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Gemma Services Impact on Janay

Gemma Services promotes hope and healing through mental health services, education, and specialized support for youth like Janay.

As an example of the positive and successful impact of our programs on children’s lives, we share the story of Janay*, a 9-year-old girl who recently discharged from our Residential Treatment (RT) Program. Janay is a bright, curious child who loves the outdoors and animals. When she came to Gemma, Janay had spent the last year in another residential program, had been hospitalized, and had been in foster care as well.

Janay and her siblings were removed from their parent’s home due to unsafe living conditions and physical abuse at the hands of her father. When she came to us, Janay’s parents were not allowed to have contact with her and Janay exhibited very challenging behaviors. She had bouts of prolonged screaming, was physically aggressive, acted out sexually, engaged in self-harming behaviors, and ran away. Janay was particularly fearful at night – afraid someone would break in to “get her.” To protect herself she hid objects that could be used as weapons.

The loss of contact with her mother was particularly distressing to Janay. Her therapist received permission for Janay and her mother to be in contact with one another. With the support of her caring therapist, Janay and her mother began to re-build their relationship. Her mother loved her very much and wanted to provide a safe and loving home. Through her time in our program Janay learned new skills to better help her manage her behaviors and she recently returned home to live with her mother.

Janay’s therapist was in contact with the family after Janay’s second week at home and learned that Janay had experienced a major behavioral episode. Fortunately, Janay’s mom and older sibling used strategies they had learned working with Janay’s therapist and therefore the whole family made it through the experience safely. They felt more confident and prepared to respond to any behavioral challenges that may arise in the future. We are optimistic that Janay and the family have learned new skills that will help Janay be successful at home.

Our History

Gemma Services was formed in 2019 when Silver Springs – Martin Luther School and theVillage united to operate as one single organization serving children, families, and communities across the Philadelphia region.