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Keyword: department of social services

Take TIME to Call on Behalf of County Residents at Risk of Harm

People reporting the suspected abuse and/or neglect of a Baltimore County child or vulnerable adult should call the Baltimore County Department of Social Services’ new Information, Referral and Screening number, 410-887-TIME (8463). With the roll out of the new phone number, there is no TIME like the present to report suspected abuse or neglect. Taking the time to call for help on behalf of someone at risk of harm can make all the difference for that individual.  

“The Baltimore County Department of Social Services stands ready to help those in our community that are vulnerable,” said Gregory Wm. Branch, M.D., Director of the Baltimore County Department of Health and Human Services. “We are our brothers’ keeper and have a responsibility to say something when we suspect someone is at risk of abuse or neglect. The TIME is always right to make the call.”

The TIME phone line will facilitate an even more efficient and timely response on behalf of County residents. Callers reporting suspected abuse or neglect of a child or vulnerable adult speak with screeners that take information needed to assess each situation and determine the appropriate course of action. In addition, County residents who are homeless (or in danger of becoming homeless) can call 410-887-8463 to receive a shelter needs assessment, referral to available resources, and/or information about available homeless shelter beds in Baltimore County.

Hours of operation for 410-887-TIME (8463) are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. After normal business hours, callers wishing to report suspected abuse or neglect should call the emergency after-hours number (410-583-9398), and callers needing homeless services information should call 410-887-8463 the next business day.   

May is National Foster Care Month

The Baltimore County Department of Social Services is seeking individuals and couples interested in becoming resource parents. Baltimore County currently has more than 575 children in foster care.  

When children have to be separated from their biological parents, it is often helpful for them to be placed with family member or others with an existing relationship with the child. This kind of familiarity can help to lessen the anxieties the child is already experiencing.      

“As a foster parent I have found that the rewards of opening my heart and home were more than I will ever be able to express,” said Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch, Director of the Baltimore County Department of Social Services. “I am asking eligible residents to consider changing a life by sharing yours.”

Resource parents are those who foster or adopt children in need of care. They can be related to the child. 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.

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 placed in your home. Financial and medical assistance are also provided.

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

Show airs on Cable Channel 25 and online

The latest edition of Baltimore County’s half-hour cable television public affairs show, “Hello Baltimore County,” introduces the County’s new Fire Chief Kyrle W. Preis III; and highlights two innovative and successful County initiatives, one that provides extra support to ensure good outcomes for young families and one that gives seniors and other vulnerable adults a safe, caring home.   

ICYMI – In case you missed it, we review some recent headlines from your County government.

Meet the New Fire Chief - Fire Chief Kyrle Preis discusses his priorities and initiatives.

Supporting Young Parents - Hear about the successes of the County’s Young Parent Support Center – celebrating 25 years of making a difference.

Adult Foster Care – Have room in your heart and home? Foster care is a great option for adults who need a little help.

You can also view the show on the County website’s Hello Baltimore County page at . Click on the menu icon in the upper left of the video screen to select an individual segment.

In addition to online access, the program runs several times per week on Cable Channel 25, in Baltimore County, at the following times:

Mondays: 1:30 p.m., 6 p.m., 10 p.m.

Tuesdays: 12 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 9 p.m.

Wednesdays: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 10 p.m.

Thursdays: 1 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 8 p.m.

Fridays: 11 a.m., 6 p.m.

Saturdays: 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m., 10:30 p.m.

Sundays: 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m., 10:30 p.m.

Revised September 11, 2017