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NEWS
January 7, 2004
CHANGE IS SORELY needed at the city's Department of Social Services, and the agency's newest idea, to consolidate some neighborhood offices into regional centers, is worth a look. But buildings don't deliver services, people do. When a man fighting homelessness gets a letter from a DSS worker one day saying he doesn't qualify for aid, then another from another worker the next day telling him he does, it doesn't really matter to him where the office is. He just wants the right answer. And when a child falls into the foster care safety net, we want to be confident that DSS has checked out the criminal record of the foster parent with whom she will be living.
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NEWS
By Edward Lee and The Baltimore Sun | March 5, 2014
The storm that dropped several inches of snow around the state on Monday has upped the degree of difficulty for Johns Hopkins. The No. 3 Blue Jays (4-0) were slated to visit Mount St. Mary's (0-5) on Tuesday, but conditions at Waldron Family Stadium in Emmitsburg proved to be too treacherous. The game has been rescheduled for Monday, April 14, but coach Dave Pietramala wished that Mother Nature had been kinder to both teams. “I thought yesterday not playing was a bit of a setback,” he said Wednesday morning.
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NEWS
By LYNN ANDERSON and LYNN ANDERSON,SUN REPORTER | March 14, 2006
Baltimore's relatively meager contribution to the state agency that cares for its poor and disadvantaged emerged as an issue yesterday during a City Council hearing on the plight of children who have been removed from homes because of abuse or neglect. The hearing was called after news reports that foster children were being temporarily housed in a city Department of Social Services office downtown. The office served as an impromptu shelter after the department had trouble placing the children.
NEWS
February 20, 2014
Editor: On behalf of the Harford Roundtable partners and the Continuum of Care, we would like to thank all of our churches, organizations and citizens for their generous donations in support of the annual Point-in-Time Homeless Count, an evening outreach conducted this year on Jan. 29. During this year's outreach, donated hats, gloves, coats, blankets, personal care items, food and bus vouchers were distributed to the homeless encountered, and...
NEWS
By Amy L. Miller and Amy L. Miller,Sun Staff Writer | February 26, 1995
Three bills that Del. Donald B. Elliott designed to protect people unfairly accused of child abuse died in the House Judiciary Committee late Thursday.The delegate, a Republican from New Windsor, said he wasn't surprised. "It takes a few years to speak to the concerns of all the members of the committee," Mr. Elliott said, adding that he would reintroduce the bills next year."It took me three years to get my other bill passed," Mr. Elliott said, referring to legislation approved in 1993 that created a hearing process for people who say they are unfairly accused of abuse.
NEWS
By Darren M. Allen and Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer | September 29, 1992
The Carroll County Department of Social Services violated a Taylorsville couple's constitutional rights by keeping an open file in a statewide data bank that falsely accused them of sexually abusing their infant son, a federal judge has ruled.Senior U.S. District Judge Herbert F. Murray said the actions of DSS "deprived the [couple] of their protected interest in familial privacy without due process of law."Judge Murray, in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, granted summary judgment in favor of David and Marsha Hodge in their $1.5 million lawsuit against the social services agency.
NEWS
March 3, 2004
WHEN A CHILD is killed, as two have been in Baltimore in the past week, people ask why. What happened? What could prevent it from happening again? If the child was being served by the city's Department of Social Services, the questions mount. Did she get proper services? Was he placed in foster care or returned to a parent? Is this a case of a family too far gone to save, or one where the state's intervention caused more harm than good? While the welfare records of living children are private - and rightly so, in most instances - the records of those who have died should not be. If the facts aren't known, there can be no accountability - little chance the system, if broken, will be fixed, and a big chance another child could die. Yet this has not been the practice at the city's DSS, and that must change.
NEWS
July 28, 2004
WANTED: A risk-taking change agent with proven experience in lifting big social agencies out of the muck. Persistence and political finesse preferred. Must work well with others, even if one's bosses may not. Now that state and city officials have apparently agreed on how they'll choose a permanent head of Baltimore's Department of Social Services, placing ads in The Sun and elsewhere, we can't wait to see who they jointly choose. The political dispute over how the department's interim chief, Floyd R. Blair, got the job has taken too much attention away from the desperate needs of the people it serves -- and cost too much, in lawyers and court time, to remind everyone that "appointed jointly" means when both parties agree.
NEWS
July 13, 2004
NOW THAT the Baltimore Circuit Court has reminded the executive branch that state statute applies to it, too, could everyone please get back to fixing the city's beleaguered Department of Social Services? Circuit Judge M. Brooke Murdock reaffirmed the definition of "concurrence" -- agreement and consent of all parties -- in her decision yesterday upholding the city's argument that the state had acted improperly in unilaterally hiring Floyd R. Blair to head Baltimore's DSS. By law, the city and state are required to agree on the person who will lead the agency.
NEWS
January 28, 2004
WITH CITY CHILDREN continuing to die while in the care of the Department of Social Services, every effort to fix the system is welcome. Suggestions to that end fill a memo from Dr. Peter L. Beilenson, Baltimore's health commissioner, to Mayor Martin O'Malley, based on the knowledge and ideas of eight child welfare veterans. The Department of Social Services and its parent, the state Department of Human Resources, also are laboring to rework the system, fraught with deadly, gaping holes.
NEWS
Liz Bowie and Liz Bowie | February 3, 2014
   Laurence E. Block, a retired Broad Neck High School teacher, responds in this post to the Advanced Placement story that raised questions about an educational system that puts pressure on top students to overload on AP.   By Laurence E. Block I have always been amused when I hear comments that describe AP courses as "college equivalent. "  What colleges are they referring to?  Yale, Duke, and Stanford or Muddy River State?  To suggest that the typical AP course taught by the typical high school teacher is an educational experience equivalent to that offered at our nation's most distinguished colleges is ludicrous.
NEWS
By Mary Gail Hare, The Baltimore Sun | September 18, 2011
In Dundalk, the need for foster homes far outstrips the abilities of neighborhood families who can open their doors to children in crisis. Baltimore County's Department of Social Services has launched an effort to recruit foster parents in its eastern neighborhoods and has coupled it with a program to train community volunteers to assist families long before they have to relinquish their children. "Across the state and the country, there are initiatives to engage the community in protecting its children," said Judith Schagrin, DSS assistant director for children's services.
NEWS
December 16, 2010
For decades, Baltimore County was the place affluent families moved when they left the city, a place that boasted lower taxes, less crime, better schools and more stable neighborhoods. But what's been happening in Baltimore County during the last decade is something different: the spread of poverty from the city into the county. The Census Bureau released figures this week showing a statistically significant increase in the poverty rate in Baltimore County since 2000 — a rise from 6.5 percent to about 8 percent.
NEWS
January 20, 2008
Counsel for youths helps avert tragedy Kudos to reporter Lynn Anderson for raising the question of how to avert tragedies such as the death of 2-year-old Bryanna Harris ("Social services chief resigns," Jan. 15). The death of any child is a devastating occurrence - and this one is made even more tragic by our sense that it could have been prevented. The Sun's article indicates that Baltimore's Department of Social Services was aware of the problems in Vernice Harris' family but failed to act to protect her child, Bryanna, who died in June.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie and Liz Bowie,Sun reporter | February 7, 2007
Fellowship of Lights, a nonprofit organization that has sheltered homeless and runaway teenagers for more than 30 years, has shut down one of its two Baltimore facilities, saying it can't properly care for the few deeply troubled boys being sent its way. The problems became severe starting in July, when referrals from the Baltimore Department of Social Services declined and began to include more teenage boys with mental illnesses and behavior problems, said...
NEWS
August 15, 2004
SIXTEEN YEARS after the fact, Baltimore's Department of Social Services and its parent, the state Department of Human Resources, still don't honor their court agreement to improve services to children in foster care. How long must it take? The latest evidence of same-old, same-old is the department's own six-month report, required by the consent decree it signed in a 1988 class-action lawsuit charging it with poorly caring for its charges. DSS reported it had failed to get caseworkers to visit each of their current charges each month in 24 percent of cases in the first half of 2004; up from 22 percent in the last half of 2003 and 14 percent in the first half of 2003.
NEWS
January 20, 2008
Counsel for youths helps avert tragedy Kudos to reporter Lynn Anderson for raising the question of how to avert tragedies such as the death of 2-year-old Bryanna Harris ("Social services chief resigns," Jan. 15). The death of any child is a devastating occurrence - and this one is made even more tragic by our sense that it could have been prevented. The Sun's article indicates that Baltimore's Department of Social Services was aware of the problems in Vernice Harris' family but failed to act to protect her child, Bryanna, who died in June.
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