Kaitlyn’s Story

If you asked Kaitlyn years ago about how her experience at SCO’s Madonna Heights would help her grow, she wouldn’t have had an answer. Kaitlyn’s painful childhood meant being in and out of hospitals, group homes, and residential programs starting at just 8 years old. After her 16th birthday, she arrived at SCO’s Madonna Heights campus feeling angry, defiant, untrusting, and alone. Her struggle persisted – until everything changed for the better.

According to Kaitlyn, every single person she encountered at Madonna Heights made her feel human, loved, important, safe, and secure. She thrived for two years living on the Madonna Heights campus with a new support system focused on helping her achieve her personal, emotional, and academic goals. Today, Kaitlyn is overjoyed to use her life experiences to help guide the next generation of young women as a Youth Advocate at Madonna Heights.

Kaitlyn’s journey gave her the knowledge and insight to show people that no one is alone, to encourage them to advocate for themselves and to guide them on the path to finding their self-worth.

“Knowing my story can influence the story of another young girl which inspires me to give back,” said Kaitlyn.

 

 

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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

Kaitlyn’s Story

Importance of having patience, letting go and expressing my feelings without action

“Knowing my story can influence the story of another young girl which inspires me to give back,” said Kaitlyn. Learn More

Cathy Armstrong

"I love working with the children and helping make their holidays and graduations special." Learn More

We inspire

9,900

children and teens through academic, after-school, summer and work readiness programs

We provide

24,000

families and individuals with support services and community activities

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