November 2019
Monthly News and Updates
Collaboration Council "Since 1992" video series: Children with Intensive Needs
One of the most powerful tools we wield within our Local Care Team is our ability to collaborate in real time with partners that could potentially save families from a traumatic incident. Imagine being a parent, having gone through incredibly extensive trauma yourself, and now needing to ask someone for help. For a moment, imagine sitting in front of a group of strangers telling your story, and hoping someone finally listens. We get referrals for families from the entire spectrum, but the families are who we identify as having the most immediate risk. We try our hardest to expedite those cases because meeting with us could literally be the difference between life and death. We’ve had children with multiple suicide attempts referred, families facing eviction,as well as children struggling academically. The one constant we want to leave our families with is that we are here to help and support you.
Want to see more of how it works? Please click here 

Montgomery County's Local Care Team
Out of School Time partners at the Maryland United for Youth Conference
OST Sharpens the Saw Focusing on Professional Development and Equity to Serve Montgomery County Youth
This Fall, the Out of School Time (OST) Programming department focused efforts on ensuring quality services and equity and inclusion in Montgomery County Excel Beyond the Bell (EBB) Out-of-School-Time programming.
This month, along with our OST partners the Maryland Out of School Time Network (MOST) and Maryland MENTOR, we stayed true to our goal of ensuring that our programs are culturally competent and supportive of youth. The Collaboration Council was proud to be an official sponsor of The 2019  Maryland United for Youth Conference hosted by MOST and Maryland MENTOR . We joined our State network partners in this tremendous effort and as a result hundreds of youth development professionals including our Montgomery County EBB funded providers were able to participate. This was an opportunity to learn and engage with experts in the Youth Development and Mentoring fields through training and networking. Our Excel Beyond the Bell (EBB) funded providers left the conference feeling unified, supported and inspired. The 3-day conference addressed timely and engaging topics including: Promoting Equity in Maryland Schools, Logic Models, Secure Data Sharing and Community Partnerships, and Approaches to Integrating SEL & Mindfulness Into Youth Programs. We are more eager than ever to continue collaborating with organizations whose mission s to improve the quality of youth work and those serving the youth!
November brought about a renewed commitment to ensuring our EBB programs provide safe spaces for all youth.It is embedded in our mission to support and provide resources to our OST network in Montgomery County. We had over 15 organizations represented in the "Implicit Bias" training hosted by the Youth Development Community of Practice at the Collaboration Council. Many organizations present were from our 2019-2020 cohort of EBB funded youth development program providers. We are eager to gather data and show exactly how professional development enhances the quality of work with youth in the county. 
In other OST news, our EBB programs are more than halfway through the first session! We look forward to celebrating our end of year accomplishments in December, having served over 2100 youth this session with the support of our County Council and Executive, our Network of youth development program providers and our EBB Collarative partners from Montgomery County Recreation Department and Montgomery County Public Schools.
Know the Risks
While the holidays can be a great time for families and friends to reconnect and be festive, it can also prove to be a sad and depressing period for many people. Occasionally, individuals experiencing these intense emotions during the holidays may resort to using substances (e.g. alcohol, marijuana and prescription medications) as a coping mechanism to reduce these intense feelings, and may occasionally resort to using harder substances (e.g. heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, etc.) which may result in an accidental overdose.

It is important that we pay attention to friends and loved ones who may exhibiting signs of excessive sadness and/or depression. These signs may include:
  • Losing interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Tiredness or having low energy
  • Changes in appetite and weight
  • Being sluggish or agitated
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness or guilt
  • Oversleeping
  • Frequent thoughts of suicide or death

For additional information and tips on how to help someone who may be experiencing sadness or depression during the holidays, please click here to visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness’ webpage.
Montgomery County Reengagement Initiative: MoCo Reconnect
MoCo Reconnect is part of Montgomery County's reengagement efforts to perform outreach to disconnected youth, ages 16-24, who have dropped out of secondary school. Located at satellite centers in Rockville and Silver Spring, the reengagement initiative is a resource to reconnect to educational opportunities to support attainment of a high school diploma or GED and job training.
The Reengagement Initiative is a collaborative of agencies led by the Collaboration Council who provide outreach, case management, education, training, and employment services. MoCo Reconnect will provide specialized services to our LGBTQ youth and young adults. Services include:

  • LGBTQ Navigator who has a deep understanding and a connection to LGBTQ service providers in Montgomery County 

  • Provide case management services for LGBTQ youth

  • Provide training for all Reengagement Initiative staff and ensure that the space is safe and welcoming for LGBTQ youth

  • Host events and programs specific to LBGTQ youth 

A Youth Advisory Council (YAC) for MoCo Reconnect has been formed and meets monthly. YAC is a youth-led council who are committed to being ambassadors for the reengagement initiative by engaging their community, developing and showing leadership, and working together to increase awareness of the mission. The purpose of YAC is to:

  • Advise organizations leading the reengagement initiative on youth related topics and issues  

  • Represent the youth voice around the Reengagement Initiative 

I n the future, MoCo Reconnect will be a one stop drop-in center and will provide additional services such as: 
  • Low barrier access to showers, laundry, and other basic necessities to youth and young adults experiencing homelessness

  • An entry point to the Montgomery County Continuum of Care

  • Providing assistance to youth and young adults to resolve their housing crisis through assessment and connection to housing in the community

 Our partners in this work are: Lead4Life, LAYC, SMYAL and Health and Human Services
MoCo Reconnect Youth Advisory Council
John B. King,Former United States Secretary of Education & Chairman of Education Trust & Elijah Wheeler, Deputy Executive Director/Social Justice Director
Black and Brown Coalition for educational equity and excellence
The NAACP held their annual kick-off event at Northwest High School with Keynote speaker John B. King, Former United States Secretary of Education & the current Chairman of Education Trust. During the program, the Black and Brown Coalition honored long-time equity champions Jerry Floyd and Teresa Wright. We are proud to partner with the NAACP Parents' Council, Identity Inc. and the remaining organizations that are a part of the Black and Brown Coalition to continue the fight for educational equity and excellence in Montgomery County.