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HeartShare St. Vincent’s Services opened a Reception Center on Staten Island for young men and women coming into foster care.
“I’ve talked with so many of our older youth and they hope kids coming into care today have a better experience,” shared HSVS Executive Director Dawn Saffayeh. “Their input inspired our executive team to open this smaller center, which is less of a facility and more of a comforting home setting.”
This supportive home environment already has come into play. The HSVS Program Coordinator cooked a beautiful Thanksgiving dinner for the six young men currently living at the Staten Island home. “We have a staff that is ready to jump in and make this experience as comfortable as possible,” explained Jason Brunner, who manages the new program.
“Whether they express it or not, coming into care is a traumatic experience. We want to help them cope with that,” said Brunner. “We also want to get to know them, so that they are matched with a fitting foster family.”
Typically, kids who are removed from their home due to abuse, neglect or the arrest of their parents are received in a large facility with over 50 beds. HSVS received the city contract because of its expertise serving New York’s vulnerable children since 1869. “HeartShare St. Vincent’s is one of our most experienced foster care providers,” noted Chris McKniff, a spokesperson for the NYC Administration for Children’s Services (ACS).
To learn more, visit www.hsvsnyc.org.