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Date: May 4, 2018

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,” features an interview with newly appointed BCPS Superintendent Verletta White, the County’s new College Promise program and a major fire safety initiative.

Smoke and CO Alarms Save Lives – Is your home safe? Find out about County Fire crews offering free home safety visits, and smoke/CO alarms for eligible residents.

Baltimore County’s College Promise Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and CCBC President Sandra Kurtinitis explain how the County is making CCBC tuition-free for eligible students.

BCPS Superintendent Verletta White – Hear firsthand from the newly appointed Superintendent of Schools about her priorities and student-centered approach to creating safe and effective learning environments.

You can also view the show on the County website’s Hello Baltimore County page. 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.

Award Celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced that he will recognize the recipients of the 2018 Baltimore County Asian American Excellence Award — at a recognition event to be held in May, which is designated Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

This award is presented to individuals whose life work has successfully contributed to the socioeconomic vitality of the greater Baltimore region, and whose efforts inspire others to strive for success and to celebrate diversity and achievement.

The awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday, May 23 at the Owings Mills branch of the Baltimore County Public Library, located at 10302 Grand Central Avenue in Owings Mills.

The 2018 Awardees are:

  • Bel Leong-Hong is a mathematician and computer scientist. She worked at the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) for 30 years where she held numerous high-level posts: Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence; Principal Deputy Director of the Defense Security Service; and Deputy Commander of the Joint Inter-operability and Engineering. She was appointed the first Department of Defense Data-Wide Administrator and created the DOD  Center of Software Excellence in Defense Information Systems Agency.  
  • Sudip Patel is a successful entrepreneur and community benefactor. He owns 15 Dunkin' Donuts franchises between Baltimore and Washington D.C., employing more than 150 workers. He is a longtime community supporter, helping local schools and non-profits raise funds.
  • Marianne Brackney is a highly regarded community advocate. She was the lead liaison for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) issues for the Social Security Agency. Marianne was instrumental on the White House Initiative on APPIs Interagency Implementation Team and has made significant contributions in upgrading Social Security data for Asian and Pacific Islander language access and preferences.
  • Ravilal Sunar, an entrepreneur and father of four children, migrated from Nepal in 1996. Growing up in the Himalayan foothills, he fought against caste-based social injustice and ethnic discrimination for equity and human dignity. As a member of the Baltimore Association of Nepalese in America, he helped purchase the first Nepali Community Resource Center in Baltimore County. Similarly, as a Trustee of Nepali American Culture Center of Baltimore, he spearheaded the campaign to acquire the center’s 31-acre property in 2018.
  • Rosa Cruz Penafiel, an expert in economic and community development, is the Vice President of Communications for the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation (AAEDC). She supervised the marketing campaign of AAEDC’s VOLT Fund, a state-backed loan program funded with casino revenues to benefit small, minority, women and veteran-owned businesses. Since 2013, AAEDC has approved financing totaling $10.7 million, and is credited with retaining 378 jobs, creating 338 jobs, and spurring capital investment of almost $29 million.

About Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

May is designated nationally as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, celebrating the achievements and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum are among the many organizations paying tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America’s history and are instrumental in its future success.

In June 1977, Representatives Frank Horton of New York and Norman Y. Mineta of California introduced a House resolution to proclaim the first ten days of May as Asian-Pacific Heritage week. The following month, Senators Daniel K. Inouye and Spark Matsunaga from Hawaii introduced a similar bill in the Senate. Both were passed and on October 5, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a Joint Resolution designating the annual celebration. In 1990, President George H. W. Bush signed a bill passed by Congress to extend the week-long celebration to a full month. In 1992, the official designation of May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month was signed into law.

According to the Asian American Heritage Month website, May was selected to recognize the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869, which was constructed primarily by Chinese immigrants.

Revised September 11, 2017