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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Community Supports for Children with Emotional and Behavioral Challenges

SCO offers a comprehensive service array for children and families with emotional and behavioral health needs.  Our mental health, substance use, and support services help children (under 21) and their families improve their health, well-being, and quality of life.  Services are provided where children and families are most comfortable — at home or in the community.  Our goal is to strengthen families and help them to make informed decisions about their child’s care so they can be successful at home, in school, and in the community.

Services include:

  • Care Coordination – Health Home Care Management
  • Therapy (Other Licensed Practitioner) – Mental Health, Substance Use, Individual, Group, and Family
  • Psychosocial Rehabilitation
  • Youth Peer Support and Training
  • Family Peer Support and Training
  • Community Psychiatric Supports and Treatment
Who Can Benefit from this Program

Families with children and youth with emotional or behavioral health needs, who:

  • need extra care at home/in the community
  • want to avoid going to the hospital or a long term facility
  • are eligible for Children and Family Treatment and Support Services
  • are enrolled or eligible to enroll in Medicaid
Age Criteria or Other Eligibility Requirements

Children and youth under the age of 21 who are eligible for Medicaid. Services are provided in Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Nassau and Suffolk.

How to Access this Program or Service

Contact us at 718.312.6829.

Complete this Referral Form and email to homebasedsupports@sco.org.

 

Success Stories

Nicholas

Support for individuals with special needs

“The confidence Nick has grown in the short time he’s been at the group home is amazing." Learn More

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

We help

2,700

people with special needs develop skills to reach their full potential

99%

of at-risk families throughout Brooklyn & Queens remained together and stable with family support services

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