by Kevin Keegan 

The services we offer in the Child and Family Services Division are ever-evolving while our basic values stand firm. Whether we are looking at the beginning of our work well over 100 years ago (mostly comprised of orphanages and adoptions) or to our current work (evolving to more home and community-based work) the core is still focused on the same basic value – there is nothing more important to a child than to be raised in a safe and loving family.

As Maryland’s child-serving system is evolving to one that is committed to serving children in their homes and communities, Catholic Charities is a leader in supporting this work because everything we do is focused on supporting children to be successful in a family setting. Even if this means that a child needs a brief stay in a residential program to help them with an acute issue, we never lose focus on the importance of them getting home and stable. This principle is clear whether we are talking about our schools, our residential programs, crisis services, in-home and community-based services, family support services, foster care, or adoptions.

We hear regularly from families about how much they feel valued by the work we do, and how much we treat them as true partners and never make them feel judged. To quote from a recent note from a parent, “Through our time there, we were all able to learn how to strengthen one another, love one another, and how to effectively manage living and loving someone who deeply struggles with mental health issues.”

I am proud to be part of an organization that is so focused on our mission, committed to the work, and so unwavering in its values.