Services under the leadership of John Steuernagle.
Andrea Commarata

LEAD Academy Reflection: November 2014

November’s class was as exceptional as the first two.  We had our first field trip to Howard Bank’s headquarters.  My expectations of what we were going to learn from bank executives were more of a making money leadership perspective.  I was pleasantly surprised to see Howard Bank’s (HB) core values and mission were very similar to Catholic Charities and my own.
Mary Ann Scully, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer, presented the history of the bank; she included how and why they were able to grow using intentional leadership qualities, core values, mottos and mission.  It felt like she was telling a story as she did not use any notes and made the connections on how HB used leadership skills, core values and the bank’s mission statement in their remarkable growth. 
HB started in 2004. HB’s focus was and still is small to medium businesses.  2004 through 2006 were great years but 2007 was rough for HB. Not giving into the outside economy and embracing the change, one of HB’s intentional strategies is staying committed to the community.  Doing whatever it takes to make the community strong in turn will make the bank strong as well.  In 2008-2009, HB executives had a huge decision to make; should they bite the bullet once and take a $45M loss or should they spread the loss over several quarters hoping for the economy to recover?  HB ended up taking the $45M loss in the 4th QTR of 2009.  Taking a hit huge loss at once was a brave and daring move.  The lesson taught by HB is not to avoid risk, but rather to manage risk.
HB’s growth strategy is both organic and de novo.  HB focused to expand toward counties that are underserved rather than towards counties that have more wealth.  HB focused on branding and made communication a priority.  They have a big bank brain with a small bank heart. They are always asking themselves how they can exceed their customers’ vision of what a bank should be, while being their customers’ most valued partner.  HB more than provides solutions, they provide the means.  HB’s core purpose is to serve their customer above all else, with trust and expertise at every level of the banking relationship. 
Mary Ann Scully also shared some insights of leadership. Growth by definition is about change.  Leaders should be proactive not just reactive.  She personally does not worry about things out of her control.  Personality should be disciplined and have a lot of integrity, driven and committed, assured yet humble.  Ms. Scully proved herself to be a lifelong learner and is always willing to share the knowledge.  She knows what she knows and even more important knows what she doesn’t know.  Seek out change, think big and deliver bigger.  Growing pains are healthy; it is a gift not a burden. Ms. Scully closed with the philosophy of E.L.I.T.E, which stands for Always strive for Excellence, Leadership, Integrity, Teamwork, Enhance the community. 
Robert Altieri, Executive Vice President, President of the Mortgage Division, Head of Specialty Lending, expressed his thoughts on the importance of having great chemistry/culture in the workplace.  Mr. Altieri made the decision to leave a bank which existed for 110 years and a culture that was very customer/community oriented.  Later he took the job with HB and he felt he could not be more at home, and he later brought around 30 employees from his old bank knowing they would also fit with HB’s chemistry.  When interviewing as an potential employee, employer, etc you have to not only determine if the person can do the job, or can you grow your career at this company, but more importantly is the chemistry a right fit.  Using buzz words can help you determine whether the fit is right.
Steve Poynot, Senior Vice President, Client Services Team Leader, showed us how HB welcomed leadership from any chair. HB acknowledges the need of communicating goals and empowering the right people which not only generates numbers but makes for rapid growth, enables self esteem. 
LEAD Fellows then went back to the Dulaney Valley campus to have lunch.  We worked and had great progress on our team project.   We closed the day with an eye opening exercise to reflect on our mentor experience.  Mari Pat McGuire provided a sociometry exercise, which triggered thoughts of what is going right or wrong with our relationship and where to go from there. 
Howard Bank was a great place to have our first field trip.  It showed the LEAD Academy many impressive techniques on how to deal with “Leadership under Fire.”  What a great day!!!
Margarita Quashie
Margarita Quashie is the Payroll Manager in Accounting and Finance and a Fellow in the LEAD Class of 2015. She spends her days at Catholic Charities ensuring and supporting the broad array of programs and servicing the 2,000+ amazing employees.  She constantly questions and reviews systems, policies and procedures to be sure that the three payrolls are processed accurately and in a timely manner. In April 2014, Margarita earned the Certified Payroll Professional certification from the American Payroll Association after passing a comprehensive 4 hour exam that required months of study. Supporting her in the LEAD program, among others, are her supervisor, Randy Davis, and her mentor, Janet Herilla, in the Child and Family Services division.


Job Openings at CFS


At the moment, we have 4 positions within CFS that we are recruiting for:
Please click on the links above for the job descriptions; all of these positions require social work licensure.  Please pass this along to your friends and colleagues.
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New Staff, Volunteers and Interns

Please wait while JT SlideShow is loading images...
Chelsae Lorditch<br/>Food Service Aide<br/>Carrol Co. Head StartEmily Gibbs<br/>BSFT Therapist 1<br/>BHC LansdowneErin Gilbert<br/>Therapist 1<br/>BHC LansdowneAisha McClain<br/>Program Coordinator 1<br/>VM Home Based RespiteEbonee Hallman<br/>In-Home Intervention Spec.<br/>BCARS


Current Forecast
Mon, 22 Dec 2014 8:43 am EST
High: 38°F
Low: 34°F
Sunrise  7:20 am
Sunset 4:45 pm
Humidity: 87 %
Visibility: 10 mi
Barometer: 30.32 in
 23 Dec 2014
AM Fog/PM Clouds
48°F / 43°F
 24 Dec 2014
57°F / 47°F
 25 Dec 2014
Partly Cloudy
49°F / 32°F
 26 Dec 2014
51°F / 31°F
 27 Dec 2014
53°F / 33°F
 28 Dec 2014
PM Showers
40°F / 26°F
 29 Dec 2014
Mostly Sunny
37°F / 28°F
 30 Dec 2014
Partly Cloudy
37°F / 29°F
 31 Dec 2014
Snow Showers
33°F / 23°F

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