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New York City has a new web portal for teens. Click on www.nyc.gov/teen to find information, resources, and help.


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New York City has a new web portal for teens. Click on www.nyc.gov/teen to find information, resources, and help.


Suicide Hotline

LifeNet Referrals
(24 hours)
1-800-543-3638 (English)
1-877-298-3373 (Spanish)
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Visit www.nyc.gov/teen and click on "Dating and Friends" and "Feeling Stressed" to learn more.

Youth In Progress

Hotlines (dating violence, housing, mental health)


Lawyers for Children

Legal Aid (call the office in the borough where you lived when you first went into foster care)
Bronx: 718-579-7900
Brooklyn: 718-237-7100
Manhattan: 212-312-2260
Queens: 718-298-8900
Staten Isl.: 718-981-0219

Education/Special Ed
Advocates for Children

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ETVs (Educational and Training Vouchers)

Featured Story

Looking for a Mother in a Baby: Abuse and loss awakened my maternal instincts
image by Froylan Garcia
Looking for a Mother in a Baby
Abuse and loss awakened my maternal instincts

Names have been changed.

I first saw Michael walking down the street my first day of high school. I felt something inside my stomach that told me he was the one. He was a junior at our high school; I was 14 and he was 16.

We quickly became a couple. We’d meet before and after school just to spend extra time with each other. Every day after school, we held hands and walked to Central Park and sat for hours on a park bench, no matter how cold it was.

I hated when it hit 5 o’clock, because that was when the fairytale ended.

That was when I had to return home and deal with my real life. When we parted, he would kiss me goodbye, and tell me he loved me, and that he would see me tomorrow.

My boyfriend made me forget about my troubles at home. My relationship with my adoptive mother was terrible. She hit and threatened me. She’d get enraged and keep me in the house if I forgot to do a single chore.

She insulted my biological mother, who’d died when I was 2 and who was supposedly one of her closest friends. During our many arguments, she would throw in my face that I was “selfish, just like my mother.”

She wasn’t what a mother was supposed to be like, and I always told myself that I’d never be like her when I had my own kids.

She would try to get close with me by asking about my personal life, but I knew better and never told her about Michael. I knew that if she knew how much he meant to me, she would try to ruin my happiness somehow. She was vindictive. So I kept my relationship secret from her.

My Escape

After five months of dating, Michael and I lost our virginity to each other. We trusted each other and were comfortable with our decision. His mother worked a lot, so we spent a lot of time after school at his house—watching movies, playing video games, ordering food, taking naps. For those few hours, it was like we lived together.

Michael was my heart, another part of me. He was my first love and, I hoped, my last. I had never felt more beautiful in my life. . .

[read more]