Catholic Social Services is on the frontlines of the foster care world. The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services estimates that there are 4,300 children in Pennsylvania who are in need of a safe, loving home. Catholic Social Services works with hundreds of foster parents to provide foster care services for children in need. Tabitha Seehousen, a Foster Care Social Worker with Catholic Social Services, was recently interviewed by Loraine Ballard for WDAS-FM. She shared with the WDAS audience her insights on the foster care world in Philadelphia and the foster care program run by Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Listen to Tabitha’s interview this Sunday morning on WDAS-FM. Ms. Seehousen notes that, “Catholic Social Services exists to transform lives and bring about a just and compassionate society where every individual is valued; families are healthy and strong and communities are united in their commitment to the good
Casa del Carmen Preschool Academy Drive-Through Graduation The steady rain of the previous week turned to sunshine just in time for the Casa Del Carmen Preschool Academy Graduation. Last Saturday morning Holy Innocents Roman Catholic Church on East Hunting Park Avenue, the 56 tiny graduates gathered in the parking lot with their parents and teachers to commemorate their first academic milestone: Preschool Graduation. The graduates, each in a pint-sized cap and gown, and their families, were being honored with a special drive-through graduation celebration. The families of the honorees drove through the parking lot and were greeted by their cherished teachers and staff one last time. The event marked the end of the 2021-2022 academic year. Each young graduate received a diploma and award certificates. Individual gift bags for each child were filled with essential kindergarten supplies to prepare the graduates to take the next step in their school journey.
Most students and parents welcome the end of the school year. Summer provides an extended break from the hectic pace of the academic calendar: classes, homework, tests, repeat. But for many students in Philadelphia, the end of the school year also means the end of school breakfast and lunch, and with it, the end of knowing for sure that they will have something to eat every day. Responding to this need, Nutritional Development Services (an agency of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, and a sister organization of Catholic Social Services) provides summer food to children. NDS Food Programs During the academic year, Nutritional Development Services (NDS) partners with over 100 parochial, charter and faith-based schools throughout the southeastern region of Pennsylvania to administer government funded school food programs. On an average day 17,000 lunches and 7,600 breakfasts are served to children 18 and under in these schools. NDS also uses it expertise
Maximizing the Potential of Adults with Disabilities The idea for “Lucia’s Pillows," a squaresite.com shop, came to its namesake one night in a dream. In the dream, Lucia, an adult with intellectual disabilities, was making beautiful pillows and selling them. People loved her pillows. Each unique creation featured one of her original drawings, embroidered and embellished with colorful yarn. The dream was the perfect image of Lucia’s passions: drawing, embroidery, and sewing. Lucia is a born artist, and throughout her life has found many outlets for her creativity. Whether she is drawing, painting, or sewing, it all comes very naturally to her. But being a businesswoman had never occurred to Lucia, until she had the dream. Where would the dream lead? The dream inspired Lucia to open an online shop for her pillows. Turning the dream into reality took mere months, with the help of a supported employment specialist from the
Affordable, Independent Senior Living in Delaware County When construction is complete on St. Joseph Place, an affordable, independent senior living facility in Collingdale, a glass atrium will connect two separate buildings that were once the center of the Catholic community in this Delaware County town: the former elementary school of St. Joseph's parish and the nearby parish annex. Community can’t exist without connection. Connection between generations, between the past and the present, and between a neighborhood and its residents. When completed, the construction and renovation will do more than connect two structures. It will connect a beloved old school building with a re-imagined future. St. Joseph Place Apartments St. Joseph Place will consist of 50 one-bedroom apartments for income eligible seniors aged 62 and older. Features of the building will include a community room, food cupboard, laundry facilities, resident lounges, and on-site social services to assist residents with various needs
Food Pantry Delivers Easter Baskets David Stier, Assistant Director, Community Relations, and other staffers from Nutritional Development Services (NDS), don't typically shop for jellybeans and Easter baskets when stocking an agency food pantry. But this week, NDS will fill in for the Easter Bunny and deliver 145 Easter baskets to childcare facilities in Philadelphia. The baskets, provided by an anonymous donor, will be bursting with Easter Eggs, candy, and books. Hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children in our community go without enough food to eat. Many parents struggle to put nutritious food on the table. These parents are not likely to spend their food budgets on baskets of jellybeans and chocolate bunnies. That’s where the NDS Easter baskets come in. NDS is bridging the gap between eating for sustenance and eating for the sheer joy of it. Who hasn't experienced the joy of devouring a soft marshmallow chicken
School social workers make a difference every day of the school year. From helping students navigate the difficult high school social landscape to providing families with needed services, these heroes are vitally important. Catholic Social Services provides social workers for area Catholic high schools. We are proud to feature these amazing individuals. Take a moment and get to know them! What is your name, job title, and social work degree? My name is Rebecca Malfara and I am the Supervisor for School Social Workers and also a School Social Worker at Little Flower Catholic High School for Girls. The school social workers are employed through Catholic Social Services and are placed at Little Flower High School, Archbishop Bonner/Prendergast High School, West Catholic, Father Judge and Neumann-Goretti High School. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Temple University and a Master’s of Social Work from the University of Vermont.
Foster Care Shortage in Philadelphia On an evening in March, a director from Catholic Social Services answered eight calls at his home from the Department of Human Services. Earlier that week, he answered five calls from a county referral agency. All of the callers were looking for the same thing: a safe home for a vulnerable child. A child whose own home had become too unsafe or too unhealthy to live in, or a child who was suffering from abuse and neglect. Some of the calls resulted in placements. Most calls did not because of the shortage of available resource parents. The City of Philadelphia estimates that there are roughly 4,300 children in foster care at any given time. On a typical day, more than a dozen children are waiting to be placed. In Philadelphia, the demand for foster parents (also know as resource parents) has increased in recent years,
Catholic Social Services Hosts Afghan Refugee Welcome Luncheon in Philadelphia Catholic Social Services will host an Afghan refugee welcome luncheon on Saturday, March 19 through its Afghan Placement and Assistance Program. Around 125 guests will be in attendance including approximately 75 Afghan evacuees at Saint John Chrysostom Parish in Wallingford, Pennsylvania. The luncheon is the agency's way to thank the program supporters, donors, staff, and volunteers, and officially welcome the Afghan evacuees. Highlights of the event will include traditional Afghani and Mediterranean food, and both American and Afghani music. Poetry and testimonials will be read from participants in CSS’ Afghan Placement and Assistance Program. Reverend Edward J. Hallinan, Pastor of Saint John Chrysostom Parish, will offer the invocation and blessing. Reverend Christopher M. Walsh, Pastor of Saint Raymond of Peñafort Parish (Philadelphia), will serve as the event Emcee. Help for Afghan Refugees in Philadelphia Most Americans can't imagine the harrowing experience of Afghan refugees fleeing
Villa Joseph Student, Abigail G., drops off supplies at Mercy Hospice. Catholic Social Services, of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, sponsors an ongoing donation campaign called “Take Back the Month” to provide personal care items and period supplies for low-income women and girls. This week, Mercy Hospice received a generous donation of feminine hygiene products and travel-sized toiletries from a student at Villa Joseph Marie High School for Girls in Bucks County, PA. Period Poverty, a Public Health Issue 300 million women and girls menstruate every day. But thousands of women and girls are unable to afford pads and tampons. When people can’t afford period products, they resort to cheaper alternatives: cotton balls, towels, and diapers. When women can't afford pads and tampons, they ration them, or worse, overextend their use. This creates the potential for Toxic Shock Syndrome, a serious, life-threatening illness. Lack of Period Products Means Girls