Mental Health, Crisis Intervention

CHILD GUIDANCE CENTER OF MID-FAIRFIELD COUNTY

  • Norwalk, CT
  • www.childguidancemfct.org

Mission Statement

OUR MISSION is to help all children with mental and behavioral health needs achieve emotional stability, academic success, and happy and productive lives.

We are the largest provider of child mental health care in Mid-Fairfield County. Each year we help thousands of children and family members who live in Darien, New Canaan, Norwalk, Westport, Weston, and Wilton.

Main Programs

  1. Outpatient Children's Clinic (OPCC)
  2. Prospects - Extended Day Tratment (EDT)
  3. Latino Program
  4. Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (CAPS)
  5. ChildFIRST
  6. Consultation and Education Programs
Service Areas

Self-reported

Connecticut

The Center is the primary comprehensive outpatient psychiatric and behavioral service provider for children from birth to 19 in the 6-town region of Norwalk, Westport, Weston, Darien, New Canaan, and Wilton. Families who live outside these towns use the services of the Center when those services are unavailable in their areas.

ruling year

1958

Chief Executive Officer since 2015

Self-reported

Mr. Roy Berger

Clinical Director since 2013

Self-reported

Ms. Gail Melanson PhD

Keywords

Self-reported

Mental health services, children, trauma treatment, after school programs

Notes from the Nonprofit

The Center welcomes people interested in our work and we would be pleased to have you either call and speak to our Executive Director, Stuart Greenbaum (203) 299-1315, visit our website www.childguidancemfct.org, or make an appointment to visit our facilities at 100 East Avenue Norwalk, CT 06851. We are always interested in speaking with people who might be interested in serving on one of Committees, or possibly becoming a Trustee. Thank you for your interest.

The fundamental operating principal of all programs at the Center is the participation and engagement of parents or substitute caregivers in the formulation and carrying out strength-based treatment and support services.

This requirement is based on the premise that care giving adults, the other significant members of the household and involved people in the community must understand, identify with, and participate in the overall goals of treatment.

The agency’s commitment to this philosophy of care is embodied in the Center’s family-oriented approach to treatment and our extensive efforts to deliver a culturally sensitive and, when needed, bilingual service to facilitate the highest possible level of involvement by adults who are central to the child’s emotional well-being. By addressing the very obstacles and daily problems in living associated with marginal commitment, poor attendance or drop out from treatment, the staff seeks to accomplish the dual purpose of ameliorating the child’s emotional difficulties while augmenting the family’s ability to provide for the child’s special needs in home, school and community settings.

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Also Known As

Child Guidance Center of Mid-Fairfield County

EIN

06-0725052

 Number

3877346605

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Community Mental Health Center (F32)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

The children we work with are often the most at-risk and behaviorally challenged youth in our community. Since 1956, the Child Guidance Center of Mid-Fairfield (the Center) has served many thousands of children and their families in Norwalk, Weston, Westport, Wilton, New Canaan and Darien (our 6-town catchment area) as well as responding to the needs of any child who needs our services that are not provided in their own community.

Many of these children come from dysfunctional families where the level of disorganization results in difficult economic, social, interpersonal, medical, and legal concerns. These factors contribute to the mental health problems in the child and family, and require evaluation and treatment by trained mental health professionals.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Outpatient Children's Clinic (OPCC)

The Child Guidance Center of Mid-Fairfield County offers a full-range of prevention, evaluation, and treatment services to address virtually every facet of a child?s psychological, behavioral, and emotional health. Sometimes a parent calls for help; sometimes a school, hospital, community
organization, government agency, pediatrician, or the Department of Children& Families refers a child.

The OPCC services include the following:
-Assessment, which includes an orientation to our services, initial screening to define problems, and appropriate information and referral.
-Psychiatric consultation, evaluation, and treatment provided by board-eligible/certified child psychiatrist.
- Developmental testing to help clarify a child's problems and treatment needs, .
-Individual, parent guidance and group psychotherapy as appropriate for each individual.
OPCC serves ages birth – age 19. Treatment usually lasts about 6 – 9 months and ranges from several times each week to once every two weeks. Children will learn their triggers to negative behavior, coping skills to deal with them, new confidence in relationships with authority, peers, and their family, and learn to make more positive choices in their lives

Several included programs include:
-Crisis Intervention Services, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the Center's clients The program includes crisis intervention and immediate mental health assessment, as well as short-term intensive outpatient services. --.
-Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT): • The Center (through competitive grant process) was invited to partner with Region 1 Department of Children & Families staff in a Learning Collaborative on Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT - an evidence-based effective treatment that can mitigate the emotional/behavioral consequences of trauma exposure. NOTE: last year, almost 80% of the Center’s clients entered treatment with trauma-related symptoms. Increasing collaboration between child welfare and mental health systems through cross training & information sharing across systems can also improve the treatment outcomes of children receiving TF-CBT.

Category

Outpatient Mental Health Treatment

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

None

Budget

Program 2

Prospects - Extended Day Tratment (EDT)

The Center's EDT program is the only of its kind in the region EDT provides services for children from Greenwich to Fairfield, CT.

EDT is a 5 day/week 3 hrs./day program throughout the school year, with an 8-week summer program. EDT is for seriously emotionally troubled children (5 – 12), and is often the last barrier to their going to residential or in-hospital treatment.

Children are placed in small groups based on age and the nature and severity of their problems. EDT provides a comprehensive Treatment Plan with integrated treatment components that include: The group experiences allows children to become part of a community support system, fostering a sense of membership and safety, and helping them achieve personal goals

EDT provides 10 core integrated treatment components that make it possible to prevent inpatient hospitalization or placement in residential treatment.
* Comprehensive assessment: structured intake interview with parent and child; psychiatric evaluation and medication management; home visits; administration of assessment tools.
* Structured therapeutic milieu: activity-based interventions designed to enhance adaptive functioning and reduce problem behaviors; child/staff interaction to help develop positive attachments with adults; and build skills in anger management, peer socialization, problem solving, and trauma recovery.
* Psychiatric evaluation (only when indicated on intake evaluation) and Medication Management
* Family Therapy and Parent Training: Family therapy to enhance the relationship and understanding between child and parents; Parent training is done without the child, and teaches parents effective behavior management strategies that decrease problem behaviors and increase positive ones.
* Group Therapy: therapy involving 2or more children and a clinician.
* Individual Therapy: treatment involving a clinician/youth dyad.
* Crisis Intervention Services (CIS): EDT children are maintained in their homes and communities. IS clinician is always available.
* Therapeutic recreation & expressive therapies:
* Positive Youth Development Activities: Emphasizes activities that promote their competencies, empower them to become active decision makers, take on leadership opportunities, and form collaborative relationships with supportive and caring adults.
* Discharge Planning: Integrated into treatment early, and includes – identifying community and clinical support structures and linkages to mental health providers, schools, and neighborhood agencies.

Category

Outpatient Mental Health Treatment

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

None

None

Budget

Program 3

Latino Program

Ours is the only comprehensive mental health service in this area in Spanish for Hispanic children and families. The Latino program has a Spanish-speaking Child Psychiatrist, Clinicans, and access to support staf who are Spanish-speaking. Latino staff provides much-needed coordination of cross-program services and additional outreach to help families integrate into the school and community.

Latino children and their families represent the fastest growing segment of our client base (now 39% of total served), and often come from dysfunctional families where the level of disorganization results in difficult economic, social, interpersonal, medical, and legal issues, which contribute to the precipitation of mental health problems in the child and family.

The Center is the primary provider of comprehensive psychiatric services (in Spanish) to Latino children and their families in the area. The bilingual staff exists solely for the purpose of serving Latino children and their families where the language barrier would be an impediment to access or to clear communication about issues and treatment.
This program provides a comprehensive range of services to ensure that the Hispanic clients are able to access all the services of the Center and the community: outreach, transportation, in-home services, case management, treatment services (consisting of individual counseling, group counseling, parent guidance), consultation to schools, state agencies and other providers, provision of evaluation, community resources, diagnostic services. Many of the children and their families who come to the program have complex issues that impact their ability to function in their home, school, or the community at large. Often the presenting issue(s) reflect a combination of challenges including:
 Immigration issues – lack of documentation or illegal status resulting in fear of accessing services or coming to the attention of authorities
 Cultural differences – issues of family hierarchy, friction for children trying to bridge both cultures, acceptance/approval of different behaviors
 Educational gaps or deficiencies – from language difficulties or educational experiences

Experience with economically disadvantaged and underserved populations has taught the Center that mental health services are often viewed with suspicion, fear and lack of understanding. We are also aware of the perception that receiving such services can run counter to cultural norms and expectations in the community, and that access to services due to transportation difficulties is often a final impediment.

In order to overcome these obstacles the Center has established a team of bilingual professionals who develop a relationship with the child and family while providing needed concrete and supportive services. This innovative service breaks down existing barriers to the effective delivery of mental health services to an underserved and hard to engage target population.

Category

Outpatient Mental Health Treatment

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Hispanics

None

Budget

Program 4

Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (CAPS)

Child & Adolescent Psychiatry program (CAP) helps youth whose anxieties, trauma, and inappropriate behaviors have a negative impact on their ability to learn, communicate, and have good interactions with those around them. These students need to learn self-control, and coping mechanisms to deal with these issues. Many CAP students are worried about their security/safety – as a result of recent school shootings (where they should feel safe), violence in our community (domestic/criminal), and disruption of families from economic realities. Some internalize their fears/anxieties (depression, suicidal thoughts, isolation, lack of focus in school, etc.) and some externalize their fears/ anxieties (violence, bullying, aggression, belligerence toward authority, disruption in school, etc.). CAP kids usually require 6 months or more of treatment/medication management, and often stay longer for medication management.

There is an extreme shortage of child and/or adolescent psychiatrists in the public sector who will accept anything other than full payment. At the Center we accept everyone who needs our services regardless of their ability to pay, and we couldn’t do this without your support. Without CAP. children requiring this level of care(up to age 19) would have gone undiagnosed and untreated – resulting in eventual catastrophic de-stabilization and eventual hospitalization. The children and families who received this care at the Center cannot find or afford this care in the private sector, so the Center’s services are literally life saving for them. I

CAP has two Yale-trained Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists who are multi-Board certified, and an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse who is truly vital to the delivery of the psychiatric services and especially the medication management, which is often not provided by the child’s pediatrician, often without the medication a child can become destabilized.

.

Category

Outpatient Mental Health Treatment

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

None

Budget

Program 5

ChildFIRST

ChildFIRST (Child and Family Interagency Resource, Support, and Training) ChildFIRST is an evidence-based, model early childhood system of care, providing comprehensive, well integrated prevention/intervention services and supports for high risk young children and their families through home visits.

Child FIRST offers families with infants and young children (birth to 5 years) who have been identified as having one or more risk factors including: teen birth, former or potential homelessness, mental illness, drug/alcohol issues, domestic violence, maternal depression, unsafe home environment, isolated with little or no family/friend support system (single parents) the opportunity to be referred to the Child FIRST services. These services include:
• Intensive home visiting intervention (comprehensive assessment, integrated family-driven plans and home-based parent guidance and parent-child psychotherapeutic services).
• Care plan coordination and case management that includes connection to appropriate resources and services for all family members.

These clusters of services are enhanced by a strong team of collaborative Intensive home visiting intervention (comprehensive assessment, integrated family-driven plans and home-based parent guidance and parent-child psychotherapeutic services), partnerships that include representatives from existing local, community early childhood systems of care. Follow up and customer satisfaction evaluation will provide for revised and continued service until child becomes 6 years old. Upon completion of Child FIRST program, referrals for ongoing counseling support, if appropriate, will. be made to Positive Directions.


Category

None

Population(s) Served

None

None

None

Budget

Program 6

Consultation and Education Programs

The Center offers consultation to Wiltn and Norwalk school systems and also works with New Canaan school system. Consultation is available to local and regional community groups and to early childhood care facilities, parents and teachers through our Early Childhood Consultation Partnership.

In FY 2013, Early Childhood Consultant provided services to 1,166 people where our two ECC clinicians train Headstart teachers, and teachers, students & parents in early childcare facilities. The two ECCP consultants also observe children in classrooms and work with teachers to help the developmental growth of children.

The Early Childhood Consultation Partnership (ECCP) is a statewide initiative funded by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and managed by Advanced Behavioral Health, Inc. (ABH). The ECCP is a mental health consultation program designed to meet the social and emotional needs of children birth to five by offering support, education, and consultation to those who care for them. The program serves as prevention and early intervention, which is aimed at promoting enduring and optimal outcomes for young children and their families. UCFS provides 2 Early Childhood Consultants to the ECCP who offer services throughout Eastern Connecticut.

Category

Early Childhood Education

Population(s) Served

Infants/Babies (under age 5)

Single Parents

None

Budget

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    The Center's goals for all children and families we serve is for the children (to age 19) to be developmentally and behaviorally on track to achieve their highest potential at home, in school and in the community, to be happy, and to make positive life choices.

    At the Child Guidance Center of Mid-Fairfield County we help children and their families recover from their traumas that lead to mental health and behavioral challenges affecting their quality of life.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    The Center features an Outpatient Children’s Clinic as well as special clinical programs, and offers a full-range of prevention, evaluation, and treatment services to address virtually every facet of a child’s psychological, behavioral, and emotional health.

    The Center enjoys a stellar reputation among community organizations, funders, clients, and collaborative partners.

    Over the past several years, the Center’s consultation services to school systems and community agencies have been expanding significantly. The Center has deployed its executive staff to provide services at contracted facilities through purchase of service agreements with the respective institutions. Following are the major collaborations with community agencies:
    • The Center is Clinical partner with Dept. of Children&Families in a DCF-funded Learning Collaborative on Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Treatment; to enhance clinician’s skills & provide DCF skills to refer trauma affected children to Center.
    • The Center is the lead agency for the Norwalk Child FIRST replication team (with Family & Children’s Agency, Norwalk Community health Center, Norwalk Early Childhood Council, and Norwalk Healthy Families.
    • Department of Children and Families now reimburses ChildFIRST for home visits.
    • Added Child FIRST services to Westport in collaboration with Westport Human Services and funded by UW Coastal Fairfield
    • NEON Child Development Program and Headstart provision of supervision and training of 150 professional staff serving approximately 585 children in the toddler and pre-school programs year round.
    • Psychiatric consultations to Norwalk Hospital Emergency Dept.
    • Management of System of Care (SOC).
    • Group Day Care Consultation to Norwalk and Westport licensed group Day Care providers.
    • City of Norwalk-Latino Mental Health Program.
    • The Center is a key participant in the statewide Child Guidance Division of CCPA, advocating for the mental health needs of children on state, regional and community levels.
    • Numerous committee and advisory committee participation in Human Services Council.
    • Choices for Success – Dept. of Education, After School Grant Program evaluator; Norwalk Health Department, AfterSchool Alliance, Carver Center, Norwalk Housing Authority, etc.
    • Early Childhood Consultation Program Statewide collaboration managed by Advanced Behavioral Health (ABH) funded by the strategic Investment Fund – Provides consultation education training and evaluation to Stamford/Norwalk early childcare sites.
    • Out of School Time Providers - Norwalk after school programs. Dedicated to quality programs for middle schoolers.
    • Community Counseling/Support Team – coordinated by Westport’s Department of Human Services for guidance and support to residents in times of crisis; collaboration with Westport/Weston human services providers & Westport/Weston United Way.
    • Wilton High School teachers & administrators – & our Medical Director, Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    The Center enjoys a committed and dedicated staff that believes in providing accessibility to evidence-based and up to date mental and behavioral health assessment, treatment and prevention to public sector families and children who often do not have this access or the ability to pay for it in the private sector.

    Our multi-disciplinary team consists of child psychiatrists, child psychologists, clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, and an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN). At present, the staff consists of 30 full-time and 23 part-time employees. Executive and Medical Directors manage the Center, together with a volunteer Board of Trustees that provides direction and oversight and assists in financial development efforts.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    The Center’s participation in the new Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Learning Collaborative with the Department of Children and Families, gives our clinicians additional trauma-focused information about our clients through questions asked at both intakes and the first face-to-face interview, and increased trauma-focused treatment skills to better help our clients. The enhanced knowledge about the trauma history of the children and adolescents we serve gives us an opportunity to provide enhanced evidence-based therapies to help the children and their families recover from the affects of trauma. Last year almost 80% of our children presented with behaviors and challenges resulting from trauma.

    The Center was chosen by community partners as the lead agency for the Norwalk Child FIRST Replication Team, formerly funded in part by the Ct. Health & Development Institute, the Graustein Memorial Trust Fund, Fairfield County Community Foundation, and other local funders and now funded by the United Way of Coastal Fairfield County, The William C. Bullitt Foundation, and the Theodore Cross Family Charitable Foundation
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    In FY 2012-13, the Center provided much needed services to a total of 1,915 clients:
    • 535 (not including parents, siblings and extended family members) through our clinical programs (Outpatient Children’s Clinic (to age 19), Prospects – Extended Day Treatment (seriously emotionally challenged children 5 – 12), Child FIRST (pre-natal to 6th birthday and family in their home), and specialized services such as Latino services, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, System of Care, and Crisis intervention (available 24/7 for the Center’s clients).
    • 1,166 people received services through our Early Childhood Consultation program, where our two ECC clinicians train NEON Headstart teachers, and teachers, students & parents in early childcare facilities.
    • 134 students through our Before and After School programs (Choices for Success 46 students from 6th grade to High School graduation; and 88 students at Kendall After the Bell program for working parents at the elementary school with the highest number and percentage of free/reduced lunch children in Norwalk)
    • 80 parents and siblings of the Choices for Success students

    NOTE: gender and ethnic data is only for the 535 served through clinical and outpatient programs. GENDER: Female = 38%; Male = 62%; ETHNICITY: Caucasian – 33%; Hispanic – 39%; Black – 24%; and, Bi-Racial/Not Reported/Other – 4%. Fifty-three percent of the Center's clients were eligible for Medicaid; 22% uninsured & 26%commercial or out-of-network insurance (often high co-pays and limited coverage for mental health programs). Note the increase in uninsured clients, and the corresponding reduction in commercial insurance coverage underscores the number of people who have lost their jobs, and/or their health insurance. Of all the children and families served through the Center’s clinical outpatient and prevention programs, 76% fall into the low-income category and 23.9% into the moderate category, with less than 0.1% families paying full fees.

    Four hundred and sixty five clients (87% of all 535 clinical clients) came from Norwalk, Stamford and Darien.
Service Areas

Self-reported

Connecticut

The Center is the primary comprehensive outpatient psychiatric and behavioral service provider for children from birth to 19 in the 6-town region of Norwalk, Westport, Weston, Darien, New Canaan, and Wilton. Families who live outside these towns use the services of the Center when those services are unavailable in their areas.

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

THE MID-FAIRFIELD CHILD GUIDANCE CENTER
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

CHILD GUIDANCE CENTER OF MID-FAIRFIELD COUNTY

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
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  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
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Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Roy Berger

Clinical Director

Ms. Gail Melanson PhD

BIO

Roy Berger joined the Child Guidance Center's Board of Trustees in 2013. In October 2015, he took a leave of absence from the Board in order to assume the position of Chief Executive Officer on an interim basis. He is a passionate advocate for children's mental health services.

Mr. Berger has over 25 years of executive management experience with proven expertise in business operations, finance, brand development, M&A, and strategic planning.

Prior to his retirement in 2011, Mr. Berger held numerous executive-level marketing and business development positions with a wide range of computer and wireless technology companies. From 1996 to 2005, he served as Executive Vice President of Marketing Communications for NextWave Telecom, which was acquired by Verizon Wireless in 2005. He then helped launch and served as Executive Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for NextWave Wireless, a developer of mobile phone chipsets and software.

Mr. Berger also serves on the board of directors of Hope Homes International, a U.S. based non-profit which operates an orphanage in Eldoret, Kenya.

STATEMENT FROM THE Chief Executive Officer

"Since 1956, the Child Guidance Center of Mid-Fairfield County has been dedicated to improving the mental health and well-being of children and their families. We serve the towns of Norwalk, Westport, Weston, Wilton, New Canaan, Darien, and Stamford.

Every year our team of board-certified child psychiatrists, psychologists, and clinicians provide clinical mental health services to nearly 600 children and 1,500 family members. We never turn a child away due to a family's inability to pay.
"

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mark Lilliedahl

UNUM

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization

Yes

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?