What is HoCo Community Chat?

Hosted by Director Jackie Scott, of the Department of Community Resources and Services (DCRS), HoCo Community Chat is a new and entertaining way for DCRS to engage in conversations and provide tips on how to grow, thrive and live with dignity in Howard County.

HoCo Community Chat graphic for DCRS' new podcast

Episodes in English


September 2023


Segment 1: Student behavioral and mental health after the pandemic 

DCRS Director Jackie Scott discusses student behavioral and mental health post pandemic with Tracy Broccolino, president of the Community Action Council of Howard County; and Erin Bonzon, administrator for the DCRS Office of Children and Families.  

Segment 2: Resources for the community and accessing support  

The segment features resources, advice and best practices to keep in mind as the school year begins. Jackie Scott and her guests discuss resources available to the community such as the Early Childhood Advisory Council and Family Support Centers for parents and families.  

Key topics: 

Awareness Announcement [0:00] 

  • Topic #1 -  Welcome from Jackie Scott and social media back to school poll [1:45] 
  • Topic #2 -  Guest Introduction [3:30] 
  • Topic #3 -  Defining student behavioral and mental health [4:30] 
  • Topic #4 -  How the pandemic has affected student behavioral health [7:10] 
  • Topic #5 -  Aiding the transition from home back into the classroom [9:45] 
  • Topic #6 -  Resources for the community and accessing support [15:20] 
  • Topic #7 -  Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC) [15:45] 
  • Topic #8 -  Family Support Centers [19:10] 
  • Topic #9 -  Behavioral and mental health in teens and young adults [21:00] 
  • Topic #10 - Advice for parents and families going into the school year [26:30] 
  • Topic #11 - HoCo Community Chat en espanol [32:25] 

August 2023


Segment 1: Being part of LGBTQIA+ in Howard County 

DCRS' Director Jackie Scott discusses the LGBTQIA+ experience in our community with Byron MacFarlane, Howard County’s Register of Wills; and Jumel Howard, Howard County chapter president, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), and the founder of Howard County's first LGBTQIA+ Pride Festival. 

Segment 2: Older adults and LGBTQIA+  

This segment features Ofelia Ross Ott, administrator, Howard County Office on Aging & Independence on how the LGBTQIA+ experience effects older members of our community. 

Segment 3: Resources for LGBTQIA+  

This episode finishes off by discussing resources and new laws that are available to benefit Howard County’s growing LGBTQIA+ community.  

Key topics: 

  • Disclaimer [0:00] 
  • Topic #1 -   Welcome from Jackie Scott [1:10] 
  • Topic #2 -   Guest introduction [2:00] 
  • Topic #3 -   LGBTQIA+ life in Howard County [3:20] 
  • Topic #4 -   Being privileged and a member of the LGBTQIA+ community [9:12] 
  • Topic #5 -   Older adults as members of the LGBTQIA+ community [15:40] 
  • Topic #6 -   LGBTQIA+ estate planning and marriage equality [18:30] 
  • Topic #7 -   New Maryland partnership laws passing in October [22:50] 
  • Topic #8 -   PFLAG and Pride in Howard County [27:13] 
  • Topic #9 -   Resources for members of both the LGBTQIA+ and 50+ communities [31:20] 

July 2023


Segment 1: Consumer protection & common scams

DCRS' Director Jackie Scott helps us define consumer protection and describe the latest local scams with Ofelia Ross, acting administrator, Office on Aging & Independence; and Tracy Rezvani, administrator of the Office of Consumer Protection (OCP).

Segment 2: The targeting of older adults

This segment features Andre Lingham, retired Howard County police officer and founder of the Center for Elder Justice and Education.

Key topics:

  • Topic #1 -   Welcome from Jackie Scott [0:20]
  • Topic #2 -   All things consumer protection [1:16]
  • Topic #3 -   The concept of consumer fairness [3:35]
  • Topic #4 -   Exploitation of older adults [4:25]
  • Topic #5 -   Home repair scams - storm chasers and wood chucks [7:58]
  • Topic #6 -   Landlord & tenant scams [10:35]
  • Topic #7 -   Contact OCP [13:46]
  • Topic #8 -   Andre Lingham on protecting older adults [14:30]
  • Topic #9 -   Romance scams [21:15]
  • Topic #10 - Report to FBI via IC3.gov (Internet Crime Control Center) [22:36]
  • Topic #11 - Crypto currency scams [22:56]
  • Topic #12 - Card skimming scams [24.52]

June 2023


Segment 1: Why podcasting?

DCRS' Director Jackie Scott kicks off HoCo Community Chat, talking about why the podcast was created and her desire for increased engagement with residents. Her guests are Lisa Brusio Coster, DCRS communications manager, and Cris Oviedo, owner, C.O. Communications.

Segment 2: Aging Outloud

The Aging Outloud segment features Ofelia Ross, acting administrator, Office on Aging & Independence, talking with Terri Hansen, Age-Friendly Howard County manager, about ageism and how we can combat it.

Key topics:

  • Topic #1 - Welcome from Jackie Scott; we want to hear from you! [0:20]
  • Topic #2 - What is this podcast all about? [1:47]
  • Topic #3 - What does it mean to be ageist and how can we change behaviors? [13:25]
  • Topic #4 - Coming up in July [27:38]

What is HoCo Community Chat en espanol?

Hosted by Cris Oviedo, producer and talent of the podcast Conectados, HoCo Community Chat en espanol mirrors the topics of the English version of our podcast by engaging our Hispanic residents and partners in conversations about how to live your best life!

HoCo Community Chat en espanol logo

Episodes en espanol


Septiembre 2023


Tema: Hablando de la Salud Mental de Nuestros Niños y Jóvenes    

Sabía usted que  uno de los factores determinantes más influyentes para el éxito de una persona es su habilidad de regular y expresar sus emociones correctamente? Este mes en HoCo Community Chat en Español nos enfocamos en la salud mental, qué es, por qué es importante cuidarla, cómo cuidarla, y qué recursos hay disponibles en el condado de Howard, junto a la coordinadora del programa de salud mental para inmigrantes del condado de Howard, Sophie Nabors.  

Puntos Importantes

  • Introducción del programa, introducción del tema, y conociendo a nuestra invitada 1:00
  • Definición de la salud mental y por qué cuidarla - 7:17 
  • La fe y la salud mental  8:35  
  • La salud mental de los niños- 12:00 
  • Relación entre salud mental y mal comportamiento  - 16:44
  • Qué es y cómo regular nuestras emociones  - 19:56     
  • Consejos para ayudar a nuestros niños a regular sus emociones - 24:52
  • Estadísticas y realidad sobre la salud mental de los jóvenes latinos de High School de Howard County y los factores contribuyentes - 29:09  
  • Indicadores que nuestros hijos pueden estar teniendo problemas de salud mental - 34:40
  • Información de contacto del programa de salud mental de Howard County - 40:53 
  • Mensaje final - 41:26 

August 2023


Tema: Estafas y el Centro de Protección al Consumidor

Este mes Cris Oviedo y la investigadora de la oficina de protección del consumidor del condado de Montgomery, Michelle Escobar, nos cuentan sobre las estafas más populares que están afectando a la comunidad latina en la primera mitad del 2023, así como maneras de protegernos, formas de identificar posibles estafas antes de que ocurran, y a quién podemos llamar y acudir en caso de ser estafados. 

Puntos Importantes:

  • Introducción del programa, introducción del tema, y conociendo a nuestra invitada 0:00
  • Entendiendo el rol de la oficina de protección al consumidor - 5:27
  • Definiendo lo que es una estafa 7:12 
  • La importancia de llamar a la oficina de protección al consumidor y la intersección con el estatus migratorio de una persona - 9:10
  • Las estafas más comunes que afectan a la comunidad latina  - 16:29
  • Qué hacer cuando te encuentras con un posible estafa - 27:34    
  • Estafas destinadas a inversionistas, bitcoin, y en línea - 30:08
  • Información de contacto  - 33:22

Connect with & tell us what you want to hear!

  • Listen to the community chatter! We're available on Buzzsprout and most other platforms where you find your podcasts.
  • Write us at [email protected]
  • Follow us @hococommunity on Facebook, Instagram, X, Youtube, and Nextdoor

Podcast music written and produced by Joseph Ross, Insta @mrjross325.

Special thanks to the Howard County Recreation & Parks Harriet Tubman Cultural Center for the use of its podcast studio.

To request this in an alternate format, please call 410-313-6313 (voice/relay).


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