A Continuum of Supports For Families Made Possible Through Agency Restructuring

By Nellie Power

Assistant Executive Director of Outreach and Family Services

We’ve made some recent and exciting changes that we wanted to tell The Arc community more about.What were formerly the Child & Family Services Division and the Outreach and Community Access Department have been merged and are now called: The Outreach & Family Services Division. There are three departments in the Division: the Outreach Department, the Foster Care Department, and the ‘Family Living’ Department. Family Living is an apt descriptor of the services we provide across the lifespan for both children and adults living with family members. While The Arc Baltimore is already known for the high quality supports we provide to individuals and their families, this restructuring was initiated to achieve a number of goals:

  • To combine the 2 agency “Front Doors” so that anyone seeking service, whether child or adult, could be assisted by an expert Outreach Specialist. We already provide support to thousands of individuals and families seeking information, resources, and publicly and privately funded direct supports. Combining and expanding our internal resources allows us to even more quickly respond to our community while building an integrated team, sharing knowledge, and working together seamlessly.

  • To more mindfully and intentionally meet the needs of supported individuals who live with their family. Those services are inherently different than those provided in an individual’s own home, assisted living unit (ALU) or other shared living space, because the family is the cornerstone. We look forward to using best practice approaches to family partnerships that achieve the shared goal of independent individuals thriving in the community and finding joy in their experiences!

  • To build on our expertise and expand our supports through all of life’s “transitions”. An obvious transition is that of a young adult moving from the education system to Supported Employment or Day programming and In-Home/Community supports. Families of now adult children tell us they were in many ways unprepared for the drastic changes that came, essentially overnight, when their young adult family member reached the age of 21. In past years, the structure of the agency required that an individual’s supports be transferred over to another department. Now, the same team that is familiar with the family can continue to provide supports, earlier and more intensively, through what can be a difficult and confusing experience. In addition, the team will be there for the other transitions everyone experiences in life such as: new jobs, new relationships, grief and loss, change of living situation, etc.

  • To promote more opportunities for cross division/department collaboration.

  • To strengthen a Leadership team that will seek and grab opportunities to develop additional innovating programming.

Give us your feedback about the restructuring and how we can serve you better!


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