Foster Care Youth Panel Blog Post written by SIL Program Participant

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!

 

 

 

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40 Days of Positivity: Congratulations

If you are able and would like to join with our youth in Baltimore in celebrating, you are welcome to come to the Chapel on Wednesday, April 18 from 4:15 until 5:00 p.m. Mr. Shawn will be hosting a small reception.  We will have certificates for all of our participants.  If you would like me to email one to you, please reply to me with your request.

If you cannot join us in person, please pause wherever you are and offer a moment of gratitude to God for yourself and for all of our BCC family!  I will be in BWI Airport, most likely, at that time – but please know that I will be expressing my gratitude with intention.

Keep up the positive actions and positive thoughts!
I will be sending more emails of encouragement.  Remember, you may opt out from receiving them whenever you wish.

May the beauty and promise of the butterfly inspire us to embrace change with courage, joy and gratitude!
God’s Blessings to you,
Stacey

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Impact

Our final week brings us to the fourth core value of BCC:

Aim for Impact.  In other words, we are striving to make a difference.

I invite you to look back over your calendar of these last few weeks.
Does any one action stand out for you?  Spirtual
Where were you most challenged?
How have you grown?
What will you do now?

Imagine with me the cumulative effect of all of our positive actions and thoughts blessed by God’s grace.  Thank you!

May God multiply our impact for the good of young people and their families in our communities and in our world.

With hope –
Stacey

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Empathy

It is important to remember that feeling empathy and compassion for others and our selves leads to action if we are to have an impact.

I offer this prayer from a Native American tradition:

Oh, Great Spirit,
Help me to remain calm and strong
in the face of all that comes toward me.
Let me learn the lessons you have hidden
in every leaf and rock.
Help me seek pure thoughts and act
with the intention of helping others.
Help me find compassion
without empathy overwhelming me.
-Great Spirit Prayer

We hold you in our prayers and compassionate intentions.
On behalf of the Spiritual Life Team
-Stacey

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Halfway to 40

You are halfway to the goal of 40 days of positive actions and thoughts.  Keep up the great effort!

This past Sunday I preached at my home church and shared about our 40 day effort in living with a commitment to positive actions and thoughts.  I am learning so much myself each day and I appreciate each one of you who have taken the pledge of positivity.

From the Christian tradition, I would like to share a portion of the scripture lesson we used on Sunday in worship:

If anything is excellent and
if anything is admirable,
focus your thoughts on these things:
all that is true,
all that is holy,
all that is just,
all that is pure,
all that is lovely,
and all that is worthy of praise.
Practice these things …
The God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:8-9, Common English Bible

I am grateful that we have today – another opportunity for kindness and for positive actions and thoughts embodying our core values of safety and integrity.  More to come …

Peace to you this day as you strive to be kind to yourself and kind to others
-Stacey

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Be Honest

As we close out our week with an emphasis on our second BCC core value, integrity, I would like to share a prayer attributed to the Cherokee tradition:

Oh, Great Spirit,
Help me always to speak the truth quietly,

to listen with an open mind when others speak,
and to remember the peace that may be found in silence.

Continue to be kind to yourself and to others.  These 40 days are going by quickly.  I encourage us all to be intentional each day to make positive actions and positive thoughts our way of living and being.
May a sense of God’s peace be with you and may we share it with one another.
Rev. Stacey

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Centering Moments: Gratitude

Our positive action focus this week:
show gratitude.
Thank you is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding. Alice Walker
Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts. Henri Frederic Amiel
Feeling gratitude and not expressing it, is like wrapping a present and not giving it. William Ward
Each day this week let us look for ways to show our gratitude to God and to one another. Don’t forget to do something kind for yourself in gratitude for the gift of your life and the unique person you are.
I believe deeply that gratitude is an essential component of positive living. Gratitude is healing and transforming. It cannot be imposed; gratitude can be nurtured and modeled. Gratitude makes us more fully who God created each of us to be. It brings us
perspective.
Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision
for tomorrow. Melody Beattie
The Bible records countless expressions of gratitude – too many to number – as well as the teaching from God that we are to give thanks in all circumstances.
I would like to share a personal note of gratitude to each of you through a verse of scripture. This is an expression of gratitude from the early church leader, Paul, to his mentee and teammate, Timothy:
I am grateful to God … when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. (2 Timothy 1:3, New Revised Standard Version).
Please know that I pray for our BCC team every night and every day. Our Spiritual Life team is here to support all of you – we keep you in our prayers and we give thanks for you daily. Please call on us if we can provide spiritual support for you personally
and for the young people and their families with whom you work. Shawn, Randy and I are grateful to God for the opportunity to serve.
Join with us in gratitude:
Thank you, God, for this beautiful day!
Gratefully yours,
Stacey
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