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The CFGC Compass Newsletter

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

Kiwanis Club of Weston supports CFGC

From left: Kate Czaplinski, Denise Murillo of Weston Kiwanis, CFGC President & CEO Michael Patota, Bill Barron and Tom Glass of Weston Kiwanis. Photo by Jim McMorris

From left: Kate Czaplinski, Denise Murillo of Weston Kiwanis, CFGC President & CEO Michael Patota, Bill Barron and Tom Glass of Weston Kiwanis. Photo by Jim McMorris

The Kiwanis Club of Weston presented a check for $12,000 to The Child and Family Guidance Center on February 26. The proceeds were raised during the club's annual Reservoir Run Half Marathon in October.

CFGC President & CEO Michael Patota, and Kate Czaplinski, Director of Development & Communications accepted this donation and shared how these dollars will be put to work to meet growing mental health needs of children and teens in the community.

"In the Kiwanis Club of Weston we have found dedicated volunteers who are committed to making lasting change in the lives of children," says Michael. "This generous gift will help CFGC provide expanded crisis services, mental health treatment and support services that give children the tools they need to heal and thrive."

In addition to the wonderful Kiwanis volunteers who organize the Reservoir Run each fall, CFGC thanks all the sponsors and runners for participating and making this gift possible. 


FCCF's Immigrant Success Fund supports recovery for young parents

Thank you to Fairfield County's Community Foundation: Immigrant Success Fund for supporting CFGC's Family-Based Recovery Program through its Spring 2021 funding cycle.

Developed by Yale Child Study Center, John Hopkins University and CT Department of Children and  Families, FBR is an intensive, six to 12-month treatment program, designed to help parents of children struggling with the dual challenges of substance abuse recovery and parenting children, from infancy to age 6. Funding from FCCF has allowed FBR's part-time clinical supervisor to spend more time overseeing this program, which has been crucial to best serving our clients families of diverse backgrounds and needs. 

Pictured above is our FBR team.

Learn more about the Immigrant Success Fund.

CFGC Outpatient Clinician discusses impact of childhood trauma

Carolina Pereira on Yo Digo No Mas

CFGC’s Outpatient Clinician Carolina Pereira, LMSW, was a guest on the show Yo digo NO MÁS last month, discussing the impact of abuse on children.

This interview, in Spanish with English subtitles, highlights the importance of breaking a culture of silence around sexual abuse and creating a community of support around a child or an adult who discloses abuse.

Please watch to learn more about this important topic. We are proud to have Carolina at CFGC and thank her for the life-changing treatment and care she provides to children healing from abuse and other forms of trauma. We also thank all the brave survivors who share their stories to help others.

Watch the full episode on YouTube.

A Family Affair: Meet CFGC's Jennifer & Bryan Garcia

Jennifer and Bryan Garcia

At CFGC, we like to say there's a family atmosphere among our team but, in the case of Jennifer and Bryan Garcia, it's more literal.  

Jennifer and Bryan are a married couple, working in two different programs here at CFGC — Bryan as a bilingual Outpatient Clinician and Jennifer as a bilingual Recovery Support Specialist in our Substance Screening, Treatment and Recovery for Youth (SSTRY) program. We asked these two some questions on their roles here and what it's like to work together in the same agency.

When did you join CFGC❓

Jennifer: I started at CFGC as a bilingual intern in August 2021. I'm currently a graduate student at Sacred Heart University within the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. In addition, I've acquired a job as a Recovery Support Specialist in November 2021, with the SSTRY program at CFGC. As a recovery support specialist, I will provide support services for individuals and families to address issues around substance abuse and co-occurring disorders towards the recovery process.

Prior to working with the agency, I had 14 years of experience within the banking industry. I have wonderful memories that I will forever cherish but I wanted to make a change within my career and pursue my passion for working within the behavioral and mental health field.

Bryan: I began at CFGC November 2, 2020. I would describe my position as a “hero without a cape.” I believe in the work that CFGC does, as well as the population we serve. I grew up around the area and have experienced some of the struggles our clients face.

Prior to CFGC, I interned at a residential home with individuals with dual disorders. After graduating with an MSW, I worked in the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR Clinician).

What is it like working at the same agency as your spouse❓

Jennifer: This is such a great and popular question we always get when people find out we work together. I never thought I would ever work with my husband, honestly. We don't get to see each other as often when we're in the office, which gives us an opportunity to focus on our work. We try to prioritize taking lunch together, when possible, to spend time with each other —without having a 3-year-old daughter and 2 dogs interrupting.

Bryan: I truly do not mind it (wink wink). We try to separate home/work life. I enjoy that we have lunch at work on Fridays while we are at the office. I especially enjoy it if she pays!!

Goals for 2022❓

Jennifer: My goal for this year is to continue learning regarding my current role as a recovery support specialist and an intern. With the support of my team, I want to get the Waterbury office up and running and continue building relationships that will be great for SSTRY and CFGC to have with other regions within the state.

Bryan: My goal is to continue furthering my knowledge and skills in therapy. I am a huge advocate for mental health/human justice, and I get to do both here at CFGC!


In Other CFGC News...

CFGC's FC Giving Day page is live.

A Record-Breaking Giving Day

Our CFGC community is truly amazing — helping us set a new fundraising record on Fairfield County's Giving Day of over $18,000 in 24 hours.

Thank you to all who liked, shared and DONATED. We've been putting every dollar to work to support kids and families.

Special thanks to our Peer-to-Peer Fundraisers and our Matching Challenge Sponsors: Board Chair Dana Scinto, Board Treasurer Mike Ruggiero and our own Michael Patota.

Hope, healing and resiliency - made possible by our CFGC communty!


Near & Far Aid logo

National Social Work Month

March is National Social Work Month, a time to recognize the incredible contributions of social workers who make our society a better place to live for all. 

Did you know: Social workers have helped drive significant, positive changes in our nation? Social workers such as social reformer Jane Addams, former Labor Secretary Frances Perkins, and civil rights leaders Dorothy Height, Whitney Young and Ida B. Wells have pushed for voting rights, equal rights, Social Security, unemployment insurance, and other programs.

Our work at CFGC wouldn't be possible without the commitment and expertise of social workers. THANK YOU to all the social workers out there! 


Here's what we're reading right now, regarding children's mental health.

House Bill 5001

Connecticut Legislators unveiled a sweeping bill last month that addresses the health crisis in schools, medical facilities and the community.

From CTMirror.org: "House Bill 5001, an Act Concerning Children’s Mental Health, includes initiatives to improve and expand mental health workforce development, services in schools, insurance coverage, resources for behavioral health providers and programs, and systems currently in place."

Read the details about this bill at CTMirror.org.

Hundreds of people testified on this bill at a public hearing in Hartford on Feb. 25. Read more on the hearing



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