Wednesday, December 5, 2018

TFC Holiday Party


Do you hear those sleigh bells ringing? We do! We will be having a TFC holiday party on December 6th at Mountain Christian Church. We are very grateful to Mountain Christian Church for sponsoring this event. 

Thank you so much Gene Dobbins for helping us to make this a night that our families will surely remember. If you would like to know more about our TFC program and all of our wonderful family-oriented events, please contact the TFC department at 410-836-7177.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Achieving Permanency: A foster parent's perspective


Treatment foster care is a special, intensive service available to many children in the foster care system who have elevated behavioral, mental health, or medical needs. Often for a child to be placed into treatment foster care, they have had to disrupt previous placements or proven to be “difficult to care for”.  Treatment foster care is often the last, least restrictive environment children can go to before needing a placement in a residential facility. Our goal as treatment foster care providers mirrors the goal of all child welfare agencies; which is for children who require out of home placements, to be in as few homes as possible with a healing caregiver, this is called placement stability. Unfortunately, due to the nature of our program being the last stop for children, we often do not get children until they have been in 3-4 placements; in fact, the average number of placements for a child in foster care is between 5-6, with many youth and children experiencing as many as ten or more.

Placement stability means that through the good and bad you stick it out for the child until they reach their permanency (forever home). This is exactly what Marquetta and Reginald King did for their foster child A.C. who was just reunified home to his family in October 2018 after spending two years in foster care. A.C. arrived at the King residence in 2016 as his first placement and entry into foster care. Marquetta and Reginald took him in and despite setbacks, challenges, and barriers over the years, the King family was able to remain A.C.’s one and only family experience of foster care. To say that Marquetta and Reginald achieved placement stability is an understatement; less than 10% of children in foster care experience 1-2 placements. Words cannot express the magnitude of gratitude for the Kings and many of the families at the Arc-NCR who stick with their children through the good and the bad, they are the true heroes.

 “I try to employ the 9 fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), which are listed in a frame in my kitchen, daily.  If I can embody even a fraction of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, I know that I can weather the storm of nurturing and providing a loving home to a child who has been displaced and is angry at the world. “

 – Marquetta King

Marquetta also gave these tactics for how she managed A.C.’s placement and other placements:
  1.  Diversion:  Creating even a 20 second diversion is enough to deescalate a situation.  For example, loudly questioning, while pointing to the back yard through the kitchen window or while driving in the car "did you see that!" right in the middle of a heated argument usually works.  It takes the focus off the adverse issue or argument and lets the brain focus on trying to quickly see the thing being pointed out.  Humorously, phantom objects are followed up with "oh, I guess you missed it."                                   
  2. Pre-discussion:  Choosing a light-hearted unrelated topic, or nearby object to discuss before addressing an adverse behavior lightens the reprimand.  Example...before talking about a school suspension I may talk about how much money he has saved in his piggy bank on the dresser, how old he is in a photo on the night stand or pick up his bible and ask what the last scripture was he has read.       
  3. Humor:  Skillfully getting the agitated person to smile or laugh, or the people around them to laugh is valuable.  Daily humor creates a lighter mood in the home overall. Sometimes it's at my expense.
  4. Alternative advisors:  Kids sometime welcome advice quicker from those other than their parents.  I would often have a social worker, DSS worker, CASA, or teacher give advice or counsel that supported what I was trying to convey.  Surprisingly, having a sibling speak to another sibling was often effective.
  5. Positive vs negative statements:  Putting a positive spin on discussions always helps.  Examples:  "If you do your homework you can have electronics, as opposed to "if you don't do your homework, you won't have electronics.  Homework was always an issue with A.C.
  6. Giving a kid choices and options:  Allowing a kid to choose or giving them options gives them a sense of being in control.  Using this tactic worked very well with A.C., and other placements where prior to coming into care they called the shots and lived in an environment with little or no parental authority.  Examples...instead of "go clean your room now" use "clean your room by 5:00;” you can't go to your friend’s house today, but you can go this weekend or one day next week."
  7. Supervision, supervision, supervision:  Knowing where a child is, and what they are doing, whether in the community or at home is a priority.  A.C. required constant supervision.  
 -       Briana Johnson

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Great News!


We have lots of great news and are proud of our foster families. Here are a few recent updates:
  • A.C. went home – yay for him!
  • The Kings achieved placement stability
  • The Harvey’s are welcoming a natural parent into their home this year for Thanksgiving
  • G.H. (Kindergarten) has mastered 20 sight words, knows her upper and lower case letters, and knows the sounds of 24/26 letters.
  • AJ.C. was selected based on his achievements to attend an overnight two-day getaway that fostered his education, socio/emotional skills, and vocational desires.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Our Foster Parent Training and Trauma Conferences are this week!


Don’t forget…our monthly foster parent training is this Thursday here at The Arc NCR. Dinner will begin at 5:30 PM and training will begin at 6:00 pm. Please call 410-836-7177 ext. 329 to RSVP or contact your social worker.

The Harford County Trauma Institute's Fifth Annual Conference is This Friday November 9, 2018. For more information about the conference, please visit:


Please note that registration through our agency is now closed. Anyone who registers through the website will be responsible for the full cost of the event ticket.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Our Halloween Debut



The TFC team had an awesome time with the rest of the Arc NCR bunch. The treats were ghoulishly delicious! We are looking forward to our next event. Parents, if you have any activities that you would like to participate in, please let us know.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Halloween Fun and More!


The month may be ending but the fun doesn’t have to. There are lots of cool things happening soon (some events are Halloween-related and some are not).

Please note that some events may require a fee and/or registration. Be sure to visit the websites for the most up-to-date information.

Harford County


Festival at Bel Air is hosting their 30th annual Halloween celebration! There will be a parade, costume contest, and lots of treats for the kiddos.

Date: October 27, 2018

Time: 10:30 am

Location:

5 Bel Air South Parkway
Bel Air, MD 21015

Contact: 301-657-0700

For more information, visit:



Baltimore County

Don’t feel like going door-to-door this Halloween? Mosey on over to Trunk of Treat at Harvester Baptist Church.

Date: October 27, 2018

Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Location:

9605 Old Annapolis Road
Western Baltimore County, MD 21042
Contact: 410-997-4992 or send an email to gsummers54@msn.com

For more information, visit:


Are you looking for activities for the little ones? Let them go on an adventure with a fun hayride, moon bounce, and other activities at Harvest Fest Superhero Quest.

Date: October 27, 2018

Time: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Location:

1607 Cromwell Bridge Rd
Parkville, MD 21234

Contact: 410-882-2217 or send an email to children@rockcitychurch.net

For more information, visit:



Cecil County


The 2018 Elkton Halloween Parade will be held in the downtown Elkton area. Children can participate in the parade (please see website for signup form). There will be cash prizes, awards, and bands.

Date: October 27, 2018

Time: 7:00 pm

Location:

Downtown Elkton, MD

Contact: 410-398-5076

For more information, visit:



Elkton will be hosting First Fridays in November. There will be several participating merchants as well as music and activities.

Date: November 2, 2018

Time: 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Location:

Downtown Elkton, MD

Contact: 410-398-5076

For more information, visit:




Thursday, October 18, 2018

Family Fun This Weekend


Are you looking for some fun things to do as a family? Check out the cool events happening this weekend!

Please note that some events may require a fee and/or registration. Be sure to visit the websites for the most up-to-date information.

Harford County

Harford Community College is hosting a children’s play entitled ‘Harriet’s Happiest Halloween’ at The Chesapeake Theater.

Date: October 20, 2018

Time: 12:00 pm

Location:

Harford Community College
401 Thomas Run Road
Bel Air, MD 21015-1627

Contact: 443-412-2211

For more information, visit:

https://harford.universitytickets.com/w/event.aspx?id=1457&r=258bc004a5ff4f82a4017b97aebe8fb9



This Saturday there will be a Fall Holiday Craft and Vendor Fair at Mt. Ararat Masonic Lodge.

Date: October 20, 2018

Time: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Location: 

Mt. Ararat Masonic Lodge 
136 E. Gordon Street
Bel Air, MD

Contact: Sue Nickerson at 443-617-3938

For more information, visit:

https://visitharford.com/event/Fall-Holiday-Craft-and-Vendor-Fair/2018-10-20

Check out the website below for more awesome events in Harford County (including a Halloween Party)!:

https://visitharford.com/harford-county-maryland-events



Cecil County

Check out the Cecil County Farm Museum Apple Butter Festival. There will be live demonstrations, crafts, and homemade goods available for purchase.

Date: October 20, 2018

Time: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Location:

912 Appleton Rd
Elkton, Maryland 21921

Contact: (see website below)

For more information, visit:

http://www.ccgov.org/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/3269/1652


Are you feeling outdoorsy? Check out Turkey Point by Moonlight! This is an evening hike by moonlight near the Turkey Point Lighthouse.

Date: October 20, 2018

Time: 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Location:

Elk Neck State Park - Turkey Point Lighthouse Parking Area
Turkey Point Rd
North East, Maryland 21901

Contact: (see website below)

For more information, visit:

http://www.ccgov.org/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/3329/1652

Check out the website below for more awesome events in Cecil County!:

http://www.ccgov.org/government/tourism/events

With so many events going on throughout upper Maryland, you are sure to find lots of family fun!


Baltimore County


Check out Team CASA for Children at the 2018 Baltimore Running Festival! This event will benefit CASA’s efforts to advocate and raise awareness for abused and neglected children in Maryland.

Date: October 20, 2018

Time: 7:00 am - 3:00 pm

Location:

401 Light St.
Baltimore, MD 21202

Contact: 410-828-6761

For more information, visit:

http://www.enjoybaltimorecounty.com/Events/Find/team-casa-for-children-at-the-2018-baltimore-running-festival?sessionID=1FA7A53AFC71A1AC954B69940432750C


Baltimore County is hosting a Hike to the Patapsco River. The hike promises to be scenic and informative as there will be a guided tour detailing the history of the Patapsco River and the Old Mill. Be sure to bring food and water for the long trek (4.5 miles).

Date: October 20, 2018

Time: 10:30 am- 12:00 pm

Location:

6553 Belmont Woods Rd
Western Baltimore County, MD 21075

Contact: 410-465-8877 or send an email to lauren.nelson@hcconservancy.org

For more information, visit:

http://www.enjoybaltimorecounty.com/Events/Find/hike-to-the-patapsco-river?sessionID=1FA7A53AFC71A1AC954B69940432750C


If you are up for a game of SCAP, check out Games in the Meadows.

Date: October 21, 2018

Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Location:

10520 Old Frederick Rd
Western Baltimore County, MD 21163

Contact: 410-465-8877 or send an email to lauren.nelson@hcconservancy.org


Check out the website below for more awesome events in Baltimore County (including haunted houses)!:

http://www.enjoybaltimorecounty.com/Events/Find#mainContent

Our Kids Rock!


One of our children received a special certificate from his school for being respectful, safe, and responsible toward staff and students. This child continues to do very well in school and has become an inspiration to others.

It is important to acknowledge our children’s victories whether it is getting on the Honor Roll or helping set the table for dinner. Something as simple as helping to set the table is huge for some children…especially shy ones.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Be Safe this Halloween


Halloween is upon us. There are scary ghosts, goblins, and witches. Remember that Halloween can be lots of fun but only if your family is safe. Remember to have a plan when your children go out trick-or-treating. Make sure that they stay with you (or trusted friends/family) and have a place and time to meet up in case anyone gets separated. Make sure that your children have several contact numbers with them (written on a post card) and to dial 911 if they are ever in danger.

Ensure that there is at least one responsible adult in the group who can keep tabs on the little ones and make sure that you have their contact number in case you need to contact them. Remember to inspect all candy and do not let your children eat any until you have done so.

When your children return home, you can select a few pieces to inspect right away so that you can give them to your children (provided they are safe to eat); this will allow you time to inspect the rest of the candy and keep those little hungry ghouls at bay.

A few rules to discuss with your children:
  •       Always stay with the group
  •       Never go inside anyone’s home or vehicle
  •           Do not eat any candy before returning home and having it inspected
  •       If something doesn’t seem right…get away immediately and tell a trusted adult or police            officer


Monday, October 8, 2018

Awesome News!


One of our foster care children has made significant progress!  Before coming into The Arc NCR it was challenging to regulate his emotions and behaviors and he had some difficulty interacting with others.

Since coming into care, he has made great strides towards his goals. His teachers report that he has been interacting more and has been making new friends. He is very helpful and is doing well in school overall. We are excited about this good news and are excited about his and our other foster children’s futures.