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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.


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 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.


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!


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 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



Digital Portfolio Engages Students In Transition Goals Including Building Employment Skills

Baltimore, MD, August 18, 2022 – As the school year is set to begin, the Maryland State Department of Education has selected The Children’s Guild Baltimore Campus to pilot the Maryland Transition Digital Portfolio (MTDP) as one of the Special Education Nonpublic locations. The digital portfolio assists students with disabilities in Maryland who are 14 or older to actively engage in transition goals and activities developed during the IEP process, build employment skills, and document work experiences.

The transition from high school to college or employment can be an overwhelming and challenging time for students with disabilities and their families. Students face specific challenges in the transition from familiar special education services provided in middle and high school to the changing scope of these services in the workplace, in post-secondary education or higher education.

To proactively support this transition, the Maryland State Department of Education’s Division of Early Intervention and Special Education Services developed the Maryland Transition Digital Portfolio which supports multiple learning styles; encourages self-determination, self-reflection, and self-advocacy, allows students to document personal growth to promote motivation and self-confidence, and provides a strengths-based perspective.  For more information about the Maryland Transition Digital Portfolio visit Portfolio Structure and Age Mapping.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer this pilot program.  We have a new computer lab thanks to a generous donation along with a new career center so are well equipped to provide our students with the tools they need for future success,” said Katina F. Webster, Ed.D, Principal, The Children’s Guild Baltimore School.  “With the help of our Transition Coordinator and community partners we plan to expose students to experiences and opportunities from elementary through high school.”

Dr. Webster continues, “We cannot wait for our students to come back for a wonderful new school year. We have an impressive new curriculum that meets the needs of our unique learners, while also challenging them to make progress on state standards. Our reading program is expanding with the addition of research-based interventions and the continued efforts of our Literacy Specialist to support instruction and gather important data that informs the work we do. We have a new library where students will have access to high interest fiction, non-fiction, and digital resources. It will be a space where students can conduct research and engage in meaningful discussions with their teachers and peers.

The Children’s Guild, Inc., Baltimore Campus is a non-public, co-educational special education day school approved by the Maryland State Department of Education, for boys and girls 5-21 years old, who have emotional disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and multiple disabilities. The TCG Baltimore Campus is part of The Children’s Guild 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
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Transformation Academy To Host Prom For Students With Special Needs At Baltimore Campus

On Friday, August 12th, 36 students from The Children’s Guild–Transformation Academy in Baltimore will get dressed up and go to the prom to celebrate the start of their new year in this special education school that has become a thriving environment for dozens of students ages 5-21 whose primary diagnosis is autism. Many of the students also have co-existing diagnoses of sensory processing disorder, a specific learning disability, health impairment or multiple disabilities.

According to Ariel Long, One-to-One Administrator and Teacher Katie Boyce, “All students should have the opportunity to go to the prom, and we are so looking forward to giving our students the chance to Be A Star at Prom 2022.  Instead of crowning a prom king and queen, we will be recognizing each student with for their individual accomplishments and what makes them so special.”

  • What: Be A Star Prom 2022, featuring red carpet student introductions, a corsage building station, photo booth, and informal fun awards
  • Date: Friday, August 12, 2022
  • Time: 12:00 – 2:30 pm
  • Location: 6802 McClean Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21234 (Gymnasium)

The Transformation Academy provides skills and support to students and their families across a variety of settings including home, workplace, and community.  The teachers and administrators provide programming to foster growth and independence for each student utilizing a collaborative team approach of highly trained professionals, including special education teachers, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, behavior specialists, transition coordinators, and therapeutic behavior aides.

The Transformation Academy is part of The Children’s Guild 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

The Children’s Guild Expand Preschool Opportunities as Studies Show Benefits to All Young Learners

Kids need a stronger start — let’s give them one by expanding access to Preschool and pre-K.

Extensive research supports that Preschool education can substantially increase a child’s chances of thriving in school and in life. Programs teach social skills, through interactions, mentoring and direct teaching—and often can shrink racial education gaps in children’s development. While early care and education can be an unmanageable expense for parents, widely available programs enhance equity to access and opportunity for all young learners. So, let’s take advantage of quality programs and give our kids the best possible start.


Universal Preschool means high-quality Preschool that is publicly funded and available to all families. Programs promote learning and growth, and there are funding mechanisms on federal, state and local levels that are currently available to ensure universal Preschool becomes a reality.

Head Start is America’s first and largest pre-K program, a Federal initiative dating back to 1965 that promotes school readiness in children from birth to age five. Focused mainly on infants, toddlers, and Preschool-aged children of low-income families, Head Start delivers public Preschool and pre-K services to more than a million children every year, in every U.S. state and territory through 1,600 agencies in local communities.

Head Start has been reauthorized and funding expanded over many years, and the current administration has provided additional funding for pre-K and early childhood education in its domestic agenda. This federal-state partnership offers states funds to expand public Preschool programs to reach nearly six million kids not currently enrolled in Preschool. That would be a great start.

“The highest rate of return in early childhood development comes from investing as early as possible, from birth through age five, in disadvantaged families.”
—James J. Heckman, Nobel Memorial Prize winner in Economics

Head Start manages more than 20 programs and partners with other non-profit organizations, schools, and community action agencies in Maryland. There are many other Preschool programs in the state, as well, including two provided by The Children’s Guild in College Park and Annapolis.

Currently, free pre-K is only available to 4-year-olds from low-income families, but it’s working. Three of the four counties that offer universal pre-K—Somerset, Garrett and Kent—ranked in the top 10 of children’s readiness for kindergarten yet are also some of the poorer counties in the state.

Increasing access to affordable, high-quality pre-K statewide was a key focus of the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, also known as the Kirwan Commission, which analyzed Maryland public schools and areas that need improvement. They recommend phasing in full-day pre-K for all 3 and 4-year-olds statewide.

Monarch Preschool College Park is a high-quality, project‑based learning pre-K program of The Children’s Guild.

Preschool Director Krissie Taylor says Monarch Preschool plays an important role on the city of College Park’s economic revitalization. “We have a unique opportunity to support the city with programs that parents want and in which our children can be successful. We offer a warm and welcoming place where students learn how to make sense of their world. Delivering Preschool experiences is important for attracting parents to move and stay in our city and contribute to our community.”

Chief Education Officer Kathy Lane says high-quality programs are a key aspect of pre-K. “Increasing access to quality programs requires proven education curriculums and best practices. It’s a huge priority for us. We know all kids want to learn, so we implement project-based learning to feed their natural passion, offering learning experiences as expeditions into the unknown.

Over and over, we’ve seen our pre-K programs form strong relationships between students and teachers which draw on the power of small groups, create exploratory mindsets, and help kids understand their community.”

After success in College Park and recognized demand in other areas of Maryland, The Children’s Guild expanded pre-K services to their Monarch Academy Annapolis, targeting low-income families, English Language Learners, and children with special education needs/IEPs (Individualized Education Plan). The program is fully funded by MSDE. PreK Grants are funding the program at MAA.

A recent comprehensive Brookings Institution study of Preschool programs found that not only do they provide an advantage for kids, they also offer encouraging long-term results and economic benefits. Researchers specifically asked whether publicly funded Preschool is worth the investment from taxpayers. Looking at Head Start programs they found:

  • Preschool children ages 3 to 5 were significantly more likely to earn a four-year college degree later in life.
  • After three years in a program, kids were 3% more likely to finish high school, 8.5% more likely to attend college, and 39% more likely to finish college.
  • Attendees were more likely to work and have professional jobs later in life.
  • Female students were 32% less likely to live in poverty as adults, and male students saw a 42% decrease in receiving public assistance.
  • Later in adulthood, attendees were 5% more likely to be employed, work 8.7% more hours per week, and 27% less likely to receive public assistance.

As the study publication summarizes, “…even the nascent, underfunded Head Start programs of the 1960s delivered sizable benefits.”

Several other studies in Massachusetts, Tennessee and other areas saw outsized effects of providing a Preschool education, and provide a strong case for universal pre-K.

From a recent National Public Radio story: “…there’s growing evidence that Preschool can permanently improve kids’ lives — but it’s not necessarily because it makes them smarter. It seems more related to making them more disciplined and motivated, which is just as important (or perhaps even more important) for their future livelihoods as how well they perform on reading or math tests.”

A parent’s desire to give their child every opportunity available is universal. By offering high-quality and meaningful pre-K programs, The Children’s Guild and many other organizations provide proven benefits and touch children’s lives in highly impactful ways. Please support universal pre-K!

The Children’s Guild seeks partnerships and growth opportunities of all kinds. Should you want to learn more or see the work they do in area schools, please contact them anytime at 410.444.3800.

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