Each year the Caroline Human Services Council, Board of Directors, use a countywide Community Needs Assessment to determine priority needs and gaps in services for children, youth and families in Caroline County. In FY2016 a comprehensive Community Plan was developed to address the four Strategic Goals outlined in the Governor’s Office for Children’s Strategic Plan:
For FY2017 programming, the Board of Director’s work session focused on four strategic goals; Reducing Childhood Hunger, Impact of Incarceration on Youth and Families, Disconnected Youth and Homeless Youth. Using a Results Based Accountability process the Directors chose to address the goals of Reducing Childhood Hunger and Impact of Incarceration of Youth and Families.
Child and Family Behavioral Support Program
Vendor: Board of Child Care, Eastern Shore Campus
Program Contact: Karen MaGee
This program addresses a child’s behavioral issues and develops a behavioral plan for the parent, which will alleviate stresses associated with the Impact of Incarceration on Children, Families and Communities. The Child and Family Behavioral Support Program reduces the impact of incarceration and the danger of child maltreatment, by developing or maintaining a relationship with the incarcerated parent which, combined with the Project SEEK model will wrap the family in case management and referral to the necessary resources. Based on this research, the Human Services Council believes this program shows a strong alignment to the Indicator and Strategic Goal and will ultimately impact the Result Area of Child Maltreatment.
The incorporation of the Project SEEK Model to the Child and Family Support Program has four major components: 1) Home visits 2) Advocacy and Referral 3) Support Groups (children, adolescents and caregiver) and 4) Communication with the inmate. Intermediate objectives are: 1) to promote social competency, cognitive development, emotional well-being, and family stability of children, 2) to improve the child’s care giving environment by a) promoting the psychological and physical well-being of care givers, b) increasing their ability to meet basic needs, c) improving parenting practices, d) maintaining the parent-child relationship, when appropriate while the inmate is incarcerated, and e) assisting with family issues of reintegration to the time of inmate’s release. The Program serves youth and families in community home based family behavioral support, using the intensive behavioral support model, for youth with an incarcerated parent. A Behavioral Interventionist works in the home and at school with the child/youth/parent/teacher to design a behavioral plan to address any negative patterns of behavior. The Program provides re-entry services to Incarcerated caregivers/parents in the detention center prior to release. These services include assistance with visitation both in and out of detention and linkage to various community resources. Case Managers work with the detention center to identify individuals who will soon be released. Help is provided to caregivers/parents to navigate the multiple systems of court, education, etc. The Case Manager and Behavioral Interventionists work as a team with the Incarcerated Caregiver/Parent/child, family as a whole. While services are provided in the detention center with the parent, they are also provided with the child and caregiver/parent in the community. The targeted number of families to be served in the program in the first year is 35.
Life Long Learning Centers After School Program
Vendor: Caroline County Recreation and Parks
Program Contact: Kat Stork,
The Lifelong Learning Centers have for the past 5 years maintained a strong cooking and nutrition component in their enrichment programs. In FY17 the program expands its goals to include a comprehensive locally designed two generation component to the program that focuses on using Basic Life Skills with an emphasis on areas that can improve food security within the young person’s home immediately and create habits that will help break the cycle of poverty and food insecurity in their futures. Key to the expansion is to engage both youth and parents in developing knowledge and skills related to good budgeting and meal planning, food choices, and healthy economical cooking. The program focuses on helping both youth and parents develop the skills and knowledge to reduce their household’s food insecurity and increase consumption of food that promotes an active, healthy lifestyle.
A comprehensive afterschool and parenting education program at three sites (Federalsburg Elementary, Colonel Richardson Middle and Lockerman Middle Schools) include a locally designed basic life skills curriculum that focuses on four areas directly related to nutrition, health and cooking. These include:
- Math & Economics: You have Bills to Pay and You Need To Eat – Learning to do both on a Budget (16; 45 minute classes)
- Food Science & Biology: the science in growing and preparing food (16; 45 minutes classes)
- Nutrition & Health: All Foods are Not Created Equal – Learning to Read Nutrition Labels and More (16;-45 min classes)
- Cooking Matters: What We Buy, How We Prepare It and How We Store It Makes A Difference –Classes will include store tour, farm tours, kitchen boot camp (food safety), canning & freezing.
Additionally, the program provides a variety of health and wellness enrichment activities. Caroline County ranks the highest in the state in obesity rates. Research shows that there is a direct correlation between food insecurity and poor availability of healthy food in homes and obesity in children. The recreation enrichment components of the program use the SPARK and GenMove curricula as the basis for its physical wellness components. Both are proven research-based curricula. The Lifelong Learning Center (LLC) sites are already aligned with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and incorporate the Alliance’s Framework into the program model.
This is also a two generation program. While students are learning about the components that go into making good food decisions and how to get the most out of their limited food budgets, parents are provided with a comparable albeit shorter series of classes that include: 1) What Community Resources are available to help my family eat well; 2) Cooking Matters Store Tour; 3) Kitchen Boot Camp: how to prepare one chicken to get a week of meals; 4)Canning & Freezing 5) Food & Kitchen Safety 6) Money Habitudes with UMD’s Dr. Welsh.