Category Archives: Catholic Charities Toolkits

Crisis Pregnancy

 Resources for Compassionate Outreach

 Crisis Pregnancy

Challenge:

An unplanned pregnancy…It may be a chance encounter or someone has singled you out seeking advice or direction, with the devastating news, of an unplanned pregnancy.  You may be uncomfortable or consider yourself ill-equipped to respond to such a request.

A Tool from Catholic Charities:

Parishes may contact and call the following individual at the Catholic Charities offices in Vineland:

Nancy Hickman, CSW
Coordinator
Crisis Pregnancy and Adoption Department
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Camden, Inc.
810 Montrose St.
Vineland, New Jersey 08360

Office:   (856) 691-1909
       Email:  nancy.hickman@camdendiocese.org

 

The Pregnancy and Adoption Department of Catholic Charities Diocese of Camden has been in existence since 1945.  Over the years, we have counseled a countless number of women faced with an unplanned pregnancy. Many have sought the support of Catholic Charities on their own, but others have been referred by a parish representative. The majority of these women, with the support of the department, have chosen to parent their babies.  Still others have decided to place their babies with Catholic Charities for adoption.  Whatever the outcome, it is important that we have the tools to support a prospective birthmother in making this life changing decision.

Catholic Charities’ Pregnancy and Adoption department is available to assist Pastors and Parish Social Ministers in developing systems of support that will enable you to confidently and comfortably respond to a request for pregnancy counseling.  Please feel free to contact the department to schedule a meeting.

Adoption

Resources for Compassionate Outreach 

Adoption

Challenge:

Adoption… Anyone who has adopted a child will tell you the journey was at times arduous and at times exhilarating.  The initial decision to adopt, the home study process, and the time waiting for a child overflows with emotional highs and lows.

A Tool from Catholic Charities:

Parishes may contact and call the following individual at the Catholic Charities offices in Vineland:

Nancy Hickman, CSW
Coordinator
Crisis Pregnancy and Adoption Department
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Camden, Inc.
810 Montrose St.
Vineland, New Jersey 08360

Office:  (856) 691-1909
Email:  nancy.hickman@camdendiocese.org

The Adoption Department has been in existence for over sixty years.  During that time, a great many newborns were adopted by loving families throughout the Diocese of Camden.  In the 1970’s and 1980’s it was not unusual to record thirty or forty adoptions a year.  Today the story is quite different.  The average wait for a healthy newborn is four to five years.  Countless prospective birthparents choose not to involve an agency in their adoption plan and are adapting their search for prospective adoptive parents via social media: the Internet and Facebook.

In your desire for a child and before you sign on with an adoption agency or contemplate the use of social media, it is prudent to acclimate yourself to the language of adoption.  What is a home study?  What is the difference between a closed, semi-open and open adoption, etc.?  Catholic Charities’ Adoption department is available to parishes for public presentations on the adoption process. Pastors and Parish Social Ministers please feel free to contact the department to schedule a session.

All calls are strictly confidential.

 

(2) Responding to the Recession

Resources for Compassionate Outreach

 

 

 

Responding to the Recession

 

Challenge: Many Catholic households have been affected by the economic downturn.  Families have lost jobs, have fallen behind on mortgage or rent payments, have no money for food, are undocumented, or are otherwise burdened by expenses outpacing household income.  Many families approach the Parish seeking assistance.  The bewildering variety and complexity of public and private programs can be confusing and frustrating for Parish Social Ministers.

 

A Tool from Catholic Charities

 

Catholic Charities has a Family and Community Services Center in each County of the Diocese.  Each of our offices has a variety of tools which may be helpful to households and individuals who are in distress because of the recession.  While Catholic Charities does not have an unlimited supply of funds, our experienced staff can help Parish Social Ministers find solutions for struggling families and individuals.  Think of our team as guides to the wide and oft-times confusing world of government and private assistance.

 

Parishes should feel free to contact John Desparrois, Administrator for the Family and Community Centers at 856-691-1841 ext. 12 or by email at John.desparrois@camdendiocese.org

 

(1) Resources for the Mission

Resources for Compassionate Outreach

 

 

 

Resources for the Mission

 

Challenge: As parishes consider their communal response to the Diocesan Vision of Caring for our sisters and brothers in need, a lack of funds may deter them from completely exploring different ideas and options.

 

A Tool from Catholic Charities:

Parishes may contact and call the following individual at the Catholic Charities offices in Camden:

John Marcantuono, MSW

Director

Office of Community Support

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Camden, Inc.

1845 Haddon Avenue

Camden, New Jersey 08103

 

Office:                (856) 342 – 8786

Business Cell:    (856) 366 – 3043

Email:                john.marcantuono@camdendiocese.org

 

Mr. Marcantuono has over thirty years of experience in non-profit resource development, program development and strategic planning. He can help parishes consider how to apply for different sources of funds, for whatever form of compassionate outreach the parish may be considering.  The Catholic Charities Office of Community Support can also help parishes shape their concept and funding applications, as well as help with the process of considering all factors and conditions (positive and negative) before submitting particular grant applications. The Office of Community Support can also help to strengthen and better structure grant applications and this will hopefully lead to a more favorable review of applications by funding sources.

(4) Domestic Violence

Resources for Compassionate Outreach

 

 

 

Domestic Violence

 

Challenge:

 

As many as one in three families are impacted by domestic violence at least once in their lifetime.  Domestic violence is a broad term used to describe a range of harmful behaviors between spouses, parent and child, or siblings.  These behaviors may include, but are not limited to pushing, hitting, kicking, physically stopping someone from trying to leave a room, or using intimidation to control another’s behavior.  Although victims of violence often keep the abuse a secret, when they choose to reach out for help, they will often go to a church representative even before they will seek out a friend or medical professional.  Often, the request for assistance comes at a point when violence has escalated and the victim is most at risk.  Their requests for help, however, are usually subtle and unless the church representative knows what to look for or what to ask, the victim may leave feeling unassisted and remain in danger.

 

A Tool from Catholic Charities:

 

Catholic Charities’ Behavioral Health staff is well grounded in the language and philosophy of the USCCB statement on domestic violence; When I Call for Help.  Families experiencing this devastating family and social issue will have the comfort of knowing that at Catholic Charities we recognize the sanctity of marriage and the desire to preserve families when possible.  Our professional therapy staff also recognizes the dignity of each human person and the right each has to be treated with respect and to be free from violence, and for those who perpetrate violence to be held accountable for their destructive actions.

 

In addition to providing information about recognizing the signs of domestic violence and the resources available in the community, our professional staff is also able to share the content and message of the Bishops’ letter in clear and practical terms.

 

Pastors and Parishes should feel free to contact Ms. Sylvia Loumeau for assistance in scheduling an interactive session on domestic violence and the Church’s teaching at 856-342-4162 or by email at Sylvia.Loumeau@camdendiocese.org

(3) Behavioral Health Speaker

Resources for Compassionate Outreach

 

 

 

Learning about Mental Health

 

Challenge: Throughout our communities in the Diocese of Camden people encounter topics concerning emotional health, or have family members affected by mental illness, social anxiety, bi-polar personality, drug and alcohol abuse, parenting difficulties, marital problems and separation, grief and loss, and domestic violence, and many other mental illnesses and emotional trauma.  For many parishioners these are frightening or confusing terms, and yet the subject of emotional health is very serious and certainly a key element in the health of Catholic families and individuals.  Parishes might like to avail themselves of subject matter experts in order that they become better informed on the issue of mental health.

 

A Tool from Catholic Charities:

 

Catholic Charities’ Behavioral Health program is available to all parishes for public education sessions about the above and other mental health topics which can be tailored to the needs and circumstances of the audience.  Pastors and Parishes should feel free to contact Ms. Sylvia Loumeau, Director of Behavioral Health, at 856-342-4162 or by email at Sylvia.Loumeau@camdendiocese.org, for assistance in designing a parish public education session on a very wide variety of topics related to mental health, family difficulties, domestic violence, and alcohol and drug abuse.