H2FY19 During Fiscal Year for 2019, there were 119 participants involved in the building bridges program (a total of 42 inmates/released inmates) including the inmates and their families. There were 720 services provided to inmates and their families throughout the FY19. During FY19, 40 participants (20 inmates/released inmates) were discharged. Inmate/released inmate discharges included 2 successful completion of the program, 2 permanent relocation, 1 terminated services, 9 became unable to contact, and 6 for other reasons including being transferred to DOC. There was a total of 7 guardians (10 children) who were discharged due to refusing services from the Building Bridges Program. There was a total of 6 guardians (9 children) who were discharged due to staff being unable to contact participants. Building Bridges Program staff worked with Sgt. Campbell of the Worcester County Detention Center to receive referrals of incarcerated parents. The BB program staff met with clients on a regular basis to develop the transitional care plans, worked on case management needs (identifying resources and making referrals), and worked with families on issues such as bonding with their children, coping skills, and increasing parental skills in the home. The BB Team met with several family units of incarcerated individuals and conducted intakes to the program. The BB Team made referrals to various programs and resources such as TCM, Mental Health, Substance Abuse, Department of Human Resources, and other appropriate community programs. The BB Team identified resources that would be useful for the success of the individuals served by the program. The BB staff participated in continuing education courses, trainings, and reviewing literature to improve their ability to support the inmates and their families. BB staff attended:
- “From Jail to Community Behavioral Health: Ensuring Continuity of Care,” webinar in July,
- “Maryland LAUNCH Fatherhood Symposium” in August,
- “Hearing Distressing Voices” in August,
- “Suicide The Ripple Effect” in September,
- “Trauma Survivor” in September,
- “Motivational Interviewing” in September,
- “Strengthening Families Maryland Parent Café” in September,
- “Opioid Addiction among African American/Blacks in Maryland Webinar,” in February,
- “Bringing Families on the Resilience-Building Journey,” in February,
- “Family Engagement Training,” in June,
- “Children of Incarcerated Parents Webinar,” in June, and
- “No Such Thing as a Bad Kid Training,” in June.
The BB staff participated in bi-weekly team meetings to review cases and continue with program development.
Barriers: Incarcerated parent(s) or guardians are often interested in participating in the BB program however the caregiver of the child(ren) in the home is not interested in participating in program. Guardians of the children can be apprehensive to the program if inmates are not planning to reunify after leaving incarceration. The BB team will continue to look into resolutions and best options for these cases. Follow up has been an issue with inmates after they are released from incarceration due to these individuals not maintaining contact with BB staff.
H1FY19 During the first half of FY19, the Building Bridges program is exceeding the performance measure outcomes from FY18. This is in part to the foundation and connections made in FY18. Additionally, staff of the Building Bridges program continue to form and build partnerships in the community with local state and community organizations. The Building Bridges staff has conducted outreach at various locations, including the Board of Education, Judy Center and Head Starts. Staff has also created flyers and a more "user friendly" referral form to be used in the detention center; they are hopeful that this will increase the number of referrals. Building Bridges' staff continue to meet bi-weekly to further develop the program as well as trouble shoot for more difficult cases. Often times, staff encounter barriers, which can include non-interested family members or children, or lack of communication once released from incarceration. The staff continue to strive for resolutions to reduce barriers for interested participants. Staff are confident that target measures will be met.