Fadwa’s Story

To say Fadwa is driven is an understatement. She doesn’t dream of becoming a surgical nurse, she is actively taking steps to make it happen. And to make her mother proud.

Fadwa lost her mother to cancer when she was just 13 years old. Her father expected Fadwa to assume her mother’s responsibilities and moved the family often, keeping them distanced from any extended family. She was not allowed to have friends or participate in extracurricular activities. She attended five different high schools and managed to maintain excellent grades while she cooked, cleaned, and took care of her two brothers and father.

At 17, she was abandoned by her father and placed in SCO’s foster care program. SCO helped stabilize the teen, placed her with a foster family, and eventually was able to locate a maternal aunt who opened her heart and home to her long-lost niece through kinship foster care.

Despite her early challenges, Fadwa stays focused on the opportunities ahead of her. SCO’s foster care staff helped her prepare for college; guiding her through the application process and helping her achieve both a Dream USA Scholarship and a Youth in Foster Care Award.  Currently a student at Borough of Manhattan Community College, SCO helped her secure an internship with a surgeon at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Fadwa’s goal is to keep her GPA high enough to get into nursing school. And we have no doubt she will achieve this and so much more.

 

Shana’s Story

I have been challenged with addiction for 10 years, and have been in and out of outpatient treatment and detox several times – but I would always relapse.

When I arrived at Morning Star, I was at the lowest point in my life. Things were spiraling out of control. My four children had been taken from me and placed in foster care with a family member. And then I learned that I was 5 months pregnant.

I arrived with the worst attitude in the world. I was just so angry all the time. But at Morning Star, I started to reflect and gain clarity. I realized that I was hurt and angry with myself. And that’s when the healing began. Everything had been a fight up to that point. But I had nowhere to run – I had to face my problems.

Morning Star helped save my life. They never gave up on me.

Every interaction with my counselor and every staff member helped prepare me to re-enter the world clean and ready to thrive.

I attended treatment 5 days a week, attended a medical assistant program, and became certified in a workforce development program for nontraditional roles for women. And I learned that I am worth it! From now on, I show up, set up, and remain teachable.

When my baby, Liliana, was born, I can’t express how much the onsite child care at Morning Star II helped in my recovery. It made it possible for me to go to treatment, attend school, and focus on me. The structure kept me accountable for being a parent and prepared e for the real world.

I knew I was finally on a path to a better life when I left Morning Star. The court saw the improvements in me, too, and my children came back home to me. I never thought that would happen. Today, thanks to Morning Star, I have a home and my family lives under one roof.

I still visit the program to let them know of my progress. My goal is to be fully self-supported. I know there will be obstacles ahead of me. But I am prepared to take it one day at a time.

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Residential Living for Youth in Foster Care

SCO’s group residential homes are small, six-bed, home-like environments that are grouped by needs of our youth. Our homes in Brooklyn and Queens provide a supportive home environment for youth in foster care who have multiple challenges. We provide a safe, structured living environment as well as case wok management support, clinical services, and an array of other supports with a goal of reunification with family, placement in another family setting, or independent living with or without additional supportive services.

For youth in foster care with severe emotional and behavioral problems as well as a developmental disability, we offer a structured, therapeutic environment. We provide ongoing care and intensive independent living preparation with a goal of reunification with family, placement in another family setting, or transition to an adult supportive environment.

We offer the only residential programs in New York City for young people in care who identify as LGBTQ, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning. Our programs provide 24-hour care in a uniquely affirming and healing environment. We operate small family homes in Brooklyn and Queens that provide a safe, supportive and nurturing space for these youth as they strive for self-awareness and community, family and school acceptance

Who Can Benefit from this Program

Adolescents and young adults in foster care with multiple challenges who need 24/7 supervision

Age Criteria or Other Eligibility Requirements

Ages 15-21; in foster care; multiple prior failed placements; some homes designated for LGBTQ youth; some for youth with extraordinary needs and/or developmental disabilities

How to Access this Program or Service

NYC Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) foster care services

This program is associated with...

Foster Care

For over 50 years, SCO's Foster Care practice has been helping children and their families grow, heal and thrive. We find safe, temporary families for children and teens throughout New York City and Long Island. Read More

A Vibrant Brownsville

Brownsville, Brooklyn is a vibrant, evolving, and unique neighborhood; and SCO is proud of our partnership with the community for over three decades.  Read More

Success Stories

Fadwa’s Story

Foster Care and Education

“I’m going to be successful regardless of what I’ve been through." Learn More

Shana’s Story

Morning Star residential recovery

Morning Star helped save my life. They never gave up on me. Learn More

Last year,

188

youth and adults with special needs participated in volunteer projects in their community

We provide

19,000

families and individuals with support services and community activities