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Empowering Families, Preventing Abuse

Honoring National Child Abuse Prevention Month 

Meet our Family Support Services Team

The leadership team of CFGC's Family Support Services Unit. 



We're marking Child Abuse Prevention Month this April by highlighting the work of CFGC's Family Support Services Unit and the incredible team leading these programs. 

Each of our FSS programs is focused on preventing child abuse by empowering families and caregivers through education, care management and building up support systems.

Throughout the pandemic, these services have been more important than ever. Our teams have continuously connected with families virtually, delivered emergency supplies like food and diapers and began providing in-person services before many other programs returned to face-to-face care. 

“The Family Support Services Unit is uniquely equipped to offer support to children and families through a wide continuum of care (from early childhood education for caregivers to reunification) meeting families were they’re at as they go through different stages of their life.” - Virginia Lopez, LCSW, Director of the FSS Unit

Learn more about each of our FSS programs below and follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more on these programs. 

Early Childhood Consultation Partnership

“ECCP prevents the expulsion of children from early learning head start programs. This service is requested to help provide strategies to promote and support teachers, parents and early childcare centers. We work together to improve a child’s chance of thriving in their learning environment and in their home.” - Teneika Brown, MSW, Clinical Supervisor 

This program offers free assistance for supporting the social, emotional and behavioral needs of children in the early learning centers, classrooms and at home. 

Maternal, Infant & Early Childhood Home Visiting 

MIECHV supports at-risk parents of young children (prenatal to age 5) to ensure they develop early heathy relationships with their children and have the resources and skills to raise children who are physically, emotionally, and socially healthy. 

“I love helping families reach their fullest potential. There are times when families do not understand how resilient they are and overlook the accomplishments they achieve daily.” -Teneika Brown, MSW, Program Director 

Care Coordination

“What I love about Care Coordination is helping families rediscover HOPE.” - Damita DeBowes, M.A., Director of Care Coordination  

Care Coordination is a community-based program helping children/youth with behavioral health challenges in the Greater Bridgeport area. CFGC’s trained Care Coordinators utilize a combination of supports (school, community, home) to collaborate in a team planning process to improve the lives of the children and families we serve. 

Community Support for Families

“We are a culturally competent team designed to assist families in strengthening natural and community support systems to maintain a safe and healthy home environment. We apply the Wraparound Process, which is a strength-based, family driven, planning process designed to empower families utilizing their own strengths. We support and assist our families by identifying their unique strengths, needs, visions, goals and develop a team of natural, formal and informal supports in order to be sustainable.” -Lizette Ortiz-Nash, M.A.,Program Director

Intensive Family Preservation

IFP is designed to support families at imminent risk of having children removed from the home or who are in the process of being reunified following a period spent in out-of-home care. This intensive program works to improve family functioning, with the overall goal of keeping children safe and avoiding a permanent or long-term separation.   

“I love how hands-on this program is with our families. As a worker, you’re not limited when it comes to helping and providing information that a family needs to succeed. It is also our job to advocate for our families and give them a voice too.” - Regine Coriolan Toussaint, M.S., Program Director

Reunification & Therapeutic Family Time

RTFT provides parenting education, parent-child relationship building, safety planning, supervised therapeutic family time and case management to parents after children have been removed from the home. Using a visit coaching model, RTFT works toward long-term family reunification and supporting parents in creating a safe and stable environment for their children. 

 “The visit coaching model is unique because it builds upon skills that the parents already possess. We focus on parent strengths (sometimes strengths the parent may not even recognize in themselves) and build on those strengths to enhance parents’ confidence and success in parenting,” Hyacintha Bernard, M.S., Program Director 

The Visitation Center

Located in our Bridgeport headquarters, the Visitation Center offers a safe and comfortable environment for a non-custodial parent and child to visit together as well as a neutral and monitored exchange of children from the custodial to non-custodial parent. Facilities are suitable for all children, from infants to older adolescents, and supervised visits may include a therapist who can provide parenting advice and clinical reports. This Center is available to all community members. Please email our program director for more information. 

Follow Us

To support our work to prevent child abuse and strengthen families, donate to our Annual Fund today: 


Contact The Child & Family Guidance Center
180 Fairfield Avenue | Bridgeport, Connecticut 06604
203-394-6529 |

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