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Three DHR experts make media appearances to bring attention to critical issues

BALTIMORE (JUNE 13, 2011) Department of Human Resources’ programs experts will make media appearances to bring attention to Baltimore City Department of Social Services recruitment of foster parents willing to accept older youth and to bring attention to elder abuse. 

 On June 15, 2011, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, concerned citizens from around the world will raise public awareness to the mistreatment of many of the senior citizens in the community.  This is a growing problem.  Each year in Maryland, officials receive over 8,000 reports of elder abuse.  The actual number of abuse victims may be much higher because many seniors suffer in silence and fail to report or complain about the abuse.

 Ronda Lewis, the Adult Services Case Manager in Wicomico County Department of Social Services, taped an appearance on the local public access channel on June 10 for airing on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.  Ms. Lewis provided information about signs of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation; how to report suspected abuse; and the services available in the community.

 Ms. Lewis has been with the State of Maryland for ten years.  During the last four years, she has worked as Social Worker/Case Manager serving the adults of Wicomico County.  She investigates abuse, neglect, self-neglect and exploitation of vulnerable adults and provides case management services to vulnerable adults.  She also is the co-chair of the Wicomico County Adult Protective Services Coalition.  This coalition works with the State’s Attorney’s Office, local law enforcement, and other agencies in the community to address concerns of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable adults as a cohesive team. 

 Dorinda Adams, program manager in the office of Adult Services, will appear on the Maryland Department of Aging’s radio show on WOLB 1010, on Wednesday, June 15 from 12 to 1 p.m.  She will share information about the Maryland Caregiving Support Coordinating Council, a 17- member body appointed by the Governor to provide recommendations on Family Caregiving issues and needs within Maryland.

 Ms. Adams has worked professionally in the field of Social Work for 29 years.  Respite became a passion of hers while working at Talbot County Department of Social Services as she co-created the Option: Respite Program with a colleague from the Mental Health Clinic.  Ms. Adams was the founding President of the Maryland Respite Care Coalition, Inc. and she continues to serve on the all- volunteer Board of Directors.  She is currently the Programs Manager within the Office and she has responsibility for five statewide programs, which includes Respite Care.  Additionally she provides legislative coordination and oversees training of new employees

Molly McGrath Tierney, director of the Baltimore City Department of Social Services (BCDSS), will appear during the News Makers segment of the Sunday morning WBAL newscast on June 19, 2011.  The department is aggressively recruiting foster families willing to accept older youth into their homes.  Foster care is a family life experience that provides care and services for children who must live outside of their own families.  Foster parents provide nurturing, stable care to children until permanency is achieved either through reunification or with adoption.

 There are currently 4,200 children in the care of the BCDSS, of which, 55 percent are over the age of 14.  BCDSS provides extensive resources and training for their foster parents.  In addition, there is a range of services available for youth to ensure they have the skills to achieve success when they leave care.

Ms. McGrath Tierney has over twenty years of high-level child welfare experience.  As the director of the Baltimore City DSS, she manages Maryland’s largest jurisdiction with over 50 percent of the state’s child welfare caseload.  She is a transformational leader who has implemented major reforms and improvements in the child welfare system.

The Maryland Department of Human Resources (DHR) is the state’s social service provider.  DHR collaborates with 24 local jurisdictions to: provide foster care, adoption, and protective services to children; collect and distribute child support payments; provide protective services, case- management, supportive housing, in-home aide services, and respite care to vulnerable adults; and provide temporary cash, food stamps, and medical assistance to families.  It also funds programs for homeless persons, refugees, and migrant workers.  Last year, DHR served over one million people in need.  In terms of its annual budget, DHR is Maryland’s fifth largest state agency.        

  

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Filed in: Adoption and Foster Care, Adult Services, Wicomico County

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