Regional Nonprofit Hiring Social Workers For $770,000 Initiative To Bring Trauma-Informed Training, Counseling To Prince George’s County Public Schools 

Adoption and family well-being nonprofit, Paths for Families (formerly Adoptions Together and FamilyWorks Together), has been awarded $770,000 by the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission and Maryland Consortium on Coordinated Community Supports to provide specialized evidence-based counseling and trauma-informed training to staff, students and families in Prince George’s County high schools. Funding for these new programs was made available by the Maryland General Assembly under the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future (Maryland Code, Education, Chapter 36 of 2021) and will cover a 16-month period from March 1, 2024, through June 30, 2025.     

During the grant period, Paths for Families will provide specialized, evidence-based counseling to high school students currently experiencing foster care or living with a guardian or adoptive parent. Monthly support sessions for caregivers will also be offered. Additionally, trauma-informed care training and coaching will be facilitated with staff from all 33 high schools in Prince George’s County.    

The grant is timely, as the 2022 Community Schools Needs Assessment from Prince George’s County Public Schools revealed that roughly only one-third of students feel they can’t access behavioral health services if they need assistance.     

Additionally, out of all youth in foster care in the State of Maryland, 43% reside in Prince George’s County. Given Paths for Families’ deep partnership with the local department of social services and history of working with the adoption and foster care community, developing specialized school-based services was another way to expand impact in the county.    

“The Consortium is thrilled to partner with Paths for Families to support the mental health and wellbeing of Maryland students and families,” said Consortium Chair David Rudolph. “We look forward to working with the Paths for Families program as they implement this grant.”   

“We welcome the opportunity for Paths for Families to bring their expertise around trauma-informed training and counseling to Prince George’s County Public Schools,” said Jamie E. Dixon, deputy director of clinical programs and support services, Prince George’s County Department of Social Services, in a recommendation letter for the grant application. “[This work] has the potential to meet the critical needs of children, families, and professionals in Prince George’s County.”     

“Our team has worked with populations in need of trauma-responsive care for more than three decades, so we’re uniquely qualified to serve this critical community need,” Melanie Geddings-Hayes, director of clinical services at Paths for Families, said. “I know this effort can make a profound impact on the lives of students and their families, and create a more sensitive, nurturing, and responsive climate for students and families to thrive.”    

If you would like additional information on the initiative, please contact Melanie Geddings-Hayes at    

For additional background:  

Paths for Families has been partnering with the Prince George’s County Department of Social Services in Maryland to provide trauma-informed training and coaching since 2020.  The team has trained over 500 staff using a curriculum that’s now a standard component of onboarding. Paths for Families was also recently awarded congressionally directed spending to provide trauma-informed training and coaching to 1,600 child- and family-serving professionals and resource parents in the county.    

About Paths for Families  

Paths for Families is an adoption and family well-being organization that partners with individuals and communities dedicated to the lifelong work of building and sustaining families. For more than 30 years, we’ve been here for expectant parents exploring adoption, birth parents, prospective and current adoptive families, children in need of adoption, people who were adopted, and professionals in the community. With the understanding that every path is unique, we enhance and support the wellbeing of children and families through placement services, counseling, and training. With a focus on nurturing positive and restorative experiences, we bring dedicated, technical expertise and trauma-informed, evidence-based practices to the communities we serve. On a systemic level, we share our training with professionals in child welfare and the broader community to build more trauma-responsive systems of care. We treat everyone with the understanding, kindness, and respect we believe all humans deserve. This is the compass that guides us in our work, putting human dignity and ethical practices at the forefront of everything we do for children, families, and their communities so they can genuinely feel they are not alone on this journey.   

About the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission   

The grant was awarded by the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission (CHRC), established by the Maryland General Assembly in 2005 to expand access to health services in underserved communities. Since its inception, the CHRC has awarded 824 grants totaling $238 million in funding, supporting programs in every jurisdiction of the State.  These programs have collectively served more than 525,575 Marylanders.  More information about the CHRC can be found at this URL:  

About the Maryland Consortium on Coordinated Community Supports 

The Maryland Consortium on Coordinated Community Supports (Consortium) was established by the Maryland General Assembly as part of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future to create a statewide framework to increase access to coordinated, non-stigmatized, comprehensive behavioral health services statewide. The CHRC is the fiscal agent and provides staff support for the Consortium. More information about the Consortium can be found at this url: