“PEP is one of the most effective safety nets we have to make sure children receive the appropriate care they deserve,” said Marisol Ortiz, Director of Client Services. “Their parents and guardians know they must find adequate care for their children, and in many cases, they don’t know where to turn. So, we are one of the ways they can assure it.”
PEP community health coordinators connect with new families at the place many parents and guardians do know: school, specifically the Montgomery County Public Schools International Admissions and Enrollment office. Coordinators assess families for health care, food, and other needs and assist them with program applications or referrals. Many of these children will become Care for Kids participants. As a matter of fact, 21% of those enrolled in Care for Kids in Fiscal Year 2023 (July 2022-June 2023) enrolled with PEP assistance.
The program is still a relatively new one, but if current needs continue, it will need more resources to hire additional coordinators. PEP evaluated the needs of 220 households in August 2023 alone.
PEP currently operates with support from the Montgomery County government and the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission, as well as foundation and individual donors. If you’d like to be one of them, find out more at this link.
The views presented here are those of PCC and not necessarily those of the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services; the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission, its Commissioners, or its staff; or other funders.
 Design work began in 2019 with support from Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States, and services launched in 2020 with funding from the Greater Washington Community Foundation’s Resilience Fund. The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation matched $5,000 in individual donations annually during Fiscal Years 2021 and 2022.