Family Counseling Center Becomes Schools’ Top Substance Abuse Resource

Newtown Bee Article By Larissa Lytwyn

The Family Counseling Center, 121 Mt Pleasant Road, will replace district substance abuse counselor Pam Crowcroft as the town’s primary substance abuse resource for Newtown schools.

“For the same cost, we can have an entire team of professionals that can make referrals and perform a wider range of services for our students,” said Superintendent of Schools Evan Pitkoff during the school board’s last meeting on June 1.

Director of Pupil Personnel Services Michael Regan said he was pleased at the change, especially during a time when substance abuse, which he described as a “community-based problem,” has been at the forefront of the town’s consciousness in recent months.

“The new district substance abuse counselor will be employed from the Family Counseling Center,” Dr Regan explained. “Students and their families can have access to family counseling, psychiatric evaluations – all types – beyond the school day.”

He added that it would be easier for students to gain referrals for out-of-town care if desired.

“Perhaps in the past, students may have hesitated to speak with the [district] substance abuse counselor because they were concerned that word would get through to the administration,” suggested school board member David Nanavaty. “Would you say that with this outside service the students would have more, or, I should say, greater guarantee of confidentiality?”

“I would say I would agree with that, yes,” replied Dr Regan.

Board member Tom Gissen said the wider range of services the Family Counseling Center could provide pleased him.

“I think this is great,” he said. “It’s a very good idea.”

Family Counseling Center executive director Terry Blackmer was on vacation this week and could not be reached for comment. Used with permission Copyright © 1999-2004 Bee Publishing Company