Good Shepherd Services is an agency sponsored by the Good Shepherd Sisters which positively affects the lives of more than 10,000 children and families annually. Throughout our history, we have shown leadership in developing effective programs that help New York City’s more vulnerable residents gain the support, skills and opportunities necessary for success in life. United by our shared mission and vision, these programs are characterized by a profound respect for the strengths inherent in individuals, families and communities.
Residential Placements | Foster Care Placements | Teaching/Afterschool Placements
Since Good Shepherd’s earliest years, when our sole focus was on providing group care for vulnerable young women who could not live at home, we have been widely recognized for the superior quality and innovation of our work with adolescents in a residential setting. While our diagnostic reception centers, long-term residences and supervised independent living program provide different levels of care, they share a common goal. All seek to provide safe, warm and nurturing environments and comprehensive services and supports to help at-risk adolescents overcome the issues that led to placement and gain the skills and confidence necessary to lead healthy and productive lives.
Marian Hall and St. Helena’s Residence, our two long-term, residential programs, are both located in Manhattan. They have a combined capacity of 36 beds and work with approximately 75 young women each year. All residents have been placed in our care through either a persons in need of supervision (PINS) or abuse and neglect petition in the Family Court or on a voluntary basis by a parent. We seek to help the young women heal past wounds and develop new coping skills, while developing their competencies to ensure a more promising future. The residences are open settings from which girls attend community schools appropriate to their needs, participate in social activities, and maintain regular contact with their families. Services include group living in a therapeutic environment; weekly individual, group and family therapy; substance abuse intervention; recreational activities; comprehensive medical care; opportunities for part-time work and community service activities; employment and vocational counseling; a mentoring program and preparation for independent living. Youngsters stay in these settings for an average of two years, until they are able to return home or live independently.
Diagnostic Reception Centers
The Euphrasian Residence in Manhattan and Barbara Blum Residence in Brooklyn are both short-term, diagnostic centers for adolescents in crisis who are referred by the Family Courts or the New York City Administration for Children’s Services. Housing 34 young women and 12 young men respectively, they work with more than 200 youngsters annually. During six to twelve-week stays, each young person receives a comprehensive evaluation by a team of social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists, educators, and physicians. They attend school on-site, are assigned a social worker with whom they meet twice a week, and participate in group counseling, our mentoring program, recreation and social activities. Our staff works with the adolescents and their families to resolve the immediate crises and implement a plan for the future, either to return home with supportive services or continue in an appropriate long-term setting.
Euphrasian Residence Job Description | Barbara Blum Residence Job Description
Foster Care and Adoption Placements
Foster Boarding Home Program (FBH) Each year, Good Shepherd Services’ foster boarding home program, McMahon Services for Children, works with more than 600 New York City children who have been removed from their birth families or caretakers because of possible abuse and/or neglect. Referred by the NYC Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), these children are placed in safe, temporary care with trained, supportive resource (foster) parents who work with agency staff to ensure that each child’s educational, social, medical, developmental, spiritual, and recreational needs are met. At the same time, we provide birth parents with parenting workshops, comprehensive substance abuse services, information, resource referrals, and child visitation activities to help them address the issues that contributed to the removal of the child from the home. Our FBH program works towards family reunification and reconciliation, and only when it is not in a child’s best interest due to safety issues do we seek the successful placement of a child in an adoptive home or prepare him or her for independent living. As the city-wide child welfare system moves to a neighborhood-based approach to the delivery of foster care services, Good Shepherd is concentrating its efforts on the communities of Harlem and East Harlem (Community Districts 10 and 11), Manhattan and the Kingsbridge/Tremont section of the Bronx (CD’s 5, 6 and 7).
The Red Hook Community Center Beacon at PS 15, our nationally replicated community center and one of New York City’s original ten Beacon programs, initiated in 1991, is a focal point for the entire community. It provides year-round, day, evening, and week-end activities for more than 2,000 young people and their families annually. Activities designed to promote individual, family and community development include an after-school program for six to twelve year olds; five youth leadership development groups — the Challengers for 9 to 12 year olds; the Pathfinders for 13-16 year olds; Youth on the Move for 16 to 19 year olds, the Women in Motion dance leadership group and its sister program, Kids in Motion; a summer youth program and special events such as the annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner.