Social Services Day Enlightens Class of 2020 to Challenges and Opportunities Facing Residents

On Social Services Day Jan. 7, the Class of 2020 explored the challenges and opportunities of social serve programs in providing a full and engaging life for members of our community today, while also keeping a future-focused mindset towards finding and funding solutions to complex social challenges.

To prepare for the day, the planning team gave the class a homework assignment: watch “Challenging the Bootstrap Myth” and “Is America Dreaming? Understanding Social Mobility.”

Mark Millspaugh, Deputy Director of the Baltimore County Department of Social Services, started the day off with an overview of social services in Baltimore County. Did you know Baltimore County has:

  • 90,246 Food Supplement Program recipients ($10.5 million monthly)
  • 5,396 Temporary Cash Assistance recipients
  • 201 Adult Guardianship clients
  • 508 monthly reports of child maltreatment
  • 326 active Child Protective Services cases
  • 361 active Family Preservation cases
  • 587 children/youth in foster care

Angela McAllister, LBC ’14 with United Way of Central Maryland showed the class how peple can earn more than the Federal Poverty Level but still make less than the basic cost of living for the county through the ALICE Report. ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. For a family of four (2 adults, 1 preschooler, 1 infant), the Household Survival Budget – which reflects the base minimum that is needed to live and work today – is $76,344.

The morning ended with an examination of workforce issues with Kanika Feaster-Gordon with Humanim, which focuses on workforce development, human services, youth services and social enterprise.

In the afternoon, the class participated in one of the most impactful activities related to social services: Walk a Mile with the United Way. Class members were assigned a family and role and walk a mile in the shoes of a family facing poverty and challenges such as no jobs, limited business hours, no money for rent and other issues. Thank you to all over volunteers for making the exercise a success!

Thanks to the Class of 20202’s Social Services Day planning team: Georgia Ibar-Wynter with Erickson Living, Kim Scroggins with The Arc Baltimore, Kristian Sekse with Board of Child Care and Kevin Walker with Penn-Mar Human Services for such a well planned day. And big thanks to their alumni coaches: Katie Downs, LBC ’19 with United Way of Central Maryland and Jenn Stine, LBC ’17 with CASA of Baltimore County.


Sponsored By