Have you ever thought about becoming a foster parent? The Charles County Department of Social Services provides many services to help strengthen individuals and families. Through their programs they are able to place children in caring homes and bring families together. They also provide support to those in need with their many services such as temporary cash, housing options, food and medical assistance, child and adult protection services and much more. If you’re in need of help or looking to foster or adopt a child, reach out to representative Claudelle Parchment, Tri-County Resource Recruiter/Trainer, to get started on the right track.

 Q: Tell us about your organization (who you serve, what you do, etc.)

 A: The Charles County Department of Social Services (CCDSS) works to address and meet the needs of low income and vulnerable individuals through service provision, referral and community collaboration. CCDSS is able to accomplish this feat though our core values, which are as follows:

  1. We respect the value, confidentiality, dignity and differences of our customers and ourselves.
  2. We will measure outcomes and hold ourselves accountable for results.
  3. It is essential for our customers to be economically independent, self sufficient and live in permanent settings.
  4. We commit to collaboration and partnership with other community organizations and businesses that are essential to excellent customer service.
  5. We will continue to employ, train, recognize, reward and retain a competent work force.
  6. We will continue to provide a safe, secure work environment for staff, customers and visitors.

 Q: What is your favorite “moment” (example of how your organization helped)?

 A: There are many memorable moments at CCDSS, however the most memorable is working with the Resource parents (formerly known as foster parents) and seeing Resource parents leave an indelible mark on the lives of the children that they work with over the years. It is also empowering to see those very children blossom into young people who are making an impact on the world through their jobs, their conversations with prospective resource parents and their willingness to give unselfishly to others.

Q: What is your biggest challenge?

 A: The biggest challenge CCDSS face is finding Resource parents. We need to find more innovative ways by using technology to launch our message for the need for foster parents. Additionally, we often lose our current resource parents to successful adoptions, relocations and family changes. These rates of attrition contribute largely to the continuous need for resource parents to stand in the gap. Shortage of resource parents results in children being displaced from their communities, their friends and they lose attachment to everything that is important to them. These disruptions also create undue stress and trauma for the children. Despite our best efforts, we are unable to keep up with the number of children who are entering care and finding appropriate placements for these children.

 Q: Are there any upcoming events?

 A: The upcoming events are as follows:

  • January 4, 2017 - PRIDE Training
  • January 12, 2017 - Overview of the Court Process Training
  • February 9, 2017 - Child Protective Services and it's implications for foster parents & Family Involvement Meetings

 Q: How can people get involved with your organization?

 A: Community members who are interested in being foster parents can contact Claudelle Parchment, Tri-County Recruiter/Trainer at 301-392-6727 or at cclarke@maryland.gov. Claudelle looks forward to discussing how best CCDSS can partner with them to meet the needs of the children in foster care.