Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services

Our vision is to build a nurturing community in which children are well cared for, where the opinions of young people are valued, where adults are empowered to live healthy, productive lives and where all are seen as valued members of the community.

WYFCS helps people of all ages with a broad spectrum of services that include mental health counseling, youth and adolescent enrichment programs, advocacy for abused and neglected children, and empowerment programs for those less fortunate.

Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services is a non-profit organization located in Berlin, Maryland and has been serving the community since 1975.

Featured News & Events

2018 WYFCS Annual Celebration – November 9th

Please join us for our Annual Celebration!
Come celebrate with us on Friday, November 9th from 5-7 pm in the Ray Community Room at Worcester Youth and Family. This event is offered to you free of charge to show our appreciation for your ongoing support.

There will be hors d’oeuvres by Phillip Cropper & Worcester Technical High School and entertainment provided by local jazz musician Everett Spells.

Each year, Worcester Youth & Family recognizes individuals for their support and dedication to the agency’s mission. The honorees are presented with wall décor in their name in the shape of a “sun” to represent the “rays of hope” these individuals have offered the community. This year the following community members will be recognized:

The Honorable Peggy (“Mary Margaret”) Kent
Judge, Worcester County Circuit Court
Outstanding Supporter

Pat Oltman
Stevenson United Methodist Church
Outstanding Contributor

Helen Wiley
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
Outstanding Contributor

Carol Rose and Suzanne Parks
Buckingham Presbyterian Church
Outstanding Contributors

Mary Yenney and Susan Hogan
The Community Church at Ocean Pines
Outstanding Contributors

Also honored will be Dr. Jennifer Leggour for her 10 years of outstanding service as Worcester Youth & Family’s Clinical Director.

Thank you Taylor Bank for sponsoring this years Annual Celebration!

We look forward to seeing you!

November Volunteer Spotlight

Ellen Krawczak – Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)

DUTIES: Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA’s) are trained to advocate for children in the child welfare system. A CASA develops a relationship with the child he/she advocates for and follows the child’s case to ensure the child receives needed services. The goal is seeing the child placed in a safe, permanent home.

PERSONAL BACKGROUND: Ellen moved to Ocean Pines when she retired. She had been a paralegal in New York but went back to school when she moved to Maryland to get her teaching certification. She had previously been a mentor to underprivileged children in NYC where she lived for many years.

BEST PART OF YOUR VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE: Shortly after moving to Ocean Pines, Ellen started looking for volunteer opportunities in Worcester County. She found that being a CASA married her love for children with her interest in the law. She feels that there are so many good things about being a CASA. She learns all the time from the CASA’s that she meets and shares a case with. She also enjoys her continuing education.  She learns how resilient some children are. She says that it is so rewarding to feel that you actually make a difference in a child’s life.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU HAVE FACED: Ellen states that her biggest challenge was working with a hostile grandparent who had temporary custody of his three grandchildren.  He was a caring grandparent but was always afraid that the children would be taken from him. He was intimidating to Ellen and did not like having a CASA make site visits. Ellen was able to make many of the site visits with the social worker, which eased the grandparent’s hostility.

WHAT YOU WOULD LIKE OTHERS TO KNOW: Ellen feels that we are lucky to be in a county that has so many services and caring professionals. She thinks that learning from the staff and from other CASA’s makes all of us better CASA’s. Ellen said, “I can’t think of anything more rewarding than making a difference in a child’s life.”

PROGRAM STAFF STATEMENT ABOUT ELLEN: Ellen has advocated tirelessly for area children for more than eight years. She is one of the most dedicated and reliable volunteers to ever participate in the Lower Shore CASA program. Ellen is strategic and thorough with her approach to all cases. She is both compassionate and no-nonsense when it comes to fulfilling her duties and advocating for the best interests of the children she serves. Staff can always count on Ellen to actively engage with trainings and reporting. She has often gone above and beyond in her role and most recently even took on advocating for three different children at once. We know we are fortunate to have Ellen as a team member!

WYF’S CASA is currently accepting applications for new volunteers. Please contact Angie Manos, amanos@gowoyo.org.

WYFCS Receives Grants to Expand Access to Mental Healthcare

On Wednesday, December 6, WYFCS received two grants that will expand access to mental healthcare in the region. The Maryland Community Health Resources Commission and the The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Inc. contributed $125,000 each to support service expansion at WYFCS. The grants will enable WYFCS to hire two clinicians to provide mental health services. Our agency can’t thank these two phenomenal organizations enough for their support!

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