TFC preps for respite care on Maryland’s Eastern Shore

Year-long effort to offer service closer to reality with $25,000 grant

FCPKC logo PNGIt took a year of vision and the stress of writing a winning proposal, but the good news is here!

The Board of Child Care has received word the grant to expand its Treatment Foster Care (TFC) program to include respite care on Maryland’s Eastern Shore has been approved. The award comes from the Family and Community Partnership of Kent County Grant (FCPKC).

Board of Child Care’s TFC license with the state of Maryland includes a respite care license, making BCC eligible to apply for the grant. BCC’s response to the request for a proposal highlighted BCC’s assets already in place on the Eastern Shore, giving it the edge needed to win the grant.

Respite care affords a current TFC parent a break from the children they are stewarding. As any parent knows, getting a break from your kids, even for a few hours, can be a lifesaver. When it comes to TFC children who often have medical or behavioral issues, a break from the caregiving routine can mean the difference between a successful, stable foster home and foster parent burnout and placement disruption.

BCC will now provide respite care on the Eastern Shore without requiring kids to travel across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to afford such a break. Allowing a foster care child to remain on the eastern shore even during this short break from their regular foster parents means they can stay connected with their school, friends, local family members, and normal activities.

“This partnership is about showing the Eastern Shore that the Board of Child Care is a high quality provider that will be an asset to the communities we serve,” said Karen McGee, Director of Eastern Shore Operations. “There’s a common culture of treating the Western Shore and Eastern Shore of Maryland as almost two different states. This expansion is an opportunity to break down that barrier and keep families together.”

TFC hosted a luncheon May 29 on BCC’s Eastern Shore campus (Denton, MD) to both celebrate the collaboration and convene a work group to discuss how recruited families would provide respite care within targeted counties on the Eastern Shore.

“We have an urgency to start recruiting families and individuals from Eastern Shore communities who desire to serve the children and families who need them most,” said Pat Wilson, BCC’s Director of Treatment Foster Care. “We know this all seems like short notice, but our urgency comes from our mission to prevent out-of-home placements and the breakup of families.”

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