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Labeled “Juvenile Delinquents” by the Courts, Initiative Reverses Trauma

Posted on May 24, 2019 by Alice Kenny  |  Share

Reduces Recidivism; Helps Children Thrive.

By Alice Kenny

At Catholic Charities NY, we always remember that children are children, regardless of where they come from or what they have done.  Our affiliate, Good Shepherd Services, honors this tenet with some of the hardest to reach children, the same children who need our help most.  These are boys and girls labeled juvenile delinquents, children so young yet they have already gotten in trouble with the law.

Thanks to Good Shepherd Services Close to Home initiative, these children, often removed from circumstances that may have fostered their behavior, are placed in therapeutic homes close to the neighborhoods with which they are most familiar.

“To prevent recidivism, prevent the girls or boys from getting placed further and further into this system and getting locked up over and over again into adulthood this type of environment tries to create a space where they can work through some of their trauma,” says Good Shepherd Services video social worker Moriah Kreppein, “because a lot of times their behavior in the community has to do with whatever traumatic experiences they've had.”

Good Shepherd Services is rooted in work begun by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd in New York City in 1857.  It has grown from a provider of residential services for vulnerable young women who could not live at home to a multi-service agency.

Working with these often-traumatized children can be tough.  But changing a child’s life can be amazingly rewarding.

In this Good Shepherd Services video, social worker Moriah Kreppein gives a tour of the Rose House Residence in Brooklyn where she works.  She also shares her tips – number 1 being exercise – on how she overcomes the stress she experiences at work so she can help these children heal. 

“I work with the girls and the families too,” Ms. Kreppein says.  “We try to like support the whole family as much as we can.”