Meeting Children’s Needs
We employ a full-time children’s social worker to ensure that the children’s health, wellness and educational needs are met. All children are provided with basic clothing, in addition to new school uniforms, a coat, shoes, socks and underwear. BOS also provides school supplies and backpacks for each child so they can begin the school year appropriately. In addition, we offer the following specialty programming for children.
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Pediatric Therapist
A pediatric nurse practitioner from Mercy Medical Center’s Children Health Outreach Program assesses children’s health needs, obtains inoculation and health records and schedules needed health care. A pediatric therapist from Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center works with the children in therapy, helping them to process their experiences and feelings in a safe environment. The therapeutic process helps children gain insight and improve their patterns of behavior. She refers children for psychiatric evaluation when necessary and works with parents in developing skills and strategies to meet the complex needs of their children.
Therapeutic Day Care
Shelter infants and toddlers attend therapeutic day care where they have access to medical and educational professionals. The infants receive comprehensive assessments, early intervention services, family support services, parent education, counseling and specialized childcare at the PACT Program, an affiliate of Kennedy Krieger Institute. Shelter toddlers attend pre-school programs and receive diagnostic assessments at The Ark, a program of Episcopal Community Services of Maryland.
Currently, the after-school program operates Monday through Thursday from 3:30 to 6:00 p.m., providing homework assistance, academic support and recreational activities. Many of our children have learning disabilities and delays in educational achievement. The educational support given to shelter children in the after-school program is necessary for academic success.
Two certified teachers staff our after-school program. Annastasia Kezar, our children’s social worker from Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, provides counseling to children and their families as they deal with the stress of being homeless. Betty Schultz from Mercy Medical Center’s Children Health Outreach Program, visits the children on site, consults about health issues and refers them to medical providers.
The majority of our shelter children attend St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore Camp St. Vincent. In the week before and after their camp experience, BOS operates a full-day, on site summer program. This program consists of field trips in Baltimore City and Washington, D.C., followed by communication exercises. During the summer months, the children enjoy trips to favorite attractions like The Baltimore Zoo, The National Aquarium, Port Discovery – Children’s Museum and the Smithsonian Museums in Washington, DC.
Click on the image above to view some of our favorite summer pictures.