BCC staff share best practices and lessons learned
On October 6, 2016, BCC’s Director of Training, Monte Ephraim LCSW-C, and Shawn Elbert, BCC’s Baltimore Spiritual Life Coordinator, represented the Board of Child Care by presenting at the 36th Annual MARFY Conference.
Participant were introduced to The Child Welfare Trauma Training Toolkit (CWTTT), which is an evidence-based toolkit designed to teach basic knowledge, skills, and values about working with children who are in the child welfare system and who have experienced traumatic events.
The toolkit teaches strategies for using trauma-informed child welfare practice to enhance the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and families who are involved in the child welfare system. Participants had an opportunity to review the toolkit and the applicable benefits to their own work. The presentation also discussed how to infuse trauma-informed care into an organization and make it a focus for each staff working with youth.
Shawn and Monte will be also be presenting at the Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) Conference on October 27th. Their session will focus on Mental Health First Aid, of which Shawn and Monte are certified trainers.Read more from Stronger Together
Hunt is a born and raised Washington, D.C. native with a passion for working with young children. She received her associate’s degree in child development from Southeastern University. Hunt became a teacher in 2006 at BCC’s Early Learning Program (Washington, D.C.).
Q. Have you always known you wanted to work with young children?
A. Absolutely. In high school, I was a tutor in an aftercare program, and from them on always had a passion to work with young children. When I graduated from Southeastern, I went to work at a childcare center right away. Four years later, I joined BCC and have been here ever since.
Q. DC uses a mixed income model in its classrooms. How does that work?
A. A little over half of the children at the DC ELP are utilizing a voucher from the District of Columbia to cover tuition. The remainder of the families pay privately. I really like this model because it encourages an exchange of culture. Traditions such as clothing, language, and observed holidays all shine through in the classroom. It is a special moment when you see that the kids are learning from each other.
Q. You mentioned you had a “shadow” with you from day one. Who was following you around?
A. My first day at BCC was also the first day for an adorable little one-year-old toddler. I just so happened to be the first person she met when she came to the center. She must have seen my “I’m new here too” glow because she followed me around all the time after that!
Q. Leaving their parents is tough for some children. What do you do to help them adjust?
A. You absolutely need to be compassionate and remember that every child will adjust differently. The DC program serves kids from six weeks up through five year olds, but all of them need a lot of nurturing at this stage in their lives.
Q. How have early learning programs changed since you graduated from school?
A. I think the whole industry of childcare is changing and I am glad to be at a place where an actual curriculum is used. [Ed. Note: the curriculum the DC ELP uses is called the Creative Curriculum]. I learn a lot from it. I like all the ideas it gives me for how to manage my classroom and the actual resource cards, books, and learning tools are great. I also recently attended Quality Improvement Network’s (QIN) almost yearlong training in early childhood development and really took a lot away from that.
[Ed. Note: The Quality Improvement network is a consortium of early learning providers in DC working to improve access to quality early childhood education. Ashely completed eight, 3-hour sessions over the past year that were offered by QIN. Some of the modules covered included classroom management strategies and student-teacher interaction techniques.]
Q. We heard you took away more than a certificate of completion after the QIN training. What was it?
A. I was honored to be selected by my fellow classmates as the winner of the “QIN Spirit” award!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kristian Sekse
Martinsburg, WV – October 17, 2016 – The Board of Child Care’s (BCC) West Virginia programs have partnered with Blue Ridge Community and Technical College (Blue Ridge CTC) to provide tutors for youth served by BCC.
Blue Ridge CTC student tutors are education majors who are taking a class that requires at least ten hours of face to face experience with at-risk youth. The Blue Ridge CTC students will provide one to two hours tutoring weekly from October through December. Cumulatively over 200 hours of tutoring will be provided for the approximately 25 young adults living at BCC’s WV programs.
This is the first partnership between BCC and Blue Ridge CTC. Orientation for the 18 Blue Ridge CTC student tutors was held on September 26 at BCC. The student tutors received a tour of the campus and an overview of the therapy and programing offered by BCC.
“It is absolutely wonderful to have tutors coming in to help our youth,” said Jackie Columbia, Director of WV Operations for BCC. “We hope that Blue Ridge CTC will make tutoring at BCC part of the curriculum each year. It’s such a wonderful resource for our youth especially so early in the school year. It really gives them some momentum and confidence heading into the second semester.”
BCC has two program locations in Martinsburg, WV and both serve foster care youth in WV. On the larger campus youth live and go to school on the property. At the group homes youth attend public school during the day. Blue Ridge CTC student tutors will volunteer at both program locations.
The Board of Child Care has a long history of serving children and families in the community. The organization began as three United Methodist orphanages that opened in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which later merged in 1960 to become the Board of Child Care. BCC’s operations expanded from Maryland to West Virginia in 2001.
Today, the Board of Child Care’s $27 million annual budget provides programs to enrich communities, one family at a time. It offers residential, mental health, educational, and therapeutic counseling services across Maryland, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. To see a map of all program locations and descriptions of each BCC program, visit www.boardofchildcare.org.
-END-Read more from PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN BCC & BLUE RIDGE COMMUNITY AND TECHNICAL COLLEGE NOW PROVIDING TUTORS FOR FOSTER CARE YOUTH
Thanksgiving Donations for 2016
Projected number of baskets to be assembled 180
Below are the Region’s assigned items for the Auxiliary’s Thanksgiving Baskets. Please have your items to either your church or the Auxiliary’s office on the Baltimore campus by November 3, 2016. Baskets will be assembled on November 10, 2016.
*NOTE: THERE ARE CHANGES IN DONATION REQUESTS!!!!
*ALSO – NOTE CAN SIZES
We must have ALL donations delivered to Baltimore – Welcome / Archive Center, lower level by November 3rd. We need time to count – organize and purchase any additional items.
Canned Fruit (20-29 ounce cans) AND
Sweet Potatoes (29 oz or 40 oz)
Cranberry Sauce, Green Beans (15 ounce cans)
AND Sweet Potatoes (29 oz or 40 oz)
Money for Hams
Corn and Peas (15 oz cans)
AND Cake Mix and Icing
Check out photos from last year’s successful canned food drive!
Read more from Thanksgiving Donations for 2016
Andrea Carroll, Director of the clinic, was on hand while the families were ‘shopping.’ “One mother was so overwhelmed with joy, praises, and thanks, that she gave me a hug and cried on my shoulder,” said Carroll. “Here are a few of the other reactions and notes of thanks we received.”
“Oh, Lord Jesus, thank you!” from a grandmother raising four school-aged children who has been down on her luck this past year and has a disabled child of her own.
“We are so glad that BCC was able to help us with our supplies. It is so expensive with two children and one income.”
“Thank you all for all that you have done with the supplies. This means more to me and my family than you would even imagine.”
“Wow!!! There are so many supplies to choose from. We love that BCC lends a helping hand.”
“The Board of Child Care is so thoughtful year round with the donations that they receive. We are so happy that you are able to help our family.”
“I am so thankful for all of the companies and people that make it possible for Board of Child Care to help families that need help. Thank you BCC for sharing and making everything easier for our family.”Read more from OMHC Families Benefit From Donated Supplies
Community service project by BCC youth has lasting impact on hospital
Several months ago, the Spiritual Life team asked youth to create get well cards for patients at hospitals throughout Maryland. The community service project was not about personally knowing the people the cards would go to, but understanding that being kind, even to strangers, is important.
Rev. Stacey Nickerson, BCC’s Director of Church and Community Engagement, received a note back from a hospital chaplain who had received a stack of the cards.
About three weeks ago, I gave away the first card to a gentleman on the behavioral unit. This is for people with emotional and mental illnesses. I’ll call him David. He is in his early 80’s and was very depressed when he came to the hospital. We had some good talks, but he couldn’t see any hope for the future. He has no family, and had a heart attack that left him unable to care for himself. He tried to end his life before coming to the hospital.
When I gave him your card, he looked at it, said “thank you”, and returned it to the envelope. He left the envelope on his tummy, and went back to sleep.
A few days later I saw him again. He still felt hopeless.
Well, yesterday, I read about him on the computer before I went to see him. I was so happy to read that he was feeling better. I went up to the 6th floor to see him for myself. He was still lying in bed, but he actually gave me a small smile. I hadn’t seen him smile before. He said: “it’s too hard to stay negative with about a hundred positive people in here all day long!”
He is being discharged to a nursing home. He thanked me for visiting and encouraging him. Your card was with his belongings that he is taking with him when he leaves. You definitely played a role in his recovery, because you are one of those “hundred” positive people who made it hard for him to stay sad.
So thank you very much for supporting David and showing him God’s love.
On Tuesdays, I lead a spirituality group on this unit. We talk about God together. So next week, I plan to take some of your cards with me, and focus the whole session around giving one of your cards to each member of the group. We have young and older people, men and women, black, white, Asian, Hispanic – everyone. I never know until I arrive who will be there, of course. We will discuss what it means for young people like you to take the time to make these cards, sending a message that says: “we may not know you but it doesn’t mean that we don’t care”. Your cards are a message from God, letting these people know that God still cares about them. It gives them a lot to think about, and makes them smile.
Another week in my group, I plan to have the group members make their own cards for other patients in the hospital, and even for the staff, to say thank you for caring for me! That will make the nurses and doctors feel happy.
I would never have had these two great ideas if you hadn’t made your cards and sent them for me to use. Your cards are truly an inspiration. Even when your cards have all been given away, your idea will stay behind and keep bearing fruit.
This is how love works.
Thank you again for your ministry to these lonely and troubled people.
~ AngelaRead more from Sometimes all it takes is a note
On September 17, 2016, Glen Mar United Methodist Church’s Confirmation Class visited BCC’s Baltimore campus. They held their retreat in the chapel. The class brought a donation of scented body wash for our youth. These items will be used in welcome bags for new residents arriving at BCC.
Thanks Glen Mar UMC!
Interested in Reserving the Chapel for your group?
We welcome faith groups to use our Baltimore campus chapel at no charge. Simply send us a note via our Contact Us form if you would like a staff member to send you some more information.Read more from Glen Mar UMC Confirmation Class visits BCC
Ayers started at BCC in 2014 as a Child Care Worker on the Denton Campus covered in beef stew (Not a typo! read on for the full story). In October 2015, she was selected to manage a community-based program BCC received a grant to start. Ayers graduated in 2004 with a B.S. from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in human ecology (child development concentration). A Dover, DE native, Ayres has spent her career to date focused on helping young adolescents.
You’re at a BBQ and somebody asks you what you do. How do you describe your role? The kids and the families you work with?
I start with the basics and just tell them I work at a group home in the community. I admit I do get a few funny looks. I think that comes from the stereotype that some people have of who lives at a group home. Or they think that because I’m a girl that I shouldn’t be working with adolescents with behavior challenges! But I just tell them the kids are awesome and that it’s your relationship with them that matters more. Not how big or strong you are.
Who have been mentors for you as you’ve started your career?
I would definitely say Karen has been a role model (Ed. Note: Karen McGee, Denton’s Program Director). I can ask her anything and I learn something from her every time. My older sister is another – she’s like my second mom. She kind of raised me because my mom worked an overnight job.
Do you get a lot of support from your family for what you do?
At first I don’t think they really understood why I wanted to do this. Even though my sister is older we’ve actually been living very parallel education and work lives. We graduated from our respective colleges a week apart. My sister is working at a group home in Delaware as a parent aid and my cousin actually just started a job in the human services field. So now it’s becoming more of a family thing and I think everyone understands a little better who we’re actually helping and how much of an impact we are making.
So the “stew” story we gather is kind of famous on campus. Could you share what happened on your first day?
My first day at BCC is definitely a story shared often around here. I was sitting with two boys at lunch and they started to argue about something. One of them accidentally spilled his bowl of beef stew all over me. I finished my shift and believe me each day since I have kept a spare set of clothes in my car! I guess some people would have said this job wasn’t for them after something like that, but I knew after that first day I was supposed to be here.
You’ve switched roles from Child Care Worker to working on this Community Program grant. Tell us about that.
About a year ago BCC was awarded a grant from Caroline county to do more therapy with young adults who were exhibiting “at risk” behaviors. The work was really focused on early intervention and trying to keep them out of the foster care or juvenile court system. This year Caroline county shifted the focus of our work to target youth who have at least one parent recently released from incarceration.
I do a lot of work on just basic communication. When a young person hasn’t had this adult figure in their life for some time it can be difficult to reconnect (and vice versa for the adult – they feel awkward and don’t know what to talk about). I’m excited because this work is all about strengthening families and the stronger we can make them, the stronger the community will be overall.
What’s next for you? Going back to school?
My next life adventure is definitely graduate school. I’m going to try to do my degree online because I really like this job and don’t want to leave!
If you could snap your fingers and something could be different, what would it be?
Probably extend the day. There just isn’t enough time to do everything I want to!