Shore Strategies to Complete Comprehensive Community Assessment for Caroline Human Services Council
Every three years the Caroline Human Services Council (HSC) completes a comprehensive community assessment to determine how best to support Caroline’s children, and by extension, families. The information is used to inform how the HSC Board of Directors invests the funding allocation it receives from the State of Maryland in programs that address priority areas identified through this community assessment.
HSC recently contracted with Shore Strategies LLC, a Caroline-based consulting firm, to complete this assessment. One component of this process is to engage Caroline residents, service providers, and other interested stakeholders in identifying community strengths and community gaps.
Shore Strategies is a Caroline County small consulting business owned by Kat Stork Blaher. Kat has lived in Caroline for more than 25 years and has 30+ years experience at the national, state and local level working with organizations to strengthen communities.
If you are interested in being a part of this process please fill out this link: Interest Survey. Shore Strategies’ staff will be in contact with you. You can also email Kat directly at email@example.com for more information.
Community Conversations in Caroline County Spark Good Ideas
Caroline County residents are coming together to talk about what they want the future of
their community to look like for families and children. In late March 2022, Shore Strategies, LLC
facilitated the first of what will hopefully be many Community Conversations across Caroline
County. The conversations are part of a broader collective impact project to identify and activate
the assets of the community to collectively work together to support family well-being. The
meetings, hosted by Caroline Human Services Council, were held in Federalsburg at the
Federalsburg Senior Center, on the 2nd Floor of the Federalsburg Town Offices and at the
Town of Greensboro Mayor & Council Meeting Hall. In addition, residents joined an afternoon
virtual session as well. In all, more than 50 Caroline County residents have joined the
conversation so far. Many of the participants expressed their interest in continuing to meet
and talk, and in the future take action to support positive outcomes for families and children.
“Once you get talking, its clear that one thing or problem like no reliable vehicle can cause
problems in many other ways for families, like getting kids to school and being able to buy fresh
foods,” shared a Greensboro resident. Participants also shared that they enjoyed the
opportunity to get to know people in the community who they hadn’t met before and to hear from
others about shared concerns but also about things they hadn’t considered before.
Residents discussed their thoughts on both positive and negative factors facing Caroline
communities and families as well as ideas for ways to strengthen and improve the community.
The ideas they shared will be gathered with other information to inform next steps in a new
community-wide effort to bring together community organizations, government agencies and
residents to create new approaches to supporting thriving communities and families.
Conversation participants identified educaction, from early childhood through workforce
development, as a primary priority as well as access to programs and role models outside the
school day. There was universal agreement that affordable housing, transportation, child care,
access to physical and mental health care are also concerning for the future stability of families.
Kat Stork Blaher of Shore Strategies LLC is facilitating this planning phase for collective
impact in Caroline County. The initial roadmap with next steps will be released in June and will
include information learned in these Community Conversations. A county-wide convening will
be held in early Fall. If you are interested in being involved in future gatherings, contact