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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Residential Program

Westbrook’s Residential Program is one component of a seamless therapeutic program based on the principles that:

  • Communication is behavior and behavior is communication for learning and coping
  • Adaptive skills are learned through functional assessment, task analysis and multiple opportunities
  • Transition begins from the first day
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Positive Behavior Supports are key to teaching daily living skills
  • Evidence based treatment and monitoring are continuous
  • Therapeutic fidelity is practiced across all components

The Residential Program teaches each student the skills necessary for independent living and community integration. Students participate in an array of activities that promote social skill development, independence and reciprocal communication. Shared experiences between students and the dedicated residential staff foster a development of trust, forging relationships to teach during a multitude of opportunities throughout the course of the day. Emphasis is placed on community involvement and transition skills. Activities are both on and off site as active participation and involvement in the Westbury community is a hallmark of Westbrook. Students frequent local restaurants, grocery stores, malls and leisure environments off campus. During these experiences opportunities are fostered for budgeting, money management skills and social skills.

In addition to community and social skills training, each student is assisted in activities of daily living and independent living skills through intensive practice and repetition for skill acquisition. Whether it is laundry, personal health care, nutrition or meal planning skills, daily responsibilities are taught and reinforced in order to increase self-esteem, self-actualization, independence and respect for oneself and others within a community. Daily activities are conducted based on the principles of positive behavior support and cognitive behavioral therapies. Families are trained and supported to apply these same best practices at home.

Three Residential Services Coordinators

A Note from our Coordinators of Residential Services

During the residential portion of our program we focus on relationship building, community involvement, daily living skills and increasing student’s level of independence.  We do this by working individually with each student to help support them with their areas of needs.  We also incorporate the student’s interests into the program through our regularly scheduled activities.

In the past few months we have been doing some very exciting things in residential.  Our students have gone to the trampoline park, been rock climbing, went to a Yoga class and roller skating as well as participated in a local Open Mic Night.  We frequently have the opportunity to attend concerts and many different sporting events.  In residential we also have monthly team building activities specifically for the girls and boys.  Some things that they have done in the past were; “Build-A- Bear,” Laser Tag, going to a movie, model building and going for manicures and pedicures.  We use every chance that we are in the community as a teaching opportunity to work on different skills.  Our students have greatly benefited from the opportunities that they have had to go into the community and the social situations that they have encountered through our program.

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This program is associated with...

Westbrook Preparatory School

Westbrook Preparatory School is the first residential New York State Regents junior/senior high school for students with a classification of Autism, Other Health Impairment, or Emotional Disability and related conditions. Read More

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

Carlos’ Story

A world of opportunity through resilience, focus, and assistance from SCO College Specialists

Carlos is a true SCO success story. Learn More


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

We help


children and young adults through foster care programs

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