BCC’s Leadership Statement on the Verdict Yesterday: April 20, 2021

On behalf of the board of directors, and the entire executive leadership team, we would like to take a moment to respond to two events from yesterday: the Derek Chauvin trial verdict and the unfolding events surrounding the tragic death of fifteen-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant, who was shot by a police officer in Columbus, Ohio. Continue reading…

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Our purpose and BCC’s path forward

A Letter from BCC’s President & CEO

“Compassion asks for us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion and anguish.  Compassion means the full immersion of being human.” ~ Henri Nouwen.

To the communities BCC serves, our staff, and stakeholders,

I am disgusted and appalled at the murder of Mr. George Floyd.  This past week’s events, and the unfathomable pattern they are a part of, have made me realize that we are often silent on the racial injustice and discrimination that my colleagues and friends face every day. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Freddie Gray and countless others reinforce the brutal truth that the African American community still remains vulnerable and subjected to senseless acts of violence.  Not talking openly about racism allows it to grow in the shadows and helps seed the horrific events we witness.

Time and again I begin my all staff messages with our purpose statement:  enriching communities, one family at a time.  At BCC, we cannot fulfill our purpose statement without taking a stand against police brutality and racism.   Through this lens, I am looking at our own community and the hurt and fear many are experiencing.  As a broad and diverse organization that spans many states, cultures and communities, I realize that any message I post will be interpreted differently by each person because we bring our own set of perspective and lived experience. At the Board of Child Care – we must begin talking about racism that effects all of us.

This is a moment to care for and listen to one another, and to create intentional spaces for critical conversations about the role and sources of systemic racism in our own BCC community, our neighborhoods, States, regions and our country and to commit to solving them.  It is imperative to create a process for critical racial and diversity conversations at BCC.

To this end, BCC is building upon the revolutionary work of its internal LGBTQ+ committee and refining as expanding it to embrace Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.  The Senior Leadership Team learned about the EDI committee in March just before COVID-19 began our collective immersion into our “new normal.”

The EDI committee will consist of colleagues from across the agency that serve in a variety of roles.  It will be a forum for important dialogue that generates problem solving and new ways of doing things that allows for recovering and healing at BCC. The EDI committee will help BCC learn how to create opportunities for conversations and interactions to allow for understanding appreciation of our unique perspectives and backgrounds. I stress here I will not rely on a committee to solve the huge social issue of racism, nor will it be the end of BCC’s efforts.  Like so many this week, however, I feel a sense of urgency to get started immediately and this is a mechanism I can activate quickly and build momentum from.

The EDI Committee will facilitate an informed conversation and thoughtful strategy around diversity and inclusion.  The strategy to be developed will include considerations and plans such as:

  • Develop an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion pledge that declares the vision of BCC related to progress in this area of focus
  • Continue building psychological safety that promotes dialogue about racism and social injustices
  • Develop a cohesive EDI strategy and establish workable goals that may include things like:
    • Working with Human Resources to review and updating the policies and procedures of BCC so that all diversities are included
    • Establish days to celebrate and learn about our differences and similarities
    • Provide helpful consultation to Senior Leaders when managing the challenges of our diverse workforce
    • Influence and/or deliver training topics and content to improve our ability to interact with different cultures, becoming and being aware of one’s own cultural views and biases, develop tolerance for cultural differences and building cross-cultural skills across the workplace (orientation, ongoing education, Leadership and management academy, training requirements)
    • Influence the themes of the Wellness calendar to focus on diversity

As CEO, I will actively participate as a member of these efforts in the pursuit of an environment at BCC where there is equity, diversity and inclusion.  An environment that we all – regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual identity, religious beliefs, disability or age – can engage fully at BCC with joy and purpose in our special work.

Our BCC community is hurting. To that end, specific internal resources have been provided to staff. For the general public reading this message, I urge you to take a moment and be aware of your own bias. Take the implicit bias test: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/index.jsp

We will stumble and make mistakes in this journey.  No doubt, we won’t get it right each time, but we will learn from our mistakes, like we do now, and learn and grow each time. I am eager to begin to face racism and injustices with you to create a more equitable, diverse and inclusive BCC community. Together.

Warmly,

Laurie Anne “LA” Spagnola
President & CEO

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Black Lives Matter

BCC Launches Caminos Nacional to Assist At-Risk Youth

BCC Launches Caminos Nacional to Assist At-Risk Youth

For Immediate Release: May 8, 2020
Contact: Kristian Sekse
Email: ksekse@boardofchildcare.org
Phone: 443.845.4395

(Baltimore, MD)—The Board of Child Care of the United Methodist Church, Inc. (BCC) announced today that it has been awarded a $6.9 million Federal grant to provide fifty (50) residential beds for children who enter the United States but who are without a guardian. This population is commonly referred to as “unaccompanied children.” The grant is funded by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). Delivering this service helps BCC fulfill its purpose: enriching communities, one family at a time.

Unaccompanied children are at significant risk of exploitation, including human trafficking. ORR partners with residential providers, like BCC, to deliver best practice and trauma informed child welfare services. Some of these services include temporary shelter, education, medical and mental health care, and, most importantly, vetting of a suitable sponsor or foster care placement for the child. The child will live at BCC for a short period of time but will remain with their sponsor (or in a Federal foster care placement) while they await their immigration court date to make their immigration case.

BCC calls this program, “Caminos,” which is the Spanish word for “journey.” As an organization BCC has been running Caminos since 2014. Caminos Nacional utilizes the skills developed delivering the program and extends it reach by providing guidance, consultation and grant management to accredited partner organizations so that they may also offer the Caminos service to these at-risk children.

BCC’s Caminos Nacional program will bring Cunningham Children’s Home of Urbana Illinois (CCH, cunninghamhome.org) and Florida United Methodist Children’s Home (FUMCH, fumch.org) in partnership with BCC. This is the first time BCC is serving as a consultant and grant manager.

“BCC’s purpose is to enrich communities, one family at a time. The partnership with CCH and FUMCH was made possible by our mutual involvement in the United Methodist Association (ouruma.org) and we are all thankful for our faith-based network! Caminos Nacional will give us the opportunity to share our therapeutic best practices with each other, which ultimately benefits everyone in our respective communities,” said Laurie Anne Spagnola, BCC’s President, and CEO. “It’s truly an incredible example of our purpose statement in action. I know we’ll learn a lot from each other and emerge stronger from working together.”

The Board of Child Care is a private, 501(c)3 nonprofit, which has been serving youth and their families across the Mid-Atlantic for over 130 years. With over 800 staff and an annual budget around $43 million, its programing continuum includes behavioral health, residential treatment, and educational services.

For more information, please email ksekse@boardofchildcare.org.
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Read more from BCC Launches Caminos Nacional to Assist At-Risk Youth

BCC Participates in Baltimore City’s forum on Childhood Trauma organized by Congressman Elijah Cummings.

On  Tuesday, August 20, 2019, U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-District 7,  held a forum on Baltimore’s childhood trauma. Board of Child Care’s CEO and President Laurie Anne Spagnola joined youth advocate leaders from across the public and private sector to examine what causes childhood trauma and how much damage it can do, and determine how state and city leaders — and residents — can limit the impact.

 

The forum is a follow up to a July Committee hearing on “Identifying, Preventing, and Treating Childhood Trauma: A Pervasive Public Health Issue that Needs Greater Federal Attention.” For forum, highlights click here

To learn more about the impact of

Trauma and Early Adversity on Children’s Development click here.

Read more from BCC Participates in Baltimore City’s forum on Childhood Trauma organized by Congressman Elijah Cummings.

The Board of Child Care’s Early Learning Program hosts Chinese Delegation representatives in Washington, DC.

 

On Thursday, July 25, the Board of Child Care Early Learning Program hosted two representatives from the Chinese Delegation. The Chinese Delegation is on a US  visit visiting early learning programs to learn more about their best practices and teacher training in conjunction with the Office of the State Superintendent of Education. They will be bringing a group of 15 early childhood leaders from China back to BCC in late September of this year. Pictured in the photo from left to right are Dale Brown, DC Child Care Connections; Angelique Clarkbrown, DC Department of Behavioral Health; Jessica Ling, President AIYOU Education Consulting; Joseph (Jessica’s fiancé); Joan Raghunath, Krystina Johnson and David Ding Senior Advisor of AIYOU Education Consulting.

 

 

To learn more about BCC’s Early Learning Program and career opportunities click here

 

Read more from The Board of Child Care’s Early Learning Program hosts Chinese Delegation representatives in Washington, DC.

Washington, D.C. Mayor selects BCC’s Early Learning Program as venue to highlight two tax credits in the District.

Mayor Bowser giving press conference

Washington DC, Mayor Mayor Bowser selects the Board of Child Care’s Early Learning Program in Ward 6 to highlight two tax credits – the Early Learning Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

For Immediate Release

Washington, D.C. – March 4, 2019 – Today, at Board of Child Care in Ward 6, Mayor Muriel Bowser highlighted two tax credits – the Early Learning Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) – that can save District families thousands of dollars during tax season.

“Eligible Washingtonians can put thousands of dollars in their pockets through the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Early Learning Tax Credit; but to get the money, residents must know about these credits and claim them,” said Mayor Bowser. “We created the Early Learning Tax Credit as a way of making early child care more affordable for District families. Now, we want to make sure families know about it and are claiming it.”

In last year’s budget, Mayor Bowser created the Early Learning Tax Credit to make child care more affordable for District families. Through the Early Learning Tax Credit, families with children enrolled in a licensed DC child care facility can receive a tax credit of up to $1,000 per eligible child. An eligible child must be a dependent of the taxpayer and meet the following age requirements: a child under the age of 4 (age 0-3) as of December 31, 2018 or a child who reached the age of 4 between October 1 and December 31, 2018.

Additionally, low-income working families are eligible for up to $9,000 in combined District and federal EITCs. In 2018, 25 million workers received more than $63 billion in EITC refunds nationwide. In the District of Columbia, 50,000 workers received $117 million in EITC refunds. However, approximately 19,000 eligible residents failed to claim their credit, leaving nearly $45 million on the table.

Residents who worked last year and had an income of less than $54,884 should learn more about their EITC eligibility. Trained tax preparers can determine if individuals qualify for the EITC and ELC tax credits.

In addition to claiming these credits, families can save hundreds of dollars in tax preparation fees by participating in the District Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking’s EITC campaign. The EITC campaign provides free tax preparation services at 17 centers for families making up to $55,000. Residents can find a full list of free tax preparation sites HERE.

Read more from Washington, D.C. Mayor selects BCC’s Early Learning Program as venue to highlight two tax credits in the District.

BCC Wins Best Practice Award from EAGLE Commission

BCC-wins-best-practice-award-2019-eagle-commissionFrom Left to right:  Robert Kelly (Board Chair), Laurie Anne Spagnola (President & CEO), Nicole Smith (Executive Director of MD & DC Programs), Bob Kimmons (Board Member), Kevin Gralley (Vice Chair)

BCC Wins Best Practice Award from EAGLE Commission

For Immediate Release

Contact:
Kristian Sekse
Chief Operating Officer
(443) 845-4395 (cell)
ksekse@boardofchildcare.org

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – February 19, 2019. Board of Child Care announced today it had received a best practice award from the EAGLE Accreditation Commission.  The best practice award is given to organizations doing standard practices in an outstanding way.

Summary of the Nomination

In 2016 a tragedy occurred at a Delaware residential program that took the life of a young lady from Maryland. This prompted the expedited, targeted removal of all MD youth from that facility. The programming needs of these youth were considerably outside the traditional profile served by BCC at the time. Eleven youth ultimately transferred to BCC because of the tragedy, and with the knowledge that significant challenges were expected to serve these young people and their families, BCC sprang into action.

Staff learned skills such as Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), Therapeutic Crisis Intervention for the Developmentally Delayed individuals (TCI – DD), and were retrained to collect new types of behavioral and environmental data. Major investments in the facilities such as safe, non-breakable windows and calming rooms were made. As the new program progressed its data was tracked and, ultimately, showed very positive outcomes for some of the youth who were previously not considered to be able to be served by any Maryland provider.

In the end being closer to family, combined with a deep focus on prescribed medications and behavior management drove better treatment outcomes. Big picture, the event in Delaware and BCC’s adaptations to its high intensity residential program made an impact at the state level. The State of Maryland released a Request for Proposal that utilized the hard work of BCC as the framework for new programming offered in state. BCC responded to the opportunity in 2018 and is still anxiously waiting the awarding of the contract to serve Emotional, Cognitive and Developmentally Delayed youth and their families.

What outcomes or benefits came from this practice or program?

Kids with complex problems and treatment needs were able to be served in the state in which they live. Being closer to family drove better treatment outcomes. BCC was able to respond to the State of Maryland in their time of need. BCC shared this practice, and our learning with some of our United Methodist partners from different states like WV and GA. BCC developed more capacity to serve some of the state’s most vulnerable youth.

Why is this considered a best practice?

Working with complex trauma is something very few organizations do or do well. During the research phase BCC traveled to providers in California and Oregon widely considered the best in this space. The way BCC prepared to serve this newer, more acute population is a best practice because what was learned from the leading agencies in this space was applied to the new program structure. The results of our data collection drove a new program offering by the state of Maryland.

Disclosure:

BCC’s President & CEO, Laurie Anne Spagnola, was at the time of this award a board member of the United Methodist Association (UMA), the not-for-profit that oversees EAGLE accreditation. However, Ms. Spagnola was not a member of the selection committee nor was she privy to conversations during deliberations for the award. 

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Thomas L. Curcio, former President/CEO and youth advocate passes away.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Kristian Sekse
(443) 845-4395 (cell)
ksekse@boardofchildcare.org

BOARD OF CHILD CARE ANNOUNCES THE PASSING OF THOMAS L. CURCIO, FORMER PRESIDENT/CEO

Baltimore, Md. – August 23, 2017 – “On behalf of the Board of Child Care (BCC) Board of Directors, our employees, and program alumni, it is with deep sorrow that we announce the unexpected passing of Thomas Curcio,” stated Guy Everhart, chair of the board of directors.  “Our hearts and prayers are with the Curcio family.” Mr. Curcio, passed away August 22, 2017.

Mr. Curcio started his career in the field of child welfare more than 45 years ago.  In 1993, he took over as executive director (later becoming president and CEO) of the Board of Child Care and led BCC through remarkable growth. When Mr. Curcio assumed his leadership post, BCC had an annual budget of just $3 million and served 50 youth on one campus. Upon his retirement on June 30, 2014, the organization spanned Maryland, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia and served hundreds of children and young adults annually.

During Mr. Curcio’s leadership the Board of Child Care received several honors including Organization of the Year Award and Best Practice Award for Innovative Programming from the United Methodist Association. In 2009 Mr. Curcio was named Administrator of the Year by the same association. A year prior, he received the Samuel Gerson Nordlinger Child Welfare Leadership Award from the Alliance for Children and Families.

An Ellicott City resident, Mr. Curcio graduated from Gannon University in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. He held both a master’s in criminal justice from Long Island University and a master’s in social work from Hunter College, School of Social Work.

Family and friends may call at the Candle Light Funeral Home by Craig Witzke for a memorial gathering on Friday, 6-8pm. Services and Interment private. For further information and/or to post condolences, please visit www.candlelightfuneralhome.com

About the Board of Child Care

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.

Today, the Board of Child Care’s $32 million annual budget provides programs that enrich communities, one family at a time.  It offers residential treatment, mental health, special and early learning educational programs, and community-based programs throughout the Mid-Atlantic.  To see a map of all program locations and descriptions of each BCC program, visit boardofchildcare.org.

 

Read more from Thomas L. Curcio, former President/CEO and youth advocate passes away.

Alternative Learning Program Launches in Martinsburg

2017-03-17 Alternative Learning Program Signing - Key Players

From left to right: Charles Hampton, Jacob Green, Jason Wright, Laurie Anne Spagnola, Don Dellinger, Jackie Columbia

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kristian Sekse
443-845-4395 (cell)
ksekse@boardofchildcare.org

PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP LAUNCHES ALTERNATIVE LEARNING PROGRAM IN MARTINSBURG

Martinsburg, WV – March 16, 2017 – The Board of Child Care (BCC) has launched a brand-new educational program in Berkley County in partnership with three West Virginia state agencies.
Called the Alternative Learning Program (ALP), its goal is to reduce recidivism rates by providing full-day educational and therapeutic services for middle and high school students (males and females). The program is staffed to handle a maximum capacity of 17 students and is expecting to begin services later in March.

Kickoff for the program was held on Thursday, March 16, at BCC’s Martinsburg campus. The event included the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between all the partners as well as a roundtable discussion with attendees from various West Virginia state agencies.

This program is a public-private partnership between the Board of Child Care, Division of Juvenile Services (DJS), Berkeley County Schools (BCS), West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE), and the Office of Diversion and Transition Program (ODTP).

Signatories of the MOU from each partner (from left to right):

  • Jason Wright, Director of Community Based Services, DJS
  • Jacob Green, Special Assistant to the Chief Career and Technical Education Officer at WVDE, Office of Diversion and Transition Programs.
  • Laurie Anne Spagnola, President & CEO, Board of Child Care
  • Don Dellinger, Deputy Superintendent, Berkeley County Schools

Other key players:

  • Charles Hampton, Principal, Board of Child Care Martinsburg School
  • Jackie Columbia, Director of West Virginia Services, Board of Child Care

The idea for the program is to offer an expanded array of educational and therapeutic services not being delivered in the sixteen current Youth Reporting Centers (YRC) throughout the state of West Virginia. There are several key differences between the two program models.

First, youth in the ALP will attend BCC’s school on the Martinsburg campus (some but not all YRC programs provide educational services directly). The school is already serving the approximately 20 youth living in BCC’s residential program on the property. Its teachers (licensed and provided by WVDE) and its behavior support staff (trained and provided by BCC) are already familiar with the needs of youth who have experienced trauma, incarceration, or who have a mental health diagnosis.

The ALP will use existing staffing and classrooms within the school and will not require additional positions unless the program expands in size. BCC’s residential youth and the ALP day-students will learn together and will not be taught separately.

Secondly, the delivery of mental health services using an outpatient model is enhanced from what is currently available to this youth population. BCC’s licensed, masters-level clinicians will deliver supportive counseling services, individual therapy, and specialty therapy groups to address everything from substance abuse to coping with complex trauma.

Finally, the public-private partnership between the three WV state agencies and BCC will expand the ALP’s target population over what is typically served by a YRC. Referrals to the program are broken up into three segments or populations: probation officers and judges, Berkeley County Schools, and youth who are discharging from a WV residential treatment center.

  • Probation officers can refer to this program and youth will be ordered into the program by a judge. This serves as an alternative sentence to incarceration, keeps a youth’s community supports and family nearby, and is much cheaper for the state of WV as incarceration is expensive.
  • Berkeley County Schools will be able to refer youth to the program who have a mental health diagnosis. While these students are eager to learn and succeed they find the large, traditional public school setting difficult and would be better served in a smaller classroom. Again, this keeps the students local but provides them with the additional support they need to succeed.
  • The third group are youth who were in residential placements in other parts of WV and are being discharged back to homes in the Berkeley County area. Instead of sending them home and back to public school immediately, they will return home and utilize the ALP to get more individualized attention and treatment services before transitioning to public school. The ALP is focused on reducing recidivism rates, and by including a step-down placement in the treatment plan of that youth provides more therapeutic supports around prior to their transition back to public school.

BCC has two program locations in Martinsburg, WV that provide therapeutic residential treatment services to youth from WV. On the larger campus, youth live and go to school on the 20+ acre property. At the Martinsburg group homes youth attend public school during the day.

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 that enrich communities, one family at a time. It offers residential treatment, mental health, educational, and community-based programs throughout the Mid-Atlantic. To see a map of all program locations and descriptions of each BCC program, visit boardofchildcare.org.

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PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN BCC & BLUE RIDGE COMMUNITY AND TECHNICAL COLLEGE NOW PROVIDING TUTORS FOR FOSTER CARE YOUTH

blue-ridge-community-technical-college-tutors
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Kristian Sekse
443-845-4395 (cell)
ksekse@boardofchildcare.org

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.

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Read more from PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN BCC & BLUE RIDGE COMMUNITY AND TECHNICAL COLLEGE NOW PROVIDING TUTORS FOR FOSTER CARE YOUTH