Jasmine’s Story

I entered foster care at 16 years old and was placed in the home of “Aunt” Nessa, as I liked to call her. Few people knew of my situation; it was our little secret. I was embarrassed by the family dysfunction that led me to this strange place in my life, and with the support of my SCO caseworkers, I realized that education was my way out.

My goal was to attend Spelman College. I faced some naysayers; guidance counselors who said it was too expensive, others who felt I would never get in. But my SCO caseworkers and staff supported my decision. They stayed on top of me, making sure I filled out every document and scholarship. It was the staff’s unwavering support and positive reinforcement that sustained me.

I was accepted to Spelman with scholarships from several organizations as well as financial support from SCO’s education and permanency program, which helped me afford my housing.

But that was just the start of my journey. During summer break, I earned an internship volunteering with foster youth and their families through AmeriCorps that changed my life. I didn’t want any special treatment, so no one at my job was aware of my status as a foster youth. But as I worked in the family visiting room, much like a fly on the wall, I watched young people about my age visiting with the children they had lost custody of, some pregnant again. I saw a vicious cycle happening before my eyes.

It was that summer I realized that as a woman of color, as a foster youth, and as a human being who just cares, it would be a disservice if I didn’t take advantage of my unique pairing of lived experiences and desire to affect change.

Today, I am at Teachers College Columbia University earning my Masters in Clinical Psychology on a full scholarship, so that I, too, can be a source of support for youth in need.

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Family Support Program – Bushwick

SCO partners with families to prevent crises and enhance family well-being. Based on the evidence-informed Family Connections model, our home-based Family Support Program provides families with supportive services, counseling and advocacy, helping them strengthen relationships and develop resources to solve problems.

Who Can Benefit from this Program

Families with children birth to 18 who are in crisis and who would benefit from supportive counseling, advocacy and other services to help stabilize their families and improve overall functioning.

Eligibility Requirements

Families are referred by the New York City Administration for Children Services (ACS) or other community referrals.

This Family Support Program serves: East New York & Crown Heights South/Prospect Lefferts Gardens

How to Access this Program or Service

Contact the program director at 718.312.6850

 

Success Stories

Jasmine’s Story

From Foster Care to Advocate

Today, I am at Teachers College Columbia University earning my Masters in Clinical Psychology on a full scholarship, so that I, too, can be a source of support for youth in need. Learn More

Adam Graves

"Garden of Dreams is the single most important thing we do.” Learn More

We help

1,400

children and young adults through foster care programs

Last year,

97%

of children in our early education centers met or exceeded national literacy performance standards

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