The Martin Pollak Project Inc., a nonprofit Licensed Child Placement Agency in Maryland and the District of Columbia, serves more than 150 children and adolescents in the Washington, DC and Central Maryland region through our foster care, independent living, and Project Northstar tutoring and mentoring programs. The child or youth referred to this agency for services is acknowledged first as a human being with hopes, needs, talents and strengths and then as a recipient of services from a particular program.
Since its founding in 1980, MPP has been dedicated to providing individualized, stable and nurturing care to young people who have been taken into the foster care system due to maltreatment and family breakdown. We have focused on serving children and youth with the most intensive needs and challenging life circumstances.
Our Vision Statement: "Every child is born with certain rights. At the very least, each child has the right to be loved, clothed and sheltered in a natural environment. To grow up truly human and fully alive, all children need a family and a community to call their own."
We approach our work with the children and youths we serve with a great sense of urgency of need as well as high regard for the possibilities for healing, growth and personal accomplishment intrinsic to all young people in the child welfare system.
Loving and stable foster homes, energetic social workers, caring therapists and inspiring tutors--caring people are at the core of our work. Our objective is to give kids the relationships, services and support they need to reach their potential and succeed in their schools, communities and in the world of work.
Our Young People. Most of the foster kids in our care are teenagers and most come from Baltimore City. They range in age from around seven to twenty-one. Some are on their way to college but many of our high school-age kids come to us struggling to read and do math at a third-grade level. Few have had many successes in their lives. But we strive to change that.
Our Staff and Foster Parents. Foster parents come from all walks of life. Some are new parents; others have children already in their home; still others may be grandparents. Most of our parents take in one child but some may take in a brother and a sister or other sibling groups. Our foster parent trainers and support team will help you get the training you need to work with kids who may have been through some very difficult experiences from a young age. Foster parents are part of the "treatment team," working with a young person's case manager, therapist (many but not all of our young people meet with therapists on a regular basis), and advocate/mentor to make sure that we are coordinating services and experiences.
Our Programs. Our primary program is "therapeutic foster care." This means that we do much more than merely recruit and train a foster family and plunk a young person in the home. Our case managers, almost all who have Master's Degrees in Social Work, are in contact with each family on at least a biweekly basis. Most of our young people also work with therapists, receive special tutoring, work with a mentor, and receive a range of other services.