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New TCG Leadership & Board Members Added

The Children’s Guild (TCG), one of the largest providers of charter schools, special education, autism services, treatment foster care, and family mental and behavioral health services in the region has announced the appointment of Chris Zimmerman as the new Chief Financial Officer and newest member of the executive team.   Zimmerman was most recently Chairperson of the Board for TCG and will be replacing Charley Gordon who has assumed the role of Chief Revenue Officer for TCG.  Andrew Hahn is now  Chairman of the Board of Directors for the organization.

“Chris, Charley and Andrew have been instrumental in the success of The Children’s Guild, and we are thrilled they will continue to provide their expertise in their new leadership positions. Our senior team and board of directors are committed to the strategic direction and goals of TCG organization’s growth plan as we continue to respond to the unique needs of every child, family, and community we serve,” said Jenny Livelli, President and CEO of The Children’s Guild.  “We are well positioned with the right talent to drive our organization into the future, and implement our new strategic plan and vision set forth by The Children’s Guild Board of Directors emphasizing effective, efficient, and quality operations across all TCG service areas.”

Chris Zimmerman who was most recently Chair of the Board of The Children’s Guild has become a member of the senior leadership team as the Chief Financial Officer of the organization.  He was most recently with from Diligent Corporation, the leading governance, risk, and compliance SaaS company. As a director there, he partnered with all areas of the organization to institute new policies, processes, and systems. Prior to joining Diligent, consulting for top firms such as Accenture, Chris spent a decade advising C-Suite executives at Fortune 500 companies. He gained experience assisting organizations in a variety of industries, including education; finance; technology; health insurance; professional services; government; health and life sciences; travel; and manufacturing.  Before joining the board, Chris had been supporting The Guild as a volunteer since 2014. He was as a founding member of The Children’s Guild DC Charter School Board of Directors.

Charley Gordon joined The Children’s Guild in November 2020 as its Chief Financial Officer before moving to the Chief Revenue Officer role in July 2022.  Charley brings 41 years of experience in the private sector to his work at The Children’s Guild. He is a senior executive with extensive experience in diverse industries such as wholesale distribution; manufacturing; computer hardware, software and services; hospitality; integrated marketing; public accounting; start-up consulting and funding; not-for-profits in human services, music and theater; and real estate development, acquisitions, investing and management.  Prior to joining The Children’s Guild, he held the positions of President of OPS Unlimited; VP Finance & Administration for Calico Industries; Chief Financial Officer for SuiteLinq; VP of Operations for Micros Fidelio Direct; and Chief Financial Officer for Hayman Systems.  Charley is a Certified Public Accountant and earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Boston University.

Andrew Hahn, CFP®, CRPC® joined The Children’s Guild Board in 2019 and has taken over the Chairperson role.  He is a vice president and financial advisor with Seventy2 Capital Wealth Management, where his clients include families that have members with special needs. Previously, Hahn was a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch, and UBS, and before that, he founded and ran businesses in printing, publishing and information technology. He is a Certified Financial Planner® and a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor®. He holds a degree in business management from James Madison University

In addition, Howard Kurman, an employment attorney, and Principal of the Baltimore Office, Offit Kurman Attorneys at Law, will be joining the Board of Directors.  Howard will serve alongside Keri Lowry, associate director for national security at Guidehouse and Neil Young, retired from his work as an insurance broker and advisor who have both extended their positions on the TCG board until 2025.

Dr. Paul Rao who was most recent the “Past Board Chairperson” has stepped down.  “Paul brought over 40 years of experience in health care leadership and speech-language pathology to The Children’s Guild, and we owe him a debt of gratitude for his dedication and years of service to our organization.  Paul previously served as Vice Chair, three years as Chair and two years as Past Board Chair and we wish him well in his future endeavors,” added Jenny Livelli.

Affiliates of The Children’s Guild include The Children’s Guild, Inc., Baltimore Campus, The Children’s Guild DC Public Charter School, The Children’s Guild – Prince George Campus, Monarch Academy Glen Burnie, Monarch Academy Global – Laurel, Monarch Academy Annapolis, The Outpatient Mental Health Clinic, Treatment Foster Care, The Children’s Guild- Transformation Academy, Monarch Preschool College Park, TranZed Academy for Working Students (TAWS), and TranZed Apprenticeships.  For more information, visit https://childrensguild.org/.

There’s Foster Care—Then There’s Treatment Foster Care

Another Level of Love, Compassion & Need!

There is a much greater level of foster care needed and the need is growing.  The answer is  Treatment Foster Care (TFC. Treatment Foster Care, or therapeutic foster care, requires parents with specialized training to care for kids with more serious emotional, behavioral, or social challenges because of past trauma. It gives children in out-of-home care a safe and nurturing home in a more structured environment than typical or regular foster care and offers a cost-effective alternative to residential treatment.

A CLOSER LOOK AT FOSTER CARE IN THE U.S.

According to recent federal data, more than 400,000 children now live in foster care in the United States, from infants to 21 (in some states). Kids ages 1 to 5 make up the largest share (30% in 2020) of chil­dren enter­ing care. The average age is about 8 years old, and there are more boys than girls. Of those kids, about 117,000 are waiting to be adopted.

In 2020, 213,964 children under 18 entered foster care in the United States. Kids cycle in and out of the foster care and adoption systems but usually spend about a year in foster care. More than half are eventually reunified with their parents or caregivers. About 25 percent are adopted, many by foster parents. The goal of most foster care placements is to provide a temporary home that gives children and teens a safe place to live when their parents or primary caregivers are going through a crisis; while meeting emotional, physical, educational, medical, and recreational needs; and to safely reunite them with their families.

Many of these children have challenging behaviors because they have experienced some form of trauma,  As a result, they exhibit emotional fragility, impulsive behavior, learning disabilities, Loss and Attachment Disorder, post-traumatic stress, and oppositional and verbally aggressive behaviors among others.

TREATMENT FOSTER CARE GOES FURTHER FOR THOSE CHILDREN WHO NEED IT

Treatment Foster Care serves children who have complex problems due to experiencing severe trauma and their behaviors are difficult for regular foster homes to manage. Many children in treatment foster care have failed in traditional care because parents do not possess the training and understanding needed to care for the behaviors exhibited. However, Treatment Foster care parents are required to help children with trauma issues and are trained in being trauma-informed and to provide a healing environment. Therapeutic foster care parents also learn improved coping skills and how to manage some of the most challenging scenarios as part of training.

MEET SOLACE – WHAT A DIFFERENCE IN JUST THREE YEARS

For a wonderful TFC success story, meet Solace. When he entered treatment foster care, his obstacles included social anxiety, depression, lack of motivation and hopelessness. He had difficulties maintaining employment, but with the strong support of his foster mom, foster family and mentor Maurice Harris, Solace has maintained regular employment for the last two years.

“Being separated from my family is depressing and it still bothers me at times,” he says. “But being in care has made me realize that your family is who you make them to be.”

“I’ve been blessed with a loving foster mom who never once implied that I was a foster child. She made me feel like one of her own and makes me feel like a real sibling along with her own kids. My foster family taught me that rather than looking down on someone, it’s better to give them a hand up. I will always remember the importance of giving and giving back,” Solace added.

Over the last year, he worked in the exit youth program called, Ready by 21, got his driver’s license, bought his own car, and will be attending a trade school for plumbing. The conflict resolution and other training he received from TFC gave him skills that he says he will carry for the rest of his life.

“For a student who struggled with emotional and social issues just three years ago, these are extraordinary achievements,” says Maurice Harris. “Solace is a considerate young man who shows concern for others and has a pleasant disposition. He’s the kind of young man who has learned to care for others’ needs above his own.”

Solace just earned a Maryland Association of Resources for Families and Youth (MARFY) achievement award, and was honored during the annual MARFY dinner and awards ceremony.

TFC works!

SEE HOW BEING A TREATMENT FOSTER PARENT WORKS AT THE CHILDREN’S GUILD

The Children’s Guild (TCG), whose mission is to provide individualized transformational experiences to ensure children, families, and communities thrive, is one of many organizations that work in treatment foster care.

“We are always looking for the special parents and families willing to provide a special level of care to children in need in Baltimore City and County, and Anne Arundel, Harford, and Howard counties,” says Joy Zollinger, Managing Director, Residential Services for The Children’s Guild “With all our parents, we offer professional development and ongoing training, and our program adheres to the best practices and program standards of the Family Focused Treatment Association” (FFTA). FFTA has listed over 495 member organizations working in treatment foster care across North America, including TCG.

Full support from TFC professional staff means weekly contact with families and the foster youth in the home. These staff members are responsible for the monitoring of the placement and assisting with providing placement stability. Staff not only provide support and guidance for the foster youth, but for the foster parents as well. This support includes 24/7 on-call services, case management, coordinating services for children (such as therapy, psychiatry, etc.), and implementing therapeutic interventions when necessary. “We provide respite services for parents and a tax-free stipend for foster childcare. Also, families receive training, supervision, and ongoing support from local organizations.” added Zollinger.

Children are still in need of safe and nurturing foster homes during this critical time, and The Children’s Guild is actively recruiting treatment foster parents. TCG offers regular informational meetings via Zoom where  those interested  can find out more about our fostering program and ask questions.

For more information about Treatment in Foster Care or to become a Foster Parent, please  go to our website [email protected] or contact us at 443-829-5684 

“Please join us for our next informational meeting, even if you’re just curious!” says Kay Brazile, MLT, BSc, Admission Coordinator.

IT’S A BIG BUT REWARDING JOB. ARE YOU UP FOR IT?

It is challenging to be a therapeutic foster parent, but also extremely rewarding. Foster parents who choose to provide care to higher needs kids can make incredible differences in the lives of children who so desperately need it.

It takes a tremendous amount of patience, resilience, creativity, resourcefulness, humor, and love. When these are provided to a troubled child, healing begins. Becoming a treatment foster care parent is a special gift you can give to a child in need, as well as yourself.

Make a difference in the life of a child—Become a Therapeutic Foster Parent!

Monarch Academy Annapolis Granted IB Authorization

ANNAPOLIS, MD, September 6, 2022 –  The Children’s Guild is pleased to announce that Monarch Academy Annapolis has received the official International Baccalaureate (IB) authorization for the Primary Years Program (PYP).  The school administration, now under the leadership of Acting Principal Shae Johnson, has been working towards this prestigious designation for several years.  IB World Schools share a common philosophy—a commitment to improve the teaching and learning of a diverse and inclusive community of students by delivering challenging, high-quality programs of international education that share a powerful vision.

The IB Primary Years Program (PYP) for children aged 3 – 12 nurtures and develops young students as caring, active participants in a lifelong journey of learning. The PYP offers an inquiry-based, transdisciplinary curriculum framework that builds conceptual understanding. It reflects the best of educational research, thought leadership and experience derived from IB World Schools.

“We are thrilled to announce that Monarch Academy Annapolis was officially authorized as an IB school in July.  This world-renowned prestigious program allows our young primary year students to explore more and experience our play-based classrooms,”   said Johnson.  “For any new Pre-K students coming into our school, this program allows our students to expand, think deeper and be able to explain what they are working on.  We are extremely excited to be authorized and look forward to a wonderful year to continue to grow with our primary years program.”

The PYP curriculum framework begins with the premise that students are agents of their own learning and partners in the learning process. It prioritizes people and their relationships to build a strong learning community. PYP students use their initiative to take responsibility and ownership of their learning.  By learning through inquiry and reflecting on their own learning, PYP students develop knowledge, conceptual understandings, skills and the attributes of the IB Learner profile to make a difference in their own lives, their communities, and beyond. Embedded in the framework is the recognition of the importance of fostering an individual’s self-efficacy. Students with a strong sense of self-efficacy are active in their own learning and take action in their learning community.

Mr. Johnson, who has been instrumental in securing the IB designation was recently appointed Acting Principal of the Monarch Academy Annapolis, a part of The Children’s Guild, by The Anne Arundel County Public School District.  Mr. Johnson is an accomplished and energetic school administrator with 17+ years’ experience in both public and private, elementary, middle, and secondary schools providing outstanding leadership and a culture of value and integrity.  He will be the first acting principal of color since the school’s inception.

“Shae was instrumental in leading the effort to receive the IB designation for the school.  We congratulate him and are thrilled that Anne Arundel County has appointed him to lead Monarch Academy Annapolis,” said Jenny Livelli, President and CEO of The Children’s Guild.  “We are confident in Shae’s abilities to implement effective strategy and programs, transform the school’s culture, and respond to the unique needs of every child, family and the entire community.”

“I am grateful to Anne Arundel County Public Schools for having the trust in me to lead Monarch Academy Annapolis, especially the new IB PYP program during this upcoming school year,” added Mr. Johnson.

Monarch Academy Annapolis is part of The Children’s Guild’s schools and programs which respond to the unique needs of every child, family, and community it serves. The organization is one of the largest providers of charter schools, special education, autism services, treatment foster care, and family mental and behavioral health services in the region.

Affiliates of The Children’s Guild include The Children’s Guild, Inc., Baltimore Campus, The Children’s Guild DC Public Charter School, The Children’s Guild – Prince George Campus, Monarch Academy Glen Burnie, Monarch Academy Global – Laurel, Monarch Academy Annapolis, The Outpatient Mental Health Clinic, Treatment Foster Care, The Children’s Guild- Transformation Academy, Monarch Preschool College Park, TranZed Academy for Working Students (TAWS), and TranZed Apprenticeships.  For more information, visit https://childrensguild.org/.