The air’s a bit crisp and those leaves are changing colors. It can only mean one thing… Fall is here! As a new season comes around the bend, WIN Family Services has been as busy as ever. We can’t wait to share with you all that we’ve been up to… from staff retreats to program launches, this season has already be jam-packed!
Read on for more!
We Want It, We Need It!
We want it… We need it… What is it? Service! Al Laws, WIN CEO, presses upon the fact that a thriving organization is dependent upon the service that they provide. During this year’s Staff Retreat, in which over 100 employees were called together to re-focus and re-energize, Mr. Laws took the time to stress the importance of service to you and service to others. We were reminded that we must commit ourselves to service, “Put your full heart into commitment; start with yourself then spread your commitment to others,” says Mr. Laws.
Together, we unlocked a few key facts and fool-proof ways to ensure that each individual gets what they want and what they need.
Five C’s of Customer Service: o Commitment o Caring o Communication o Compassion o Contentment
Lessons of Customer Service: o Be Visible o Express Excellent Customer Experience o Your Employees Are Your Greatest Asset o Hire For Attitude o Empower Your Employees – Train them well and give them all tools required o Social Media with a Genuine Voice o Have Fun – If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, it will show in your work
Real Art of Customer Service: o Go the first mile before going the extra mile. o It doesn’t do any good to offer your customers extra service at the end of your time with them if you didn’t give them what they needed at the beginning. o Do you leave customers with them wanting to return to do business with you again or do you leave with them wishing for revenge?
Good Customer Service requires your commitment to serve; to follow through to the end.
We are excited to announce that after a brief summer hiatus, our DREAM (Destiny Realized Equals Achievement Maximized) has been re-launched! This September, DREAM hosted its first ever carnival, complete with fun games, energetic music, delicious food. It’s already looking like an amazing year! Energy was at an all time high as the music, fashion, art, and writing group came together to enjoy each other’s company and brush up on their skills. Guests were even treated to musical performances as they enjoyed sno-balls and other carnival treats in the perfect weather. We’re extremely excited to see what Ms. Denise Laws and everyone in DREAM has in store for this exciting new year.
A Special Thank You
In just the last few months, we have been blessed beyond belief by the generosity of those around us. We wanted to send a special thank you to Together We Rise, Comfort Cases for the care packages of blankets, toiletries, and toys they have provided for our youth. We would also like to acknowledge and thank Elderslie St. Andrews UMC for the wonderful donation of school supplies that enabled our families to have a successful start to the school year. To everyone involved, please know that you have truly made a difference in a child’s life with the time and attention you have provided through your kind donations!
A Rewarding Experience
At WIN Family Services, we do our best to make everyone’s experience with our company as pleasant as possible. Not only do we work to change lives, we work to build futures – not only for our youth, but individuals in school that are working toward a career in the social work or mental health field. Our goal is to expose and provide our young people with the tools they need to be successful in their career of choice, that is why we take special care of the volunteer and intern experience with WIN. We would like to take this opportunity to recognize Zimbabwe Sutton for time and attention she provided a past intern.
“Hey, Ms. Zimbabwe, I wanted to say thank you for giving me a good and welcoming experience here at WIN Family Services. You and all the others have opened my eyes to what it's like to be in a workplace and meet such vibrant and excited co-workers. And hopefully in the future I will be back at WIN. “ – M. Lennon
Thank you Zimbabwe for helping to make this student’s experience the best it could be!
Make it A Happy Holiday!
The weather is getting colder and the days are getting shorter. That can only mean one thing… the holidays are quickly approaching! This time of the year is all about family, friends, giving, and feeling like a kid again. Our mission is to holistically support our youth and families with their individual needs. What more do you need than to feel loved at this time of the year? WIN Family Services is working to put together a memorable holiday event for the 150 youth and families we serve – complete with a delicious meal, lively entertainment, and thoughtful presents. But we can’t do it by ourselves! We are calling on the help of the community to create an amazing holiday event for the underprivileged youth of Baltimore. Please consider submitting in-kind OR monetary donations to Kristina Ramos 2502 W. Northern Parkway Baltimore, MD 21215
Save the Date
Please save the date! WIN Family Services will be hosting its annual Mass Meeting on November 21st from 9am to 5pm. Location will be determined. We’re looking to this action packed day of fun and fellowship as staff and foster parents come together to learn more ways of being the best support possible for youth in need.
WIN Family Services is in need of talented and strong males to be a part of our team!
We are in need of Direct Family Support Workers to work with our Psychiatric Rehabilitation clients and be responsible for responsible for facilitating psychiatric rehabilitation, behavioral support services, and crisis intervention services to youth, adults, and families according to rehabilitation and therapeutic behavioral plans.
Reliable and insured vehicle, CPR/First Aid Certification, 60 hours of on the job direct PRP supervision, pass background check
At a minimum, have one or all of the following: 1. A bachelor's degree in a health-related field; 2. An associate's degree in a health-related field; 3. 30 hours, or their equivalent, of college credit toward a bachelor's degree in a health-related field; or 4. 1 year of work experience in a supervised mental health setting; and are responsible for implementing the rehabilitation activities outlined in the minor's Individual Rehabilitation Plan.
Due to the fact that all of our clients are therapeutic at some level, the position requires staff to have a full range of communication and motion skills to include excellent listening, speaking, written, driving and motor skills.
WIN Family Services hopes you're keeping cool this sizzling summer season! We have been incredibily busy the past couple of months and we can't wait to share all that we have been up to with you! So let's get those burgers on the grill, let the kids hop into the pool, and read more about the latest at WIN Family Services!
Empowering Women in Faith
Thousands of women gathered at the First Baptist Church of Alexandria to celebrate the annual WAVA Women in Ministry Expo on June 25th. As one of the year’s biggest events, dozens of local businesses, churches and non-profits came to take part and share information about their work in the community. WIN Family Services was proud to be a part of such an amazing event, not only to reach audiences across southern Maryland and parts of Virginia, but also to join in worship and walk with others in faith. Surrounded by some of the region’s strongest and most talented women, this particular day celebrated women’s role in helping others embrace their beliefs and encourage others to believe in the power that Christ has given them. Our very own Laura Mueller hosted one of the long awaited breakout sessions which focused on the role of faith in Family Strengthening. The session was standing room only; as people poured in to learn about WIN Family Services, our services, and our work in Family Strengthening. Meanwhile, dozens more stopped by the WIN resource table to say hello and pick up more information. It was truly a day of encouragement and inspiration - we would love to be a part of next year’s event!
We are proud to announce that our very own CEO, Al Laws Jr. was a recipient of Sisters Saving the City Unsung Hero Award. On June 28th, Mr. Laws stood with 11 individuals who were chosen to be recognized by the community. The award honors male volunteers who make a positive impact in the lives of young people in the community. Mr. Laws was nominated by Sisters Saving the City member, Phyllis Dawes, for his dedication to mentoring youth, counseling families and financially assisting local communities. Mr. Laws has developed many collaborative partnerships to improve family life in communities and he has achieved consistent success in his efforts to build a well managed community-based, social service organization. It is his life mission to empower at-risk youth, strengthening families and ultimately heal vulnerable communities throughout the world. We are incredibly proud to be guided by such an incredible man and follow such an inspiring mission! Congratulations Mr. Laws!
Exemplary Service from our Employees of the Year
WIN Family Services gathered together on July 2nd to join in learning, camaraderie, and fun. The Annual Staff Retreat not only enabled team members to reconnect with each other and get to know WIN’s newest employees, but also re-focus on our mission and learn more about serving our community and each other. Mr. Laws shared the secret to success with the entire staff. We want it, we need it, it will make you advance in your career, and ultimately improve your relationships. What is it?Service. Leaders all over the world are recognizing that good service is the key to all great organizations. Customer service is the foundation of WIN Family Services and that night, Mr. Laws wanted to take time to recognize individuals who exemplified service for the company, service for colleagues, and service for clients. We would like to congratulate the 2015 Employees of the Year…
Administrators: Zimbabwe Brown and Eva Booth
Prince George’s County Family Services Coordinator: Pamela Scott
Prince George’s County Family Services Specialist: Marcus Wright
Baltimore Family Services Coordinator: Ashley Norton
Baltimore Family Services Specialist: Tina Walker
Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program: Malika Brown
Thank you all so much for the work you do for our company and all those we serve!
Introducing Our Community Mental Health Center
We are pleased to announce our newest location in Cecil County hosted its first-ever Open House this past April and our Baltimore office hosted its Open House in June! They were tremendous successes and we are especially enthusiastic of all the amazing connections with surrounding human services organizations that took time to learn about our organization and what we do for the community. We look forward to working with each and every person who attended to develop ways on how to better the community we love.
Ms. Rogers answered the call to become a foster parent and to help shape the lives of youth in our community. We are so happy to have her as part of the WIN Family, and can’t help but to let the world know how wonderful she truly is! Please read below for a few words from our Parent Compliance Manager…
“Ms. Rogers provided care for a challenging youth in her home in May and agreed to continue with placement.When asked, she did not complain.Ms. Rogers is a parent that we call for emergency placements of youth that we have difficulty providing for.She rarely turns down our requests.I would like to show Ms. Rogers that we love and appreciate her and her husband for all they do for the youth and families in our community.”
Mr. and Mrs. Rogers, you are truly amazing people and we are so blessed to have you as part of our team.
Book of the Month
Crocodile Mother’s Eat their Young is the newest novel to come from Avi Morris. Inspired by a real conversation with his daughter, this story takes readers on a journey through the difficult subjects of abuse and healing.
“Crocodile Mothers Eat Their Young relates the challenges faced by two sisters, Tina and Sellie Diaz,who suffer emotional and physical abuse at the hands of their mother and sexual abuse by their mother's male lovers.They endure a series of foster home experiences before arriving temporarily at the home of middle school teacher Roberta Allen and her attorney husband Harold.The girls thrive at their latest home, but after being moved once more, Tina alone returns to the Allen home and must confront the grim facts and the very people that caused the horrors of her young life.”
We are blessed to work with such amazing individuals who do great things every day for those we work with. It's a special moment when one one team member takes time to recognize another.
“I want to acknowledge Chris (Ulysses) , Stephen, and Nate for moving our client into her new apartment yesterday.Chris managed and coordinated the whole process with [our client].Aside from moving furniture and other items, Chris got down and dirty to put the bed together before returning the truck to the rental company. Chris even managed to keep everyone laughing the whole time! Nate stopped by to help as much as he could.I appreciate Nate for squeezing us in to his full schedule yesterday to support our team. Stephen was there from the beginning to the very end to lend a helping hand, all while monumenting Whitney for her accomplishments the entire time.Chris told me that he does not know what he would have done if Stephen was not there.
Thank you all.You are all invaluable members of our team and I truly appreciate you for continuing to illustrate the core values of WIN FAMILY.[Our client] expressed that she was happy that she came to our agency and was very grateful for the support. Thanks to you all,her last memories of WIN will be of her assigned team and other WIN staff helping her move into her FIRST place.The spirit you all had while helping her did not go unnoticed either; the kind words of encouragement and praise for her accomplishments and bright future made the difference.That leaves a lasting impression and I am could not be more pleased with yesterday’s outcome.”
Thank you Ulysses, Stephen, and Nate for all that you do and continue to do for our clients!
A Special Thank You
There are truly special people in this world who take the time to show kids a sense of responsibility and self-worth. We are grateful to those who give these youth a chance without any judgments or stipulations. That is why we would like to recognize Mr. James Willard for giving a number of our youth a chance to work for him at his Shoe City Stores in Prince George’s County. We strongly believe that youth must learn to be accountable and take pride in their work in order to holistically grow; Mr. Willard has been nothing but willing and accommodating for our youth in giving them these opportunities. Thank you Mr. Willard, you are truly making a difference in these kids’ lives!
Any Extra Luggage?
Too often, youth coming into our program with only the clothes on their backs and plastic trash bags to hold their belongings. It is our goal to provide our kids with the necessary items and resources to take pride in themselves and their belongings. We are calling on the help of the community to donate luggage bags that our youth are able to use to transition into their new homes. Please consider donating new or gently used luggage sets to our Baltimore location at 2502 W. Northern Parkway Baltimore, MD 21215.
Time is definitely flying by this year, and we can feel the summer breezes slowly making their way toward us. It’s hard to believe it’s may and we are already almost halfway through the year, but that doesn’t mean we’re even close to halfway the exciting events we have going on at WIN! Read on for the latest news and updates on what we have been up to this season.
An Organization that Cares
The room was full of love and laughter as staff members circled around the room, greeting each other with hearty embraces -not the typical workplace greeting, but the instruction of WIN Family Services CEO, Al Laws Jr. This simple act set the tone for this month’s CEO Address – Employee Engagement. Shortly after staff took their seats, Mr. Laws then announced he wanted a chance to get to know new employees! He proceeded to take the microphone around the room and have the newest members stand and say a few things about themselves.
In the first 30 minutes, an outsider could plainly see that WIN Family Services is not your typical organization, but one that proudly gets down to business, but also knows how to have a good time. Most importantly, WIN Family Services is built on the compassion human beings have for one another. That is why Mr. Laws chooses to stress the importance of a conducive and happy work place.
In a presentation shared with over 50 individuals, Mr. Laws reviewed what employees and managers around the world are looking for in the jobs they seek and the results they wish to garnish. The results were nothing far from interesting! In a survey, agencies across the board believed that the top three things employees wanted from their job were:
3. Promotion and Growth
Funnily enough, employees were surveyed and the lists were just a little different.. The three most important things to employees worldwide are:
1. Interesting work
3. Feeling Involved
Lastly, a list was reviewed of what employers look for in employees:
6.Strong Work Ethic
Reviewing the lists helped everyone – employees and management alike – get on the same page. We are excited for the results this new knowledge will produce!
“WIN” has never been a more appropriate name for an organization. The acronym stands for “What I Need” and the company tries to create a win-win situation for anyone involved. Month after month, Mr. Laws seems to hit a bulls eye right on what employees need – emotionally, spiritually, and physically (whether it’s relay races or delicious food, they always have us covered!)In this particular month, Mr. Laws felt that there was a struggle in the company and there was a support that was needed, “There is a comfort that surpasses our understanding… and in that moment, seek Good,” he shared. So together, not only as a staff, but as a family, WIN Family Services prayed together. We prayed for those we serve, we prayed for each other, we prayed for others around the world…we prayed fervently and reverently!
Not only did we come together as an organization, but WIN got STRONGER! With a renewed spirit and focus we are ready to put forth our best work for the youth and families we serve. Get ready to see big things from WIN Family Services in the time to come!
We're on the Air!
Don’t forget, Advice4Life airs every Sunday at 9am on Heaven600 AM! Tune in to get your weekly dose of the Family Strengthening Practice – broken down by Al Laws himself so that you can use it in your every day life! Have you been struggling with someone in your life? For the past couple of months, Mr. Laws has been helping every day people from the community improve their relationships one by one. You can be the next one!
WIN Family Services is once again celebrating National Foster Care Month! For the entire month of May, we will be taking part in campaigns that shed light on the experiences and needs of children in care. Our own social media campaign will include special stories, parenting tips, and ways to help; just check in with our Facebook page, blog, and Twitter! Take some time to learn how you can help a child in foster care today!
Good News from Those we Serve
Ms. Merritt, one of our prized Direct Service Workers, took time to share with us the great achievements and progress her clients have made throughout their time with WIN Team. Take some time to share in our joy and celebrations and read on for what these wonderful individuals have accomplished!
*All names have been changed to protect privacy.*
“Larry is 18 years of age.... NEVER made honors.... Once I began working with Lamont he made honor roll his senior year of high school, for the first time. And he didn't think he was smart enough, for college. Larry is now enrolled in PG community college.
Mary is 20 years of age..... WOW! Angry, homeless, low self-esteem, frustrated, ready to give up on life. Since working with Mary, she has her own apartment, SHE SMILES NOW AND IS HAPPY. She believes in herself now... She has completed a 6month job training program and is working F/T.... this is in fact her first and only job!
Tara is 43 years of age.... Depressed, inconsistent, no goals, a runner and homeless....Since I have been working with Tara she is moving into her own place in June, she has much better follow-through, she has set goals for herself and is much more consistent.
Victoria is 18 years of age.... She had a great amount of un-forgiveness in her heart and would not talk to her mother, and had not talk to her mother in 5 years. Victoria gave up on her dreams and decided she was not going to college. Since working with Victoria she is now enrolled in college and will be leaving to attend Allegany in the fall. She has forgivien her mother who she now is rebuilding a relationship with.
I believe ALL my clients have showed great progress, however these are the clients I have seen a 180 degree turn around.”
Thank you Ms. Merritt for all that you’ve done and continue to do!
A Special Blessing
This past month, our organization was surprised by an incredible blessing. Toyota Motor Company announced that they had chosen us as recipients of care packages that staff had personally prepared for our youth. Each bag is decorated with an inspirational message, blankets, toys, and other items to bring comfort to children making tough transitions in their lives. May is National Foster Care Month and our goal is to raise awareness for kids in care. We are so excited that Toyota has taken the time to invest their time and care in our kids. We constantly try to find ways to offset the difficult experiences our youth have undergone in their lives and we are entirely grateful that Toyota has joined us in that mission. Thank you Toyota!
Care for Some Strawberries?
WIN Family Services is joining Hunting Ridge Presbyterian Church for the 107th Annual Community Strawberry Festival in Catonsville, MD. This fun-filled event will be taking place Saturday June 6th from 5pm-8pm at the Hunting Ridge Presbyterian Church on Edmondson Avenue. Take some time with your family to enjoy games, pony rides, food, desserts, and music as well as support various organizations in the community. We hope to see you there!