Center for Family Life Symposium – Cultivating Consciousness

Discussion CroppedFebruary 22, 2017 – Brooklyn, NY  Our Center for Family program hosted the 11th Annual Sister Mary Geraldine Symposium – Cultivating Consciousness: Infusing Our Work with Social Justice, at the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies headquarters in Manhattan on January 24th, 2017

Rachel Isreeli, Center for Family Life Cooperative Developer, moderated the panel that included:

  • Ana Oliveira – President and CEO,  New York Women’s Foundation
  • Andrew Sta. Ana – Director of Legal Services, Day One NY; Co-Chair, Lawyers Committee Against Domestic Violence
  • Julie Novas – HOTT Program Mental Health Coordinator, Callen Lorde Community Health Center; Adjunct Professor, Silberman and NYU Silver Schools of Social Work
  • Gonzalo Mercado – Executive Director, La Colmena; NY Coordinator, National Day Laborer Organizing Network

Each shared how their personal journeys with immigration and racial or minority status shaped the way they approach providing therapeutic care and advocacy. They also looked at these issues from the funder’s perspective, as Ana Oliveira of New York Women’s Foundation highlighted activities, values and philosophies that the philanthropic community is looking for from grantees.

Breakout sessions were hosted by each of the panelists and focused on specific themes: youth and education, anti-violence services, immigration, workplace organizing, mental health and counseling.  Participants shared ways to shape the conversation in each of these fields of work towards inclusiveness, and implementing trauma informed procedures and policies.

Thank You, Rosemary, and Good Luck!

January 18, 2017 – Glen Cove, NY  We recently paid tribute to Rosemary Stein, Chief Program Officer, who retired after a distinguished career spanning 40 years at SCO Family of Services. A passionate advocate for at-risk and vulnerable populations, Rosemary began her journey at SCO as a Social Worker and worked tirelessly over the years to develop strategies to improve outcomes and increase the quality of services delivered. She has left an indelible mark on the many programs and people she encountered while at SCO.

Early on, Rosemary recognized the importance of continuous staff development and created SCO’s training department. She also created the Independent Living Department and was a driving force in the implementation of the Sanctuary Model of Trauma Informed Care at the Madonna Heights campus. She served as Assistant Executive Director at SCO from 1983-2010, until her appointment as Chief Program Officer.

[Read more…]

FirstStepNYC Opens “Little Free Library”

December 29, 2016 – Brooklyn, NY  Our FirstStepNYC Early Childhood Education Center in Brownsville, Brooklyn opened a “Little Free Library” for their students and families thanks to books donated by individuals and organizations throughout the area. Students, parents and faculty from The Wampus School in Westchester hosted a book drive that collected over 1,000 new and used books for FirstStepNYC’s new library.

Upon the Little Free Library’s opening, each child was given a library card that allows them to check out books to take home to read. It coincided with the kick off of their “Winter Reading Rally” to promote literacy – with the goal of students and their families collectively reading 1,000 books at home.

SCO Celebrates the Holidays!

December 28, 2016 – Glen Cove, NY  Thank you to all of the SCO supporters and friends who donated thousands of gifts, organized holiday celebrations and supported the children, youth, adults and families we serve during this special time of year. Below are just a few samples of the overwhelming generosity shown toward New Yorkers in need during this season of giving.

Phil Catapano and Friends Carry on Tradition of Giving to SCO Youth

phil-catapanoPhil Catapano and a host of friends loaded 80 duffel bags with hats, gloves, PJs and other goodies for the residents of our five Independence Inns for runaway and homeless youth. The babies at our Inns received gift bags of blankets, books, teddies and more to brighten the holiday season. It’s a tradition that Kathy Catapano began more than 10 years ago and continues in her memory. Thanks, Phil, and everyone involved…our youth couldn’t be more grateful!

[Read more…]

For Bronx Librarian, Bringing Books to Homeless Children Inspires Hope

dsc_0735December 19, 2016 – Bronx, NY – Lester Holt did a wonderful story on the NBC Nightly News featuring our Crotona Family Residence’s Reading Literacy Program. A manager from the Morrisania Branch Library, Colbert Nembhard, visits the shelter every Wednesday collaborating with our staff to engage toddlers though reading, sing alongs and other activities – sparking their curiosity and promoting the foundation for literacy. The partnership began 8 years ago when Crotona invited the library to do outreach for the children living at the shelter. Early literacy programs like this are now being replicated at shelters throughout NYC.  See their story.

SCO Welcomes NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariňa to Announce Homeless Shelter Reading Program

December 8, 2016 – Brooklyn, NY  SCO Family of Services welcomed NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariňa to our Flushing Family Residence in Brooklyn yesterday as she announced the Afterschool Reading Club (ARC), a brand new literacy enrichment pilot for elementary school students living in shelters. Chancellor Fariňa also took time to read “Leo the Late Bloomer” to our kids during her visit.

Flushing Family Residence is one of 18 shelters citywide piloting the Afterschool Reading Club, in partnership with the NYC Department of Education and the NYC Department of Services. Elementary school teachers visit the residence three days a week, providing reading instruction, homework help, and arts programming to help students develop heir literacy skills. The students also receive free books each week so they can build their own libraries and read with their families. ARC also engages parents and families, with the goal of bringing families together to read. See NY1’s coverage.

A New Forever Family

adoption-familyNovember 28, 2016 – Queens, NY
November is National Adoption Month, a collective, national effort to raise awareness of adoption. Each year, SCO finds forever families for more than 100 children…like Heaven. Heaven (2nd from left) was officially adopted by Ketsy Rhodes (left) on November 15th at the Queens County Courthouse with the Honorable Judge Carol Stokinger.presiding. It was the second adoption for Ketsy, who is also the proud mother of son Peter (far right). Ketsy is in the process of adopting Peter’s sibling Joel (2nd from the right).

A Fresh Start – Angela’s Story

Angela had been struggling with substance abuse for some time when she lost custody of her 2-1/2-year-old daughter. Determined to do whatever it took to get her back, Angela checked into a rehab center where she learned of SCO’s Morning Star program. Morning Star offers residential care and transitional services for women in recovery from substance abuse, as well as recovering mothers with young children, in need of a structured, sober environment.

In May 2016 Angela came to Morning Star where she was reunited with her daughter. “When I got her back, I cried from happiness,” she said.

Angela is doing well in her recovery process. And Morning Star’s trained parenting professionals are helping Angela with parenting skills to strengthen the bond with her daughter – making her little one feel safe, secure and loved. “At Morning Star, I’ve learned how to be a mom.”

When she leaves Morning Star, Angela plans to become a peer specialist so she can help others in need.

“I have a life now. I’m clean. I’m happy. My daughter is happy and doing great in Pre-K.”

“If it wasn’t for this place, I wouldn’t have my daughter back. I don’t know where I’d be.”

Family Dynamics Goes to Ellis Island

Our friends at Garden of Dreams and the New York Rangers treated the children from SCO Family Dynamics’ after school program at MS 35 to a fun and educational trip to Ellis Island. The kids boarded the ferry and were transported back in time to 1920, where each was given the identity of an immigrant arriving at Ellis Island. The hands-on history lesson was led by the incredible Park Rangers as well as our own NY Rangers: Chris Kreider and Oscar Lindberg along with alumni Dave Maloney and Tom Laidlaw.   The amazing trip was part of the Garden of Dreams’ ‘Show Kids New York’ program.

Many thanks to the Garden of Dreams, the staff at Ellis Island, and the New York Rangers for hosting this fantastic experience for our children.

dsc_1520 dsc_1525 dsc_1547dsc_1510

NYC Worker Cooperative Development Initiative

golden-steps-co-opThe Center for Family Life’s Cooperative Development Program (CDP) has been incubating worker cooperatives in Sunset Park, Brooklyn for the past ten years. We have seen how our work has helped empower our community by supporting cooperative members in their quest for fair wages and dignified employment through their cooperative businesses. Since 2012, CDP has been helping other community-based organizations develop worker cooperatives through our NYC Worker Cooperative Development Initiative. With the generous support of the New York City Council, CFL will provide at least 6 months of training and technical assistance to selected “Implementer” organizations to incubate worker cooperatives in their communities.

If you would like to learn more about this Initiative, please take a look at our Request for Proposal. The deadline for submissions is Monday, November 21, 2016. Information Sessions will take place on October 21st and October 31st: To learn more and RSVP, please email Rachel Isreeli at risreeli@sco.org.

Skip to toolbar