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.

 

 

 

 

Kelly’s Story

Kelly lives on a quiet tree-lined street with her husband, two sons, and an energetic puppy named Molly. Life is pretty good these days. In her own words, she has a decent job, a home, a car, and a supportive family – all things she never thought possible before entering SCO’s Morning Star residential program for women recovering from substance use.

Since the age of 13, Kelly had been hooked on alcohol. For the next 10 years, she struggled with severe alcoholism, heroin addiction, and all the terrible symptoms that go along with that. She tried every which way to control her use but failed over and over again. Institutions, hospitals, and psychiatric facilities became a normal part of life. At the age of 23, Kelly realized she was running out of options. She had no place to live, was unemployable, and had no way to provide for herself or her 4-year-old son, Joseph. That’s when she found SCO.

Kelly was 35 days sober for the first time in her adult life when she entered SCO’s residential program. This would be the first of many pivotal firsts. While in program, she learned about accountability and structure. She was introduced to Alcoholics Anonymous and attended off site treatment programs. She felt supported and heard by the women and staff at Morning Star and thrived in this environment.

Little by little, Kelly rebuilt her life. With the help of vocational counselors, she returned to school, received her high school diploma, and took clerical courses. She was thrilled when Joseph came to live with her on campus, working with SCO’s coaches and childcare team to hone her parenting skills. And she addressed her past traumas head on with mental health counseling at SCO’s Family Services Clinic.

Kelly credits her time in Morning Star as life-changing. She has been gainfully employed since leaving the program in 2012 and now works for a successful law firm. She found her soulmate in Rob and was married in 2015, and expanded her family with another son, Aidan, a few years later. She likes to say she is a work in progress – and we know there are plenty of firsts still ahead for Kelly.

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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

SCO Family of Services Price Transparency

As part of SCO’s ongoing commitment to integrity, and to be transparent, we are providing you with information about our payment rate for services provided at the Ottilie and Madonna Heights RTFs.  The RTF receives a daily rate that includes the program’s operating costs and services provided to the residents as needed.  The link below contains a list of available services.

SCO RTF Price Transparency Data

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

Related News

Success Stories

Kaitlyn’s Story

From struggling to thriving, Kaitlyn shares personal growth experience at Madonna Heights with others

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

Kelly’s Story

A life rebuilt, with the help of Morning Star

Kelly credits her time in Morning Star as life-changing. Learn More

88%

of young adults in foster care (18+) are enrolled in school or working

91%

of babies in our Nurse Family Partnership were current with immunizations at 24 months

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