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Keyword: adopt

May is National Foster Care Month - Honoring, Uniting and Celebrating Families

The Baltimore County Department of Social Services is seeking individuals and couples interested in becoming resource parents. Currently Baltimore County has over 550 children in foster care.

Resource parents are those who foster or adopt children in need of care, including relatives of those children. Foster care provides children with a safe, stable, and nurturing home environment while the parents and other family members are offered services intended to remedy the problem that led to the child’s placement in foster care. Foster care is meant to be temporary, as the ultimate goal is to reunify children with their parents whenever possible.

“As a foster parent myself, I have found that the rewards of opening my heart and home allowed a child to be rescued and hope to be restored,” said Director of the Baltimore County Department of Social Services Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch. “I am asking eligible residents to please consider changing a life by sharing yours.”

 To be a resource parent, you need to:

  • Have patience, flexibility and a commitment to children
  • Be over age 21
  • Be able to meet your family’s financial obligations
  • Have room for a child
  • Be in good physical and mental health
  • Agree to have a background check, including criminal background
  • Agree not to smoke around the foster child, including both in your home and in the car

To become a resource parent, you must:

  • Attend an information meeting
  • Complete a registration and authorization for clearance forms
  • Complete 30 hours of pre-service training
  • Obtain your first aid and CPR certifications
  • Complete the home study approval process

If you are interested in becoming a resource parent, staff will be assigned to work with you to provide training and ongoing support throughout the home study process and after a child is accepted into your home. Financial and medical assistance are also provided.

For more information on becoming a resource parent, visit or call 410-853-3170.

photo of father hugging sonNovember is National Adoption Month

A courtroom isn’t usually a very happy place, but on Saturday, November 21, people in courtrooms around the country will be celebrating the adoption of children from the foster care system.

In Baltimore County, we are delighted to join in the celebration with six of our foster children getting “forever homes” by being adopted by their relatives or foster parents.

November has been dedicated as National Adoption Awareness Month for the past 19 years. The purpose is to let people know that public agencies, such as Baltimore County Department of Social Services, have children in foster care who need loving foster and adoptive families. Attention has been given to all types of foster children; those with special needs, teenagers, infants and sibling groups that all need a place to call home. As a result more and more people have come forward to become foster parents; however, there is more work to be done.

More Individuals and Families Needed

During National Adoption Awareness Month we want to make the Baltimore County community aware that we still need more individuals and families who are able to open their hearts and their homes to our County’s most vulnerable children by becoming foster parents. Whether it’s for a night, a year or forever, these children need foster parents to provide safety, stability and love.

 Learn what it means to help change a child’s life by sharing yours. Become a foster parent. For more information, contact the Baltimore County Foster Parent Program at 410-853-3170 or       

Michelle Darling, Supervisor                            
Dawn Pipesh and Susan Oberfeld, Foster Parent Program Recruiters        
Baltimore County Department of Social Services     


A New You in 2013

by Gregory Wm. Branch, M.D., MBA, CPE
Director, Baltimore County Health and Human Services
 Health Officer

Every New Year people set goals and make resolutions and promises that they really want to keep, but they often fail to follow through because they put no plan of action in place. Don't get trapped by this vicious cycle and let 2013 be the same as every other year. Do something different to get different results.

If you live, work, or play in Baltimore County, use the following tips to become a STAR and shoot toward a healthy you. If some of the tips don't apply to you, don't sweat it. Instead, share them with someone you know who could benefit from them.

Stop Smoking

If you are thinking about quitting or want to quit, enroll in a Freedom From Smoking® cessation class.

Take the Test

Get tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases at a Department of Health clinic at no cost. Sharing this information is great; spreading an infection is not.

Adopt a Pet

There are numerous  pets in Baltimore County that are in need of someone who will love and care for them. Consider opening your heart and home to anadoptable pet.

Remember to Schedule an Appointment

Women, take care of your breast and cervical health by scheduling an annual mammogram and routine Pap test. These screenings may be available free of charge to income-eligible women. Men, take care of the women you love by reminding them to schedule these life-saving tests.

For more information about STAR tips, contact the Baltimore County Department of Health and Human Services by calling 410-887-BCHD.


Revised April 6, 2016