4Montgomery’s Kids enriches the lives of abused and neglected children and youth in Montgomery County’s child welfare system by providing them with opportunities and services they would not otherwise receive.
“Montgomery County is so lucky to have such a fantastic organization in our community which really helps to make sure the needs of our foster children and youth are taken care of. Thank you so much, Montgomery’s Kids!!”
“This is a great resource for our kids and provide us with a way to bring them incentives as well as well-deserved rewards for their efforts.”
“Happy that this organization pleasingly helped me get a membership to Planet Fitness. Thanks to this kind foundation I’m getting the exercise I’ve needed.”
“I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Receiving this money puts us a step closer to getting our degrees. We thank you again for your willingness to help us achieve our dreams.”
4Montgomery’s Kids provides critical support and enrichment for some of the most vulnerable children in Montgomery County, Maryland, where on any given day more than 400 children are living in foster care. They were removed from their biological families because of physical or sexual abuse or chronic neglect. Another 100 or so at-risk children remain with their families but are being carefully monitored by county social workers.
Our services range from something as simple as buying a gift card for a birthday celebration, to sending a child to summer camp, to paying rent to prevent a young adult from becoming homeless when aging out of Child Welfare, to subsidizing transportation to get to a job — all things that Montgomery County cannot normally fund.
Thanks to the generous contributions of our supporters, 4Montgomery’s Kids responds to requests made to us from county social workers, who know the needs of each child and young person in their caseload. This collaborative relationship with the county’s social workers is at the heart of 4Montgomery’s Kids.
The support that 4Montgomery’s Kids provides has played an important role in helping children and young people succeed. We’ve helped children and youth of all ages, enabling them to do better in school, participate in new activities, and reach goals like learning trades or attending college. But as proud as we are about where our “kids” go when they leave us, our goal is not about where they end up. It is about giving these kids a little bit of normalcy they otherwise might not get.
To learn more about our work in service to children and youth in Montgomery County, please click here.
Board of Directors
Leslie Shedlin is an attorney with over twenty five years of experience in the area of child abuse and neglect. Ms. Sheldin’s work includes litigation, advocacy and training.
Agnes Leshner is a psychologist and family therapist who served for over 25 years as the director of Montgomery County Child Welfare Services. Ms. Leshner has a Masters degree in Psychology and has extensive experience working with children, youth and families.
Ronna Cook is an independent research consultant focusing on social-services and early childhood education programs. Ms. Cook has Masters Degrees in both social work and special education with emotionally disturbed children.
Susan Gardner has 18 years of experience doing health related research and 15 years in a management position at the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Gardner has a Ph.D in Medical Sociology.
Alan Kraut is a developmental psychologist with over 40 years’ experience on the faculty of Virginia Tech, as senior staff at the American Psychological Association, Executive Director of the Association for Psychological Science, and currently, as Executive Director of the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System. Dr. Kraut also served on the Board of Tree House, Montgomery County’s Child Advocacy Center for abused and neglected children.
A retired Child Welfare Services Supervisor, Cynde Burgess is a Licensed Certified Social Worker-Clinical with over 30 years of experience serving children, youth and families of Montgomery County. With an expertise in transitioning youth services, Ms. Cynde worked with her team to empower youth and to help them develop the vital skills necessary to achieve their educational and employment goals and to live independently. She is currently a psychotherapist in private practice.
Our Kids' Stories These good news stories are only possible because of our supporters. Thank you so much!
Equipping for a Toddler’s Future
L is a medically fragile toddler. The pandemic has made it impossible for L’s foster parents to continue her occupational therapy. 4Montgomery’s Kids donors provided the set of play blocks and other tools recommended by her therapist so L could stay busy and continue therapy at home, as well as a dresser for her clothing.
Giving a Gift of Independence
E is a young child with mental disabilities who cannot speak clearly or make herself understood. If separated from her family, she can’t tell anyone where she lives, her phone number, or other identifying information. Thanks to our contributors, 4Montgomery’s Kids has provided her a special medical identification that has given the foster family confidence to give the child more independent experiences while still protecting her safety.
Providing a Critical Outlet
C. is a pre-teen boy with autism who thrives on daily routines. Since the pandemic, though, C. has not been able to go to school or participate in his regular after-school activities. He was having difficulty adjusting — becoming easily agitated, starting arguments, and even destroying things. Contributions to 4Montgomery’s Kids have helped to turn this challenging situation around—in the form of a new bicycle! Riding the bike has become a daily activity, helps him get exercise, and is a way for him to release energy when he is upset.
Fulfilling a Young Girl’s Dream to Drive
Prior to coming to the U.S., M. was severely injured in an earthquake. She lost a leg. Her father brought her to Montgomery County, but soon he ran into trouble and she was placed in foster care. Many years later, the now-teenager’s dream was to be able to drive a car like her friends. With the help of generous contributions from our donors, 4Montgomery’s Kids bought her a special accelerator pedal to use with her prosthetic leg. Now, drive she does!
Staying Connected to High School
R is a high school student who recently moved from one foster care placement to another. Then came the pandemic—and with it, online learning. 4Montgomery’s Kids purchased a tablet for him so R could attend his new school virtually and get to know his new classmates. With the help of his foster parents, R also is using the tablet for tutoring in Spanish.
A First Apartment
D is a young man moving from a group home to his own apartment—a critical step to provide stability as he looks for employment—and needed money for the deposit so the apartment would be held for him. 4Montgomery’s Kids was able to quickly provide deposit funds. Thanks to the support of our donors, the apartment is now his!
Helping a Young Man Move from Foster Care
F is a young adult is in the process of exiting the foster care system. He is now between a foster home and a group home. The next step is independence! Donors’ support allowed 4Montgomery’s Kids to buy him a Chromebook ‘bundle’ and gave him additional funds to help support the transition. F is hoping to attend Montgomery College in the fall and plans to use the Chromebook for his course work.
Repairing a Family
M is a mother of three young children who were living in a foster home. She was working very hard to reunify the family. Then M’s car transmission broke down. She was stranded without a way to get to her job. She was able to borrow some money, but not enough. Through donors’ contributions, 4Montgomery’s Kids paid for the balance of the repair. As a result, M returned to work, and several months later the children returned home to live with her.
N was aging out of foster care and with tuition assistance from 4Montgomery’s Kids donors was able to attend cosmetology school. N graduated, got a great job in a salon, and moved into her own apartment. But when the pandemic hit, N’s salon closed and she was laid off. The support of our donors enabled 4Montgomery’s Kids to pay her rent so she could stay in the apartment.
Graduating in Style
A is a foster teen who was set to graduate from high school when commencement was cancelled because of the pandemic. The ceremony was rescheduled at the last minute as a virtual event, and seniors were encouraged to “attend” in cap and gown. 4 Montgomery’s Kids rented the graduation package and A proudly “received” his diploma—exactly like the rest of his classmates.
Encouraging Higher Education
Six high-performing high school seniors in foster care are receiving 4MontgomeryKids scholarships to support them as they move on to higher education in the fall. Two are going to study nursing, one is going to study early childhood, and the three others are still considering what to study. One of these graduates also received a scholarship from his college; another is overcoming a developmental disability to attend.
10421 Motor City Drive
PO Box 34864
Bethesda MD, 20817
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