SCO/Family Dynamics Beacon Center Wins NYC Council Award for Gymnasium Refurbishment

July 24, 2017 – Brooklyn, NY – Thanks to funding from the New York City Council, the gymnasium at our MS 35 Family Dynamics Beacon Center will be completely refurbished. The award was part of the Participatory Budgeting process that engages the community in deciding how to spend a portion of the public budget. Led by Beacon Director Tony Melendez and 14 middle school Beacon participants, this collaborative effort engaged youth from the Beacon Youth Advisory Council in the voting process. Youth were assigned to help at voting sites throughout the district and help spread the word about the importance of community input. They received poll site training and a small stipend each time they helped out at a poll site.

SCO Family of Services to Host “Brownsville Reads” Literacy Project

July 19, 2017 – Brooklyn, NY – SCO Family of Services welcomes families to participate in our Brownsville Reads Literacy Project at the Greg Jackson Center for Brownsville in Brownsville July 20 – August 31. Parent-child sessions will be held every Thursday from 1-2pm (ages 2 months – 4 years) and 2:30-3:30pm (ages 5-10 years).

Each week, children will be introduced to a new book based on the program’s theme: “Wonderful Me!” Additional activities will include songs, crafts, reading logs and prizes. Families will have the opportunity to fill out raffle tickets for each book read with a chance of winning new books and other prizes at the completion of the workshop.

“Our goal is to promote family involvement in literacy by inspiring parents to read to their children,” said Cathy Joseph, SCO Family of Services Brownsville Community Coordinator.

Other community organizations will be on hand to provide information about a variety of services and programs available to families in Brownsville.

Partner agencies for Brownsville Reads include Brownsville Partnership, New York Psychotherapy & Counseling Center, Caribbean Women Health Association, Brooklyn Public Library-Glenmore Avenue Branch and Community Coalition of East New York.

For more information, call 917-504-6653.

SCO’s Holly Brickey Receives Front Line Heroes Award

April 18, 2017 – Manhattan, NY – SCO Family of Services is proud to announce that Holly Brickey, a Senior Caseworker in SCO’s Close to Home Program, has been recognized by New York Nonprofit Media as a Front Line Hero. Every year, NYN Media recognizes Front Line Heroes from the nonprofit industry who work in the field directly helping clients and making their organizations’ goals a reality through hard work and dedication. Front Line Heroes display excellence in their commitment to serving those in need.

Holly Brickey was one of 20 Front Line Heroes from nonprofit agencies throughout New York who were recognized for their outstanding work at an Awards Banquet at 121 Fulton Street in Downtown Manhattan on April 18th.

[Read more…]

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

[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).

Madonna Heights’ Morning Star Program Helps Address Growing Need on Long Island

lupinnaci cropLong Island currently faces a worsening addiction crisis, as heroin use and prescription pill abuse surge to epidemic levels. The growing number of women in Suffolk and Nassau counties struggling with substance abuse/addiction make treatment programs more critically important than ever – particularly those tailored to the unique concerns of women in recovery, such as pregnancy, parenting, poverty and trauma history. Madonna Heights is proud to offer one such recovery program: Our Morning Star program offers residential care and transitional services for women in recovery from substance abuse, as well as recovering mothers with children, in need of a structured, sober environment.

Assemblyman Chad Lupinacci recently met with staff and residents of our Morning Star II residence (pictured), which serves women in recovery and their children, to discuss how recovery programs like Morning Star are critical to addressing the rising levels of opioid addiction in Suffolk County. Two residents shared their personal stories with AM Lupinacci, including a young mother in recovery named Christine, who courageously shared her story with News 12 Long Island recently in the hopes that it might encourage other young women in similar positions to seek the help they need.

SCO Supports Mayor’s Efforts to Improve Shelter Conditions

AP Photo/Richard Drew, Pool

AP Photo/Richard Drew, Pool

SCO applauds Mayor Bill de Blasio for announcing an aggressive plan to inspect and fix New York City homeless shelter conditions. In the press release announcing this plan, SCO Executive Director Doug O’Dell made the following statement of support:

“We thank the Mayor for his focus on improving shelter conditions, and the increased resources that will enhance our ability to provide safe, secure and homelike environments for homeless families and individuals. SCO stands ready to support the Mayor in this effort,” said Douglas O’Dell, Executive Director of SCO Family of Services.

Read the full press release below.

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Mayor Announces SCO ED Doug O’Dell’s Appointment to NYC Children’s Cabinet Advisory Board

SCO is proud to announce that Mayor Bill de Blasio recently appointed SCO Executive Director Doug O’Dell to the newly created NYC Children’s Cabinet Advisory Board. The Advisory Board offers valuable non-governmental expertise, relationships and resources to the City agencies that make up the Children’s Cabinet, in order to help NYC best promote and protect children’s wellbeing. Members of the Board include appointees from all five boroughs in academia, faith, media, business, technology, the non-profit sector and the judiciary.

In announcing the Advisory Board members, the de Blasio administration recognized Doug for bringing the following expertise:

Douglas O’Dell is the Executive Director of SCO Family of Services where he has served in various other roles during his 24 years at the organization. He is an expert in the field of services to vulnerable populations of children, families and adults. During his time at SCO, he created SCO’s alternative to detention and placement programs serving court-involved youth in their homes with family-based therapy and community-based residences. He also launched the agency’s Family Therapy Intervention Pilot which promotes families’ acceptance of their LGBTQ children and provides services to reduce negative risk factors experienced by LGBTQ youth.

Read the full press release below. [Read more…]

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