The Board of Child Care provides youth with various opportunities to network and express their experiences while in foster care. Below is the story written by one of our youth who participated in panel discussion with other Maryland Foster Care Youth
When I was asked to participate in the MARFY foster care panel, I didn’t have to think twice about giving an astounding “Yes!”. I always enjoy talking about my foster care experiences and giving feedback on what works and what needs improvement. While participating in the panel, I was asked questions such as “How is my therapy going” and “how am I able to calm down when I’m escalated”, and my overarching response was relationships. At the Board of Child Care, I have formed strong relationships with Child Care Workers who understand me and want to see me succeed.
The panel also consisted of a networking session where I was able to exchange contact information with various stakeholders who will be able to help me achieve my personal and career goals, and gave me an opportunity to connect with the Maryland Foster Care Ombudsman who is always available to offer me support and resources when needed. I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity and hope to be able to attend this panel event next year!
“Those skills include not only how to handle your condition, he says, but “life skills” teach you how to how to cook, how to budget money, how to shop, and how to keep your room clean,” – Michael says.
At an early age, Michael battled depression and anxiety. He needed help in school and was falling behind when his parents first sought help from their son.
Today, Michael lives with his family in Maryland. He has full time employment and continues to work on life skills such as showing up to work on time or early, saving some of his paycheck, and continue to work on a healthy relationship with my family.
The real superstars – you!
Michael says school would not have been possible without the community that helps and supports BCC.
He recognized that everyone wants the best for him and the only way he can succeed is to finish his education. Michael ended with stating, “School helped me become employable by breaking down the confusing material into ways in which I could understand.”
“The real superstars are the strong supportive community we have here at BCC, thank you for helping me to grow up!”
We value life, spirit, and health above all else and take action to maintain the safety of our workplaces, programs, and services. We are personally accountable for our own safety and collectively responsible for the safety of our community.
Jaclyn Blachly, Director of Behavior & Related Service, Strawbridge School. We all share a collective responsibility in ensuring that we are accountable for our own safety but also the youth and others around us. As such, emergency drills should always be taken seriously. Recently the Baltimore Campus experienced an event that called for a Code Purple campus-wide. Jaclyn Blachly, our Director of Behavior & Related Service at Strawbridge was selected for this core value award due to her outstanding management and behavior during this event. Jaclyn was able to remain calm while managing the situation and communicated frequently and effectively with other teammates at the same time.
Jacklyn, I appreciate your awareness and dedication to safety. We hope that your behavior can be used as an example for all staff throughout BCC on the importance of calm and clear communication during emergency situations. Congratulations and thank you.
Openness and honesty with all stakeholders make for both the best program outcomes and team culture. We, as an organization, must build trust with our program participants by being thoughtful, transparent, and committed to our decisions and promises.
Renne Stewart(Ra- nay) is a Child Care Worker at our Denton campus. Renee was selected for going above and beyond in assisting BCC with staffing coverage throughout the Maryland facilities. She has filled in at our Baltimore, Gateway, and Colesville locations across a variety of programs. Renee is eager to learn and models both flexibility and accountability for her teammates. Renee, I sincerely appreciate your willingness to travel and ensure BCC runs smoothly. Thank you and Congratulations!
At the Board of Child Care, we support our alumni and are always looking opportunities to connect with foster care alumni.
Earlier this month, a couple of our the youth were able to attend an annual foster care alumni conference. The conference included an opportunity to meet the foster care ombudsman, a successful entrepreneur alumni, and provided an opportunity for youth to share their stories. There were also various breakout information sessions on topics such as financial stability, public speaking, and defining your personal creative process. Phillip “Nick” described the end of the conference as bittersweet because “it gave me encouragement and let me know that there are people out there just like me. I really enjoyed this event, and would like to attend more events like this one”.