Spring brings opportunity for foster youth to start anew

Children connected with San Mar Treatment Foster Care came together today for exciting opportunities and a holiday celebration on this Good Friday. A teenage girl in our program, who we’ll call Sarah, had a vision for providing connections and fun for other kids and worked with our case manager Colleen Carter to pull off a fun day centered on the Easter holiday.

In the morning, Sarah facilitated hair, nails and make-up for other young women enrolled in the program, she not only wanted to provide this service for her peers, but also recruited other volunteers to make for a special day. “Kids look good without make-up, but I guess I can appreciate that at times when you might be having one of those days, that doing something like this makes you feel even better,” she explained. Her case manager, Colleen Carter, explained that this is a part of a larger effort the department has had over the past year to build connections between foster youth placed in their care. “A goal for our program is to have more activities so kids can get to know each other and have a support system with each other and give parents a moment to have some respite. Teens in particular can struggle at times with confidence and this was just a great way to bring them together for a fun day out.”

Young women participated in several stations aside from the makeover station, such as before and after makeover photographs, vision boards to set the stage for future goals, and teen boys in the program joined in for other activities including a golden egg Easter hunt with gift cards for a fun night out at movies or local restaurants.

Later in the day, younger children connected to our program went through a series of holiday activities including coloring, painting and hunting for candy placed around the Boonsboro campus. There was even a special appearance by the one and only Easter bunny, who was a big hit! Even those that took a while to warm up to the giant bunny eventually couldn’t avoid the warm embrace. Treatment Foster Director Ellen Savoy explained, “Being around kids makes you feel good and brings the child out of all of us, like spring brings new life.”

Interested in learning more about Treatment Foster Care and opportunities to make a difference in the lives of children in need? Contact us at family@sanmarhope.org or 301-733-9067 x236.

“Unconditional Care” sparks dialogue on personal impact of serving others, best practices


A diverse group of 450 community stakeholders came together to learn from national speakers at “Unconditional Care” on the campus of Hagerstown Community College at the Kepler Theater. Hosted by Bester Community of Hope, a San Mar Initiative, this event was the sixth installment in a series of trainings focused on beliefs and strategies for social progress, and this event placed a particular emphasis on self-care and understanding the impact of caring for others. Bester Community of Hope Director Jen Younker, LCSW-C explained,”Those who work taking care of others often disregard the need for self-care until signs of distress arise. Even then, we still may not recognize the signs as maladaptive or troublesome. If we take a preventative approach by taking care of our nervous system, we can mitigate the effects and keep our A game strong.”

See full story at www.besterhope.org/unconditional-care-sparks-dialogue-on-personal-impact-of-serving-others-best-practices/