Programs for Families and Children

Although the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) has dozens of programs for children and families, this list highlights those that involve more than one of our professional schools, have a significant number of UMB students participating, are required for their program or degree, and have a UMB faculty member as a mentor/instructor.

Use these Anchor Links below to get to a project section:

Tutoring and Academic Support | In-School Whole Child Support | Family Support | Career and College Readiness | Violence Prevention | Health

Tutoring and Academic Support

A Bridge to Academic Excellence

Project contact: Margaret Hayes

A Bridge to Academic Excellence (ABAE) is a collaborative community service project of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. It provides academic support to area middle and high school students through tutoring and mentoring on most Saturday mornings. ABAE is open to middle and high school students, especially those who wish to pursue health professional careers, including STEM2 careers, but may have difficulty in their math, science, SAT preparations, or English classes. The program currently provides tutoring to students from Baltimore and the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area by pairing them with pharmacy, dental, law, medical, nursing, social work, and physical therapy students at the University. Learn more about the program by watching its video here.

In-School Whole Child Support

Promise Heights

Project contact: Bronwyn Mayden

Promise Heights (PH), an initiative run out of the University of Maryland School of Social Work, aims to create a comprehensive child, family, and community-building model in the West Baltimore neighborhood of Upton/Druid Heights. This program provides children from birth to 21 years old with educational, social, physical, and economic opportunities that allow them to thrive and succeed in work and family life. It involves a partnership among the University of Maryland School of Social Work, University of Maryland School of Nursing, nonprofit agencies, faith-based organizations, government, and communities in West Baltimore. The Promise Heights initiative is working in Historic Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Elementary School, Furman L. Templeton Preparatory Academy, Booker T. Washington Middle School, and Renaissance Academy High School (more details in appendix). 

Social Work Community Outreach Service (SWCOS) – Community Schools

Project contact: Paula Byrd


The Social Work Community Outreach Service (SWCOS) operates three community schools (James McHenry Elementary/Middle School, Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts, Wolfe Street Academy) throughout Baltimore. Community Schools is based on a model in which local public schools become a hub for community life by offering a range of supports and services for use by students, their families, and the community as a whole. SWCOS’ community schools model places a social worker in each of the schools. This social worker develops and coordinates important community partnerships to address critical needs within the school and in the community at large. SWCOS community schools are James McHenry Elementary/Middle School, The Wolfe Street Academy, Harlem Park Elementary Middle School, and the Augusta Fells Savage Institute for the Visual Arts (more details in appendix). 

Center for School Mental Health

Project contact: Nancy Lever


The Center for School Mental Health within the School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry is a national center focused on advancing training, practice, research, and policy in school mental health. It receives federal funding for national program and policy analysis, technical assistance, and research, and it offers guidance and support to five University of Maryland school mental health programs providing a continuum of comprehensive, evidence-based mental health promotion, and intervention in schools in Baltimore and three Maryland counties (Anne Arundel, Howard, Prince George’s).

Baltimore School Mental Health Initiative

Project contact: Tom Sloane


The Baltimore School Mental Health Initiative (BSMHI) seeks to promote wellness and reduce the barriers to learning for students with challenging emotional and behavioral disabilities in grades K–8 within the PRIDE Program in nine Baltimore public schools. Baltimore's public schools have programs for students identified as emotionally disturbed and who need intense behavioral supports and therapy to be successful in their Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). These programs are part of the Promoting Respect, Integrity, Discipline, and Excellence (PRIDE) program. BSMHI provides intensive therapeutic and case management services, training for school staff and families, and a full array of mental health services to help students learn and be successful in the least restrictive environment. Beyond augmenting clinical services provided by the city schools' staff members, BSMHI emphasizes collaboration and consultation with school staff, families, and child-serving systems.

University of Maryland School Mental Health Program

Project contact: Michael Green


The University of Maryland School Mental Health Program (SMHP) is part of the Baltimore City Expanded School Mental Health Network led by Behavioral Health Systems of Baltimore and City Schools. The SMHP has been in operation since 1989. Serving 27 schools (elementary, middle, high school) in the southwest region of Baltimore, the SMHP provides a continuum of mental health supports and interventions across a three-tiered public health framework (promotion, prevention, intervention). The program staff and trainees collaborate closely with families, schools, and communities to promote student academic, social, emotional, and behavioral success.  

Family Support

Family Connections

Project contact: Frederick Strieder

Family Connections-Baltimore is a multifaceted program of the University of Maryland School of Social Work’s Ruth H. Young Center for Families and Children. The program is based in the Upton/Druid Heights neighborhood. The program develops, implements, and tests community-based family-strengthening services that empower vulnerable families to achieve safety, well-being, and stability. Clients collaborate with staff members to identify family and community risks and protective factors. Through its Family Connections Baltimore, Grandparents Family Connections, and Trauma Adapted Family Connections initiatives, clients and staff develop plans for services that are tailored to meet their specific needs. 

Family Stability

Project contact: Paula Byrd

SWCOS received $80,000 from United Way of Central Maryland, Inc., for the Yr2 United Way Family Stability Initiative Projects. The Family Stability Initiative aims to keep families housed, support families so their children remain in current schools, and provide tools to maintain self-sufficiency. Currently the program is at Benjamin Franklin High School and in the Promise Heights neighborhoods.

Career and College Readiness

Community Law in Action (CLIA)

Project contact: Corryne Deliberto

CLIA's numerous programs include the Law and Leadership Academy at five Baltimore high schools: Patterson, National Academy Foundation, Reginald F. Lewis, Heritage, and Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical. The Law and Leadership academies serve more than 300 10th- to 12th-graders. CLIA also has worked with students at Baltimore Talent Development and Highlandtown Middle-Elementary in its Teen Leaders for Change program. CLIA also provides training for at-risk youth in job readiness and community service.

President’s Outreach Council

Project contact: Brian Sturdivant

The President’s Outreach Council partners with four schools in West Baltimore — Vivien T. Thomas Medical Arts Academy, Southwest Baltimore School Charter, George Washington Elementary School, and James McHenry Elementary School — to help meet identified needs of students and family (see more details in appendix). The council oversees the following programs:

  • Our first-year medical students work with students at George Washington Elementary School on fitness and nutrition.
  • At  Southwest Baltimore Charter School, first-year medical students mentor sixth- to eighth-graders as they prepare for the Maryland Science Olympiad. Starting in October, these medical school/middle school teams work through the local and state competitions in February and March.
  • A six-week summer internship program provides research and higher education experiences at the UMB campus to high school students attending West Baltimore schools or living in West Baltimore. Students are matched with a UMB faculty mentor during the six-week internship experience, where they learn the ethical and responsible conduct of biomedical research; careers in medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, and biomedical research; and resume writing, presentation skills, and interview skills. The students receive a stipend through the Baltimore YouthWorks program.

Violence Prevention

The Center for Dispute Resolution at the University of Maryland School of Law (C-DRUM)

Project contact: Barbara Grochal


The Center for Dispute Resolution at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law (C-DRUM) promotes the effective resolution of conflict to empower and transform. An integral part of the law school, C-DRUM is a comprehensive dispute resolution center for policy, scholarship, and professional skill development relating to problem-solving in law and society. C-DRUM collaborates with public and private institutions, groups, and individuals to study, enhance, and teach conflict resolution; research and develop conflict resolution systems; and promote effective, ethical dispute resolution in legal education and practice and in society more broadly. Through the education of law students and provision of conflict resolution services throughout Maryland, C-DRUM furthers the law school's goal of maintaining high academic standards while providing service to the surrounding community. For 11 years, C-DRUM collaborated with the Maryland Judiciary's Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office (MACRO) and the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) to sponsor school conflict resolution programs through one-year grants. C-DRUM currently works closely on the state and local district level to promote policies and practices of effective conflict resolution. At the individual school level, C-DRUM provides direct support and training on restorative practices, mediation, peer mediation, and classroom climate. Clinic students in the Mediation Law Clinic provide assistance in support of school conflict management programs in coordination with C-DRUM initiatives.


Give Kids A Smile Day

Project contact: Norman Tinanoff

The University of Maryland School of Dentistry partners with the Maryland State Dental Association to provide dental exams and fluoride varnish applications to local students in West Baltimore.

University of Maryland School of Nursing Health Clinic at Paul’s Place

Project contact: Kelly Flannery

Nursing students under the direction of University of Maryland School of Nursing faculty offer basic health screenings and health counseling at Paul’s Place, a community-based nonprofit in the Washington Village/Pigtown neighborhood. The clinic, open once a week during Paul’s Place's Hot Lunch program, serves uninsured and homeless community members. The Baltimore City Health Department also offers free HIV and STD testing on-site. The Nurse's Health Clinic received more than 650 guests in Fiscal Year 2013.

The Governor’s Wellmobile

Project contact: Susan Antol

The Governor’s Wellmobile — a health clinic on wheels — is a community partnership model of mobile, nurse-managed primary health care. The program’s dual missions, identified in legislation passed by the Maryland General Assembly in 2000, are to provide primary and preventive health care services to geographically underserved communities and uninsured individuals across the state and to provide principle training sites that will expand student learning opportunities in the care of underserved populations. The Wellmobile fleet consists of three 36-foot and one 37-foot-long, fully equipped mobile medical clinics and its interprofessional health care team consists of a nurse practitioner, nurse care manager, social worker, and outreach worker.