For Immediate Release
May 19, 2021
BURTONSVILLE, MD — The Center for Adoption Support and Education™ (C.A.S.E.) is opening a new office in Baltimore, co-located with the Baltimore City Department of Social Services (BCDSS) at 2923 E. Biddle Street. This new location will be dedicated to helping economically challenged adoptive, foster, and kinship families overcome their mental health challenges through free specialized individual and family therapy, case management, education, and training.
“Born and raised in Baltimore, it has always been my dream to better serve families in the greater Baltimore metro area where the need is the greatest,” said Debbie Riley, LCMFT and CEO of C.A.S.E., “It’s fitting to be able to share this news in May, which is National Foster Care Awareness Month and Mental Health Awareness Month.” The organization recently named Tamara Burke, LPC, LCPC as the Director of Clinical Program Administration, a new position that will be based out of the Baltimore City office. To support the efforts, C.A.S.E is also hiring two new therapists.
C.A.S.E. is partnering closely with the Baltimore City Department of Social Services and Baltimore City Public Schools on this new initiative. “The trauma of entering foster care presents many challenges for both children and the families who open their hearts and homes to them,” said Brandi Stocksdale, LCSW-C and Director of the Baltimore City Department of Social Services. “The important counseling and educational services C.A.S.E. provides will ensure the foster parents, relatives, children, and teens in care receive the treatment they need to heal, grow, and thrive.” Dr. Sonja Brookins Santelises, CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools said, “…we can always benefit from additional support from partners like C.A.S.E. Our mental health staff is excited to explore opportunities with C.A.S.E. for training and additional collaboration in meeting the needs of our vulnerable students.”
As of May 1, 2021, more than 1,800 Baltimore children are in the department’s protective custody due to neglect, maltreatment, and abuse. C.A.S.E.’s services will be offered to children and parents preparing for permanency and support for post-adoptive families. Physical health, mental health, and positive development are fundamental to a young adult’s ability to maintain stable housing, secure a job, and form healthy relationships.
C.A.S.E. has been serving families in Baltimore City and County since the non-profit organization was first formed in 1998. Funds raised with a committed group of adoptive parents and community stakeholders in Baltimore allowed them to open a Towson office in 2018. They were in the planning stage to expand to Baltimore City to focus on children in foster care when the Covid-19 pandemic struck, and plans had to be put on hold.
C.A.S.E. has raised more than $440,000 to run the Baltimore City location with support from Aegon TransAmerica Foundation, Greater Chesapeake Charitable Foundation, other Baltimore companies, Mary Catherine Bunting, and dedicated adoptive families. They are committed to raising additional funds to continue the expansion and ensure Baltimore families have access to C.A.S.E.’s staff of adoption-competent mental health professionals closer to home. At this time, C.A.S.E. continues to serve all clients via telehealth.
The Center for Adoption Support and Education is a nationally recognized leader in mental health services for the adoption and foster care community. The nonprofit organization’s mission is to improve the lives of children who have been adopted or in foster care and their families through counseling, lifelong education, and a growing national network of trained professionals. C.A.S.E. has trained over 17,000 mental health and child welfare professionals in 31 states. With offices in the Baltimore-Washington metro area, C.A.S.E. has provided clinical services for more than 6,800 clients and their families since its founding in 1998. Visit www.adoptionsupport.org to learn more.