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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Madonna Heights Residential Treatment Facility

The Madonna Heights Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) is a trauma-informed therapeutic program that provides the most intensive residential mental health services available outside of a hospital setting. The RTF Program helps youth strengthen connections with family, while improving outcomes through a youth-guided, family-driven and trauma-sensitive approach to treatment. The 24-hour facility offers a wide range of therapeutic services as well as comprehensive mental health, medical, recreational and independent living supports. Intensive treatment plans direct the individualized treatment of each youth. The RTF’s trauma-responsive treatment environment promotes safety, sensitivity and healing where clients can feel secure enough to address unresolved trauma while learning to maintain emotional regulation and employ self-care strategies.

The youth in residence attend the Madonna Heights School, a fully accredited New York State Regents junior/senior high school located on the same campus as the RTF that provides a therapeutic educational environment for adolescent girls who are struggling in their home, school or community.

Who Can Benefit from this Program

Adolescent girls with Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED) with trauma histories ages 13-17.11 upon intake with DSM-V diagnosis that requires residential psychiatric care and treatment under the direction of a psychiatrist

Age Criteria or Other Eligibility Requirements

12-17.11 years of age, FSIQ > 70, OMH Pre-Admission Certification Committee (PACC) certified, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-V) diagnosis; Special Education Classification

How to Access this Program or Service

Referrals are accepted from Children’s SPOA Committee (Nassau/Suffolk/ NYC); NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH) Long Island/ NYC Field Office or NYS OMH PACC Committee

 

This program is associated with...

Madonna Heights

Providing an environment that teaches, strengthens and encourages young and adult women to heal from trauma. Read More

Success Stories

Shana’s Story

Morning Star residential recovery

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

Marissa

Bronx Arena High School

"She made me feel good about myself." Learn More

Last year,

188

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

We help

1,400

children and young adults through foster care programs