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Welcome! Please enjoy the April edition of The Child & Family Guidance Center's monthly e-newsletter.

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Two years in the making:

Gala to honor long-time board member,  supporter of CFGC families

Champions for Children Invite.
Mr. John Skelly

The Child & Family Guidance Center’s premier fundraising gala is returning on Thursday, June 2, after a two-year hiatus.

The Champions for Children Gala will be held in Westport at The Inn at Longshore on June 2, 6-9 p.m., honoring former board member John Skelly, the Vice President of Administration and Finance at Yale New Haven Health.

“Spring 2022 is our first opportunity in two years to gather and reflect on the way our community helped us meet incredible challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said CFGC President & CEO Michael Patota. “Despite this gala’s absence over the last two years, our supporters and partners have stood by, helping us sustain and grow in order to respond to the children’s mental health crisis in Fairfield County.”

Patota noted the Gala’s 2022 Honoree, John Skelly is one of those donors who has gone above and beyond. Skelly, a former long-time board member and officer, became the preeminent supporter of CFGC’s Community Support for Families (CSF) program in late 2019. This program provides case management and support with basic and emotional needs, helping families navigate challenges and build up support systems.

“John is very humble,” Patota said. “But it is no exaggeration to say his generosity these last two years put food on families’ tables, prevented evictions, helped with child care, medical expenses and, overall, brightened the lives of kids and lessened the burden on parents and caregivers struggling to make ends meet. We can’t think of a more deserving honoree this year than John Skelly.”

Skelly expressed his gratitude for the honor and thanked CFGC’s team for its work in the community.

“It’s CFGC staff and the team at the CSF program who do the heavy lifting, helping families build brighter futures and ensuring children are happier and healthier,” said Skelly. “I’m grateful to do my part to support that work.”

Skelly noted that he hopes the gala will draw both old friends to CFGC and new. All event proceeds support CFGC’s mental health treatment, substance use programs and family support services.

“This agency is near and dear to my heart for so many reasons,” he said. “For those not involved, or who want to do more, this gala is a perfect opportunity.”

The Champions for Children 2022 Gala Committee members include: Gisselle Acevedo of New Canaan, Mindee Blanco of Fairfield, Nicholas D’Addario of Norwalk, Joshua Pedreira of Ansonia, Rebecca Rodriguez of Bridgeport, Dana Scinto of Fairfield, Jacqueline Stephens of Norwalk and Stéphanie Van Hassel of Greenwich.

Visit our event page to learn more. Questions, email us

Special thanks to our Sponsors: OPTIMUS Health Care, Hi-Ho Petroleum, PKF O'Connor Davies and The D'Amico Family

Click here for our Gala sponsorship packet


Sylvadra Ellis, LCSW named Director of Mobile Crisis

Sylvadra Ellis

Sylvadra Ellis, LCSW became Director of CFGC's Mobile Crisis Intervention Services in March 2022.

Sylvadra transitioned from her role as Clinical Supervisor in CFGC’s Outpatient Psychiatric Clinic for Children. During her years of experience working in mental health, Sylvadra has always had passion for crisis services, and she specializes in working with children, adolescents, parents and families experiencing challenges related to stress, anxiety, trauma and inter-relational conflicts.

We are grateful to have Sylvadra leading our dedicated MCIS team, which is experiencing a record number of referrals these last two months. We thank her and all our crisis clinicians for helping kids and families through some of their most challenging moments and experiences.

If your child or teen is in crisis in Connecticut, dial 2-1-1 to be connected to a mobile clinician.


In Other CFGC News...

National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

National Child Abuse Prevention Month

National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April recognizes the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse and neglect. Prevention services and supports — like those offered through CFGC — help families thrive.

Did you know: All CFGC's Family Support Services programs work to prevent child abuse by empowering families and caregivers through education, care management and building up support systems? Here's more on each of these incredible programs, as shared last April: CLICK HERE 

Please note: Since last April, our MIECHV program has expanded and is now The Greater Bridgeport Home Visiting Partnership (GBHVP).

Cigna logo

Cigna Community Sponsorship

Thank you to Cigna and the Cigna Civic Affairs Healthier Communities Sponsorship for helping CFGC improve mental health access for low-income families.

Cigna's sponsorship, received in December 2021, allowed CFGC to invest in a digital client portal to eliminate outdated paper-based systems and improve the way families provide and access information. 

Continuously improving access to both our in-person and telehealth treatment and services is a top priority for CFGC. With the help of corporate partners like Cigna, CFGC can invest in improving our systems, ensuring children and families receive the treatment or support services they need, regardless of their ability to pay.

Thank you, Cigna!



Spring in bloom at our Bridgeport office 

Spring in bloom outside CFGC's Bridgeport headquarters

This photo of CFGC's Bridgeport headquarters was taken the morning of April 18 by our own Jonathan Spears, LCSW, Senior Supervisor in our Outpatient Clinic for Children While this week's weather may not be cooperating, it certainly looks like spring in downtown Bridgeport. Thank you, Jonathan!


Contact Us

info@cfguidance.org | 203-394-6529

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