Baltimore County Now
Michelle Darling, Dawn Pipesh and Susan Oberfeld; Foster Parent Program
Baltimore County Department of Social Services
National Foster Care Month is in May and as such, it’s a perfect time to thank the many, dedicated families who care for our county’s foster children. It’s also a great opportunity to let others know about our ongoing need for foster parents.
At any given time in Baltimore County, between 500 and 600 children are in foster care. They range in age from infants to young adults up to age 21.
In addition to providing a safe and loving place to call home, foster families help a child’s healing process. With each foster child they take into their home, these families help end the cycle of abuse and neglect. They can be instrumental in helping a child to be the first in his or her family to finish high school or even go to college.
Are you interested in changing a child’s life and empowering their future? Can you offer safety, stability and nurturing to one of our County’s most vulnerable children? If so, our social workers are eager to work with you. We provide training and ongoing support throughout the home study process as well as afterwards, when a child is accepted into your home. Financial and medical assistance are also provided.
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
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
Free, monthly informational sessions are available. For more information on becoming a foster parent:
· Call: 410-853-3170
· Email: email@example.com
It could be the best thing you ever do – for yourself and for a child.
Baltimore County Department of Economic Development, Workforce Development
"Working this summer made me a better person, a better employee and a better student." That's how one youth described his experience after participating in Baltimore County's 2013 Summer Youth Employment Program.
Over 200 participants ages 15-22 participated in this six-week program designed for youth to gain an appreciation of the labor market, gain insights into their own strengths as employable citizens, and learn marketable skills. Youth who were homeless, in foster care, disabled and economically disadvantaged worked 30 hours a week earning $8.00 an hour. The work experiences were provided by over 75 employers from the County's business community including public, private and non-profit organizations. Wages were supported by funds from the Division of Rehabilitation Services, Department of Social Services, Maryland Summer Youth Connections and the Workforce Investment Act. The summer program was sponsored by Baltimore County Department of Economic Development – Division of Workforce Development.
A highlight was New Horizon II, a partnership among Baltimore County’s Division of Workforce Development, Y of Central Maryland, Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Foundation and Baltimore County Public Schools. The program provided 25 homeless youth, ages 15 – 21 a morning of academic instruction and employability training, followed by an afternoon of real-world work experience. The academic program, administered by Baltimore County Public School teachers, assisted youth in attaining the necessary credits to graduate from high school. Since the program was located in Dundalk, work experiences were provided by area businesses including the Dundalk Eagle, Dundalk Renaissance Corporation, Police Athletic League, Access Art, and Blue Ocean Property Management.
The summer program was a win-win for youth and employers. Youth gained valuable experience working as office clerks, senior center aides, camp counselors and custodians. Employers served as mentors and taught the youth basic work skills. Both youth and employers experienced a summer they will never forget. As one young participant said, "When I leave this program, I will take with me some work experience, some new friends, and a different outlook on the world of work."