The Joyce Black Stepping Stone Program was founded with the objective of preventing the need for residential placement for these girls and to prevent risky behaviors such as loitering, suicide and drug use. Simultaneously, they are encouraged to remain in school and helped to create a trusting relationship with the welfare authorities while giving them a sense of belonging, and most importantly, giving them a feeling of home.
There are over 20,000 teenaged girls defined as at-risk by the welfare authorities. The Stepping Stone Program helps approximately 20 teenage girls between the ages of 14-18, suffering from sexual abuse and emotional neglect, or girls living in families in which the parents are unable to put the necessary boundaries in place.
At the home, the girls receive a warm meal, study hours, recreational activities and life skill workshops, including drug abuse prevention and withstanding negative peer pressure. Additional therapy is provided by social workers throughout the course of the program.