History

SCO Family of Services has responded to the needs of New Yorkers for over 125 years.

It all began in 1895, when a group of wealthy women established the Country Home for Convalescent Babies in Upstate New York. The Country Home admitted “sick and suffering small children, whom hardly anyone else can take,” after they were released from the hospital following an acute illness, and before they were returned home to their families. The children recuperated at the home for several weeks.

Two years later, a new home was built on fourteen acres in Sea Cliff, Long Island. The Bakers, Carnegies, Morgans, Phipps and Whitneys, in addition to many other prominent New York families, supported the facility. During World War II, the home closed briefly and then reopened in 1947 under the auspices of the Diocese of Brooklyn, when it was renamed St. Christopher’s Home.

In 1967, the first foster home was licensed, beginning St. Christopher’s Foster Care Program. In the years to follow, the agency would branch out to provide services in a variety of areas where there was a need.

In 1985, St. Christopher’s Home merged with the Briarwood, Queens-based Ottilie Home for Children, which cares for adolescents with serious emotional needs and developmental disabilities. Originally known as the Ottilie Orphan Home, it was named after Ottilie Seibert, a young woman who died of pneumonia, leaving behind two young children. Ottilie’s father, John Miller, founded the orphanage in 1892 as a memorial to his only child. The merger between St. Christopher’s Home and Ottilie resulted in St. Christopher-Ottilie.

A second merger took place in 1996 with Madonna Heights Services in Dix Hills, Long Island. The Madonna Heights campus includes residential programs and a school for adolescent girls who have suffered trauma, substance use treatment programs, and a mental health clinic.

In 1999, St. Christopher-Ottilie merged with Family Dynamics, an organization in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, dedicated to improving the lives of children by strengthening families through after school, family, and community services.

In 2004, St. Christopher-Ottilie changed its name to SCO Family of Services – to reflect the tremendous growth in the scope and range of its services.

Today, SCO Family of Services provides a comprehensive array of services to children, families, and individuals throughout New York City and Long Island, helping 50,000 New Yorkers overcome challenges and build a strong foundation for the future.

We help

1,500

children get ready for kindergarten

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