Spring is finally here and we hope you are enjoying the sunshine as much as we are! WIN Family Services is excited to share our great news with all of you! May has already been a whirlwind of events, from health fairs to fundraisers and promises even more fun in the weeks to come. Keep reading for just some of the latest about WIN Family Services!
May is National Foster Care Month
May no longer just brings spring flowers! Every year, May 1st marks the beginning of a month long effort to shed light and offer support to the thousands of youth in America experiencing the trials and difficulties of transitioning from home to home. There are various reasons why a child enters into foster care. They have experienced everything from abuse to neglect and National Foster Care Month works to raise awareness for the urgent needs and situations of these young people. In most cases, all these children need is love and a sense of security.
Originating in 1988, National Foster Care month began as a way for the nation to recognize the tremendous efforts and express gratitude to foster parents across America. The month long recognition then transitioned its focus to calling to attention the needs of foster youth. Today, National Foster Care Month highlights permanency and stability as a necessity in a child’s life to reach full potential.
WIN Family Services is proud to be part of the ongoing mission to reunite children with their families, educate young people on necessary life skills and practices, and find loving and secure homes for youth in need. Children in foster care have experienced far too many disappointments and hardships in their lives; National Foster Care Month is an opportunity for Americans to come together in solidarity with these youth. With the assistance of dedicated professionals, foster care advocates, and individuals from all walks of life, the nation can come together as one to decrease the numbers of children entering foster care and promote the holistic growth of our country’s children. Together, we can change the life of a child.
For more information on how you can be a part of National Foster Care Month, visit the official website at www.FosterCareMonth.org
Mr. Laws Makes a Guest Appearance on Heaven 600!
On March 28th our CEO, Alford Laws Jr. made a guest appearance during a radiothon for Roberta’s House, a non-profited in Baltimore that is dedicated to healing the hearts and minds of families grieving the death of a loved one. Beginning the interview with on-air personality Doresa Harvey, Mr. Laws took time to recognize the important work Roberta’s House does within the community for those experiencing grief and loss. With similar goals of uplifting members of the community who are suffering emotionally and spiritually, WIN Family Services supports parents who take troubled youth into their homes and are willing to be beacons of hope and support to those who need it the most. Mr. Laws expressed a great need for more workers who are able and interested in providing counseling for youth and adults enrolled in WIN’s mentoring program ( psychiatric rehabilitation). He also extended an invitation to religious communities for partnerships with WIN Family Services. We offer church leaders ways to help the community right in their very own church. Closing out the interview, Mr. Laws especially wanted to thank Dr. Mason of Perkins Square Baptist Church and Reverend Barney Jr. of New Antioch Baptist Church for their willingness to serve and support their church communities.
WIN Staff Honored by Parents
Our staff work diligently to ensure the holistic health and healing of families and youth across the communities that we serve. In particular, we were blessed to have received special letters from our wonderful foster parents and DSS workers, commending the work of special individuals who have been integral parts of the WIN Family Services team. We are so proud of Ms. Pamela Scott, Mr. Alex Brodt, and the members of the Life Changers team for the work they have done and the impact they have made on our families! Below are the letters sent on behlf of our staff:
“We are writing you to tell you how privileged we were to have had Ms. Pamela Scott as our Family Specialist from WIN. She was always on top of the job. Ms. Scott was extremely professional (in appearance, her voice, and actions), yet she had that personal touch. She was also extremely dependable. Ms. Scott was very knowledgeable about her job and was a very compassionate person with high people skills. Ms. Scott was just sheer joy to work with. We shall miss her terribly and [our foster] boys will miss her as well. Though we'd hope to have her for much, much longer, we are most grateful for the time we did work together. We have had a few other very good workers for the boys before with various agencies, but no one ever as good as her. Ms. Scott was absolutely the best! WIN Family Services has a real gem with her. We just had to let you know from a foster parent's perspective, just how much we valued and appreciated her. We wish her the best in her future endeavors. God Bless.”
"I work with Alex Brodt on [my client's] case and have done so for over 2 years. I just wanted to let you know that each month Alex makes sure [my client] is provided transportation to and from her court ordered sibling visits and often offers supervison. This month he accompanied me and chaperoned the visit at the Baltimore Aquarium, he even paid out of pocket the ridiculousadmittance fee. All of this to say that I think Alex is a valuable resource to WIN and especially to [my client's] treatment team. I feel too often people are not thanks or acknowledged for what they do and wanted you to be aware. Thanks!"
"I wanted to give my team (Life Changes) a high five for their dedication to their profession. I always want to give people their flower while they can smell them. Most of the time there are alot of negative comments made about people but I want you know that I have nothing but praise for Life Changes team. First and foremost nothing and no one is perfect but when you can work with people that have the same goals as you it does make life much easier. I also know everyone has their own technique of doing things and we don't always have to agree. I have spoken to some of the other parents that had Carla Jones for their team. I was not wrong in my thinking because Carla is unique in her own way and she does not do anything without God at the helm. She is very professional, considerate, respectful, spiritual, caring, no none sense, and you don't have to guess where she is coming from. Her family meetings are always productive. I have not worked with Chalante very long but I feel that she will be a great addition to the Life Changes team. She has positive things to add in our meetings. Thank you for keeping the team together. Carla Jones is a positive employee for WIN family services as I am sure Chalante will also. Please give Carla a thank you for her dedication to her job. If I could give her a plaque I would. I don't know if you have ever witnessed her in action but it is something. The DSS worker for my foster daughter also called me after our treatment plan meeting on last Friday telling me how impressed she was how Carla conducted that meeting on last Friday."
The milestone - a significant event or stage in the life, progress, development of the person – is a momentous occasion to be celebrated. WIN Family Services was truly blessed with the opportunity to commemorate on March 27th the hard work and dedication of WIN staff. Numerous WIN staff were recognized for the time and effort they have committed to the organization – whether it was one to 25 years.
“I will not look for the fruits of my labor” is a key principle in the Family Strengthening Practice Model and statement that rings true with all who work for and with the agency. For the first two employees who began with us from our first days, to those who had joined in the last year, this statement has been a driving force in difficult and trying times with the agency. However, with God’s grace WIN Family Services has become a strong entity of support and compassion for many in the communities of Baltimore and Prince George’s counties. Truly a humbling and inspiring experience, WIN CEO – Alford Laws, Jr.- recognized over 30 employees for their diligence and commitment to helping WIN thrive and in turn assisting youth, families and communities to prosper. WIN looks forward to growing with the community and with each other in the years to come.
Calling All Videography Interns!
Preakness Parking Fundraiser
WIN Family Services will open its lot to the public for the 2014 Black Eyed Susan Event (May 16th) and 2014 Preakness (May 17th) . Come park your vehicle on our lot at 2502 W. Northern Parkway for a tax deductible donation and be just steps away from all of the action. Hurry! Spaces fill up quickly!
WIN Takes on Social Media
WIN Family Services has launched its first blog. In just the past month, we have filled our pages with topics ranging from Family Strengthening to National Foster Care Awareness Month. Take some time visit to our blog today! Don’t forget to let us know what topics you would like to see us cover in the weeks to come!
Mass Meeting May 31, 2014 9am-4pm New Antioch Baptist Church for all foster parents
New Parent Orientation Prince George's County June 5, 2014 5:30pm-8:30pm 6511 Princess Garden Parkway Lanham, MD 20706
New Parent Orientation Baltimore June 10, 2013 5:30pm-8:30pm 2502 W. Northern Parkway Baltimore, MD 21215
A mental health crisis is a time of intense difficulty, trouble or danger that includes episodes ranging from severe disruptive behavior, to acute psychosis, to threats to harm self or others. When you have a child experiencing any or all of these, your first instinct may be to take them to the emergency room. According to the “Children’s Mental Health Matters!” campaign, there are a few downsides to taking a child to the emergency room if he or she is experiencing a mental health crisis. Long waits for evaluation, longs waits for open beds, unsympathetic staff, and the inability to leave the child alone in the emergency room mean that emergency rooms are not often well equipped to deal with these events.
The campaign releases alternatives that may be helpful when dealing with a child experiencing a crisis. The benefits of these alternatives include quick access to a licensed mental health professional and less restrictive mental health services in the community. Alternatives are :
-Mental Health Crisis Teams – trained professionals that will come to your home and help you manage the crisis
-Mental Health Urgent Care Centers – walk – in clinics where you will be able to receive support, evaluations and referrals
-Baltimore Child and Adolescent Response System (B-CARS) – More information for resources (410)752-2272
Mental Health Crisis hotlines can be found here:
“Crisis situations can be very draining on the entire family. Remember to take care of yourself and other family members too.” – www.ChildrensMentalHealthMatters.org
WIN Family Service host parents are required to submit monthly paperwork to his or her team. Required paperwork can be found below: