Maryland Division of Human Providers Chosen To Take part In First-of-its-Variety Nationwide Effort to Redesign Youngster Welfare

BALTIMORE, MD – The Maryland Department of Human Services (DHS) announced today that it has been selected by the Federal Children’s Bureau, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Casey Family Programs, and Prevent Child Abuse America to participate in Tier 2 of the national Thriving Families, Safer initiative Children: A National Commitment to Wellbeing.

Safer Children is a unique program that aims to transform traditional, reactive child care systems into one that supports the well-being of children and families, and prevents abuse and unnecessary family separation. The multi-year federal initiative will provide resources and support to transform children’s charities in the public, private and philanthropic sectors.

The initiative consists of three levels of action:

  • Level one – These efforts, launched in autumn 2020, focus on locally-oriented strategies. Selected jurisdictions will serve as demonstration sites and will work with partners in the initiative to obtain intensive technical support and resources to help them achieve their goal of creating a system for the wellbeing of children and families.
  • Tier Two – Efforts will work with jurisdictions to advance political and systemic reforms at the state, tribal, or territorial level.
  • Stage three – Efforts will share lessons learned to educate and inspire other jurisdictions as they launch their own child and family welfare programs.

“To be selected to participate with our distinguished partners in Tier 2 of this national effort is an immeasurable honor,” said Lourdes R. Padilla, secretary of the Maryland Department of Human Services. “The DHS has made an invaluable contribution to the collaboration in rethinking child support systems. As part of our two-generation approach, which evaluates the outcomes of parents and children alike, we constantly strive to identify and develop innovative solutions to better serve families in Maryland. “

Thriving Families, Safer Children’s efforts are focused on working with diverse stakeholders, especially families with experience in child welfare, to develop resources and services that best suit their particular needs and to promote conditions that suit them to thrive.

The initiative will focus on creating and enhancing networks of community-based support and aligning government resources to deliver a wide range of services that empower families and mitigate related risk factors for child abuse. Maryland’s longstanding system transformation efforts have positioned DHS well for this opportunity to enhance our offering of prevention services and encourage our partners to make the links between prevention and wellbeing.

“We are honored to be involved in a common cause that encompasses like-minded nations,” said Michelle L. Farr, executive director, social services administration, DHS. “We trust that we can learn as much as we will offer in this exchange. This occasion is not only a gift to DHS, but also to our voters. When avenues for potential growth open up, it is a win-win for everyone. “

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