Family Services Joins Welcome Back Center of Suburban Maryland

Date: Jan 16, 2015

Pilot Program to Train and Support Internationally Trained Health Professionals in the Behavioral Health Field

(Gaithersburg, MD) – Family Services, Inc. (FSI) is pleased to announce its selection as the fiscal agency for The Welcome Back Pilot Program for Behavioral Health, part of The Welcome Back Center of Suburban Maryland.

The program is an employer-driven strategy to create a pipeline of experienced, culturally and linguistically competent workers for local behavioral health employers. To ensure access and quality of care in a county in which 32% of residents are foreign-born and 39% speak a language other than English at home, behavioral health employers have a critical need for a diverse workplace.

To support this need, the Pilot Program will train and support 25 internationally trained health professionals living or working in Maryland in “stepping stone” jobs to enter or advance their career in the behavioral health field. These workers will help to fill in-demand positions with five Strategic Industry Partner (SIP) employers, including Family Services, Inc., Adventist Behavioral Health, Cornerstone Montgomery, Maryland Treatment Centers and Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Partner employers will inform program design, participate in participant selection, engage in program activities, and meet regularly to evaluate program implementation. They will consider participants for the “stepping stone” jobs in their organizations: paid positions that offer valuable work experience and references in the field and the stability to begin working toward advancement into higher-skilled positions for which culturally and linguistically competent employees are in particular demand.

The Welcome Back Center of Suburban Maryland, a DHHS program, provides overall management of the program including managing the delivery of training, support, and employment services to participants. Core program components include guidance and support from Welcome Back (including individualized case management for licensure/certification and coaching for career advancement), healthy industry-focused education and training (including contextualized English as a Second Language-ESL) provided by SIP member Montgomery College, financial assistance to help cover costs related to the licensure/certification process, and employment services and support (including job readiness training) provided by SIP member WIB through Montgomery Works One-Stop Career Center, which also provide labor market information and job search assistance to participants.

About Family Services, Inc.

Family Services, Inc., a part of the Sheppard Pratt Health System, is the oldest private non-profit social service organization in Montgomery County, Maryland. Founded in 1908, FSI currently operates over 36 distinct programs throughout Montgomery and Prince George's Counties and reaches over 25,000 people each year. FSI has extensive experience developing and implementing in-home and community-based services for individuals, children, adolescents and families. FSI provides prevention and early intervention programs which address family functioning and child development, operates Montgomery County's domestic violence shelter for women and their children, provides holistic psychiatric rehabilitation services to promote health and wellness to persons with persistent mental illness, and operates an adult medical day program. Programs are delivered by culturally and linguistically appropriate professionals and para-professional staff who represent 50 different countries and speak 42 languages.

For more information about Family Services, please visit

 About Welcome Back Center of Suburban Maryland

The Welcome Back Center of Suburban Maryland assists internationally Trained Health Professionals to Re-enter the Health Workforce. It is an innovative model that builds on the personal and professional assets of immigrants living in the United States to: further address health professional shortages; diversify the health workforce; provide economic opportunities to underutilized individuals as they return to work in the health field; and enhance health outcomes of the entire community.

In 2006, the Latino Health Initiative (Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services) launched The Foreign-Trained Health Professionals Program to facilitate the Maryland health professions licensure process. In 2010, this program became the “Welcome Back Center of Suburban Maryland,” one of several centers comprising the national “Welcome Back Initiative” network. The center provides a comprehensive, integrated and coordinated approach to effectively address the needs and decrease the challenges and barriers foreign-trained health professionals encounter in Maryland in obtaining their licenses.


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Family Services strives for excellence in all that we do. Here are some of the organizations which recognize our effort:



  • Family Services, Inc.
  • 610 East Diamond Ave.
  • Suite 100
  • Gaithersburg, MD 20877
  • (301) 840-2000