|HAGERSTOWN, MD (July 22, 2021) – The Washington County Local Management Board (LMB) announced its award of $698,394 in state grant funds awarded by the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services, on behalf of the Children’s Cabinet. The grant award will fund six initiatives aimed at strengthening and improving the lives of youth and families residing in Washington County. The grants will be managed by the Washington County Office of Grant Management. This year, there will be an intentional focus on three elements: Race Equity, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Trauma-Informed Practices, and Research-Based Practices. Programs and strategies are also aligned with the Children’s Cabinet “Three Year Plan” priorities including:
· Reducing the impact of incarceration on children, families, and communities;
· Improving outcomes for disconnected/opportunity youth;
· Reducing childhood hunger;
· Reducing youth homelessness;
· Increasing opportunities for community-based programs and services for youth (including diversion); and,
· Preventing out-of-State placements.
The initiatives/programs receiving funding in Washington County are:
· Family-Centered Support Services – The Family Center is a multi-generational program targeting youth and young adults not attending school due to pregnancy or becoming a teen parent. Services are provided to both the parent and child and include parenting skills instruction, quality child-care, school readiness preparation, GED attainment, life skills, and employment readiness preparation.
· School-Based Mental Health Program – This program places a licensed mental health clinician in every public secondary school and selected elementary schools in Washington County. Students are provided up to three sessions with the clinician at no charge during the school day in their home school and are given referrals if continued treatment is necessary.
· Family Strong – This program was created to impact one of Governor Hogan’s targeted populations – children with incarcerated parents. The program provides case management to assist youth and their caregivers during this time of crisis. In addition, the program will provide resources to caregivers to help them prepare their children for school readiness and success in school.
· Western Maryland Consortium Disconnected Youth Services – The LMB is providing additional funds to the Western Maryland Consortium to fill funding gaps in their existing programs serving disconnected youth. Disconnected youth are defined as youth ages 18-24 neither working nor attending school. The funding provided by the LMB will be used to pay for things that current State and Federal funding received by the Consortium will not pay for, such as driver’s education, transportation, GED fees, soft skills training, birth certificate copies, and a year-round work experience.
· Local Care Team Coordinator – This staff person will ensure a coordinated system for case referrals to include tracking referrals and services, maintaining a comprehensive resource database, collecting and reporting data, and ensuring follow-up services. This will be a professional who has experience with child placement systems and a clinical or special education background. Staff will be responsible for facilitating a coordinated approach to services and ensure parent involvement in Local Care Team meetings.
· True Opportunities – The program uses Opportunity Navigators (ON) which are intensive case managers who work intentionally to build transformative relationships with disconnected youth ages 18-24. The ON is responsible for providing crisis intervention, intensive case management, referrals, support, and follow-up. The ON helps youth establish goals and create an engagement plan using these goals. The ON provides mentoring, skill development, advocacy, and guidance so that each youth receives the goals of academic success, transition to employment, and improvement in healthy behaviors.
“Improving the outcomes for Maryland families is a key factor in creating Governor Larry Hogan’s vision for a safer Maryland,” said Glenn Fueston, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services, and Chair of Maryland’s Children’s Cabinet. “Maryland’s Local Management Boards bring community partners to the same table to meet the specific needs and challenges of their local families in an efficient and comprehensive manner.”
About the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services
The Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services is committed to ensuring that all Maryland children, youth, and families live and prosper in healthy, safe, and thriving communities. The office partners with state agencies, Local Management Boards, and community-based organizations to promote the well-being of Maryland’s children, youth, and families through data-driven policies and collective solutions.
About the Washington County Local Management Board
The Washington County Local Management Board (LMB) was created to identify priorities and targeting resources for children and families living in Washington County. The LMB brings together local child-serving agencies, local service providers, and other community representatives to empower local stakeholders in addressing the needs and setting priorities for their communities. The Washington County LMB includes representatives from the Department of Social Services, Washington County Public Schools, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Washington County Health Department, Department of Juvenile Services, Mental Health Authority, Washington County Housing Authority, the Developmental Disabilities Administration, the Western Maryland Consortium, the Washington County State’s Attorney, a member of the Washington County Board of County Commissioners, and a representative from the Washington County Delegation to the Maryland General Assembly.