Our Maryland Foster Care Mission
Parker Therapeutic Services, Inc provides treatment within a safe environment which models healthy, trusting relationships and allows adolescents to experience hope and growth in the context of a family setting. Our goal is to foster the development of the emotional and practical resources necessary for adolescents to become effective adults.
Parker Therapeutic Services, Inc is founded on the philosophy that every client has the right to grow up in a warm, nurturing family environment. Because some children's families cannot provide for basic physical and emotional needs of the child, Parker Therapeutic Services, Inc recruits treatment foster parents who can provide the stability, structure, and emotional support children need to grow toward adulthood. Parker Therapeutic Services, Inc is committed to providing foster parenting training, support, education, and services to enhance the foster care experience for foster families providing care, the clients receiving this care, and each client's biological family, with the ultimate goal (when possible) to return the client to live with their biological family.
- We believe that human relationships are the basis for growth and change;
- We maintain that individuals have both a right and a responsibility to be active participants in the service planning/life planning process;
- We respect the individuals we serve, their families, our employees and Resource Families, as well as the customers with whom we do business;
- We are committed to finding positive solutions for both the individuals we serve and their families;
- We believe that in natural community settings, the individuals we serve have the best opportunity to develop relationships and realize their full potential; and
- We encourage a culture that embraces and promotes growth, change, and innovation through teamwork.
In 2006, Parker Therapeutic Services, Inc was founded on the vision that people who are disenfranchised by circumstance or birth can live normal, satisfying lives in the community. Since then, Parker Therapeutic Services, Inc has been a change agent for vulnerable individuals who have received support and assistance through our model. Over the years, our company has evolved into a human services delivery organization capable of providing the broadest range of high-quality foster parenting options with a consistent community focus.
Parker Therapeutic Services, Inc opened its doors in September of 2007 in Baltimore, Maryland. Its founders, Gary Parker, MSW; Deanna Dishman, MSW, LCSW-C; and Mekdem Alem, MBA; began serving children with mental health and behavioral issues. In July 2009, the services expanded for the children by placing them with care givers called "Resource Families" who became nurturing guides for the children as well as part of their therapeutic treatment team. The company was founded on the quality relationship that developed among the Resource Family, child, and Inter-disciplinary Team who directed the child's care. The key to its success included the individual approach to treatment each child received and the access to a variety of community-based resources that was conducted on his or her behalf.
The two decades experience of the founders of Parker Therapeutic Services, Inc to serve people in the community, where they can be helped the most, has been the foundation upon which our Maryland foster care services are delivered to the vulnerable and disenfranchised.
Gary H. Parker, MSW I CEO/Principal Partner
Mr. Gary H. Parker is a graduate of Howard University School of Social Work with a Masters Degree in Social Work and a concentration in Program Development. Also, Mr. Parker holds degrees from Salisbury University with a Bachelors of Social Work and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore with a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology. Mr. Parker has worked in the private Therapeutic Foster Care setting for over 14 years. Mr. Parker has held the position of Vice President of Management and Administration at a private Therapeutic Foster Care Company for 10 years. Mr. Parker has placed hundreds of children who are labeled hard to place in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Tennessee, and Virginia. During Mr. Parker’s tenure as Vice President of Management and Administration he helped start the agency from a startup company to the one of the largest Therapeutic Foster Care Agencies in various states. Mr. Parker has always had a passion for working with the most difficult population and partnered with professional colleges to create Parker Therapeutic Services, Incorporated and Parker Social Services, Incorporated. Based on the experience and knowledge base obtain from working with the most difficult children, Mr. Parker developed the CHILD Model with the slogan “Social Services Without Wall”. The CHILD Model holistic approach was developed and prides itself with stabilizing youth in community base settings who are hard to place.
Deanna Dishman, MSW, LCSW-C I COO/Principal Partner
Deanna Dishman is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University and the University Of Maryland School Of Social Work. She boasts the following resume: An administrator and manager with more than 20 years experience providing services to the mentally-ill, developmentally disabled, and neglected. A Child advocate with more than 15 years experience working with “at risk” children and underserved families delivering educational, clinical, and therapeutic community based services. Committed evaluator of performance standards to improve service delivery.
Ms. Dishman’s responsibilities in private therapeutic foster care have included Chief of Operations, VP of Quality Assurance, and Program Director. Ms. Dishman has experience with placing, monitoring, supervising and working with the most “difficult to place children and adolescents” in the therapeutic foster care system. Ms. Dishman is a certified Pride trainer and has conducted training and recruitment of therapeutic foster parents for the most difficult population. She is an accomplished leader, manager, and communicator.
Mekdem Alem, MBA I CFO/Principal Partner
Mekdem Alem was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to Alem Yimer and Dr. Asresu Misikir. Mr. Alem attended Indian National School in Addis Ababa and Lake Clifton High and Parkville High in Baltimore, Maryland. Mr. Alem continued his studies in Towson University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration concentration in Finance. Mr. Alem went on to receive his MBA at the Florida Institute of Technology University. Mr. Alem has worked as accountant, financial analyst, business operation manager, financial officer, and chief financial officer for over 15 year. Mr. Alem has overseen all company accounting practices and worked hard to continuously improve the business accounting/ financial practices and directed financial strategies, planning and forecasting for the business for over 12 years. Also Mr. Alem managed budget vs. actual analysis, billing, payables, receivables, taxes, benefits administration and payroll for over 15 years. Mr. Alem analyzed and supervised individual contracting opportunities and investment opportunities for expansion, cost saving, and projection of future growth for over 12 years.
“While one person hesitates because he feels inferior, the other is busy making mistakes and becoming SUPERIOR” Henry C. Link