A Press Release From Child and Family Agency of Southeastern CT
Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Jan. 27 to mark the official opening of its school-based health center (SBHC) at Pawcatuck Middle School, in Pawcatuck. State Rep. Diana Urban, (D-North Stonington), state Sen. Andy Maynard (D-Stonington), Pawcatuck Middle School’s administration and staff, and the Stonington School District administration joined in celebrating the availability of direct health care services in the school setting.
At Pawcatuck Middle School, 32 percent of the students qualify for free or reduced-price meals. Research showed that these students suffer with issues that affect their academic performance including low school attendance, lack of adequate mental health resources, and discipline. A comprehensive school-based health center program with both primary medical and behavioral health care will address these issues.
“With the growing need for adequate and accessible healthcare, the Pawcatuck Middle School SBHC will provide families with the option to have their children treated for various illnesses where their children attend school," said Tom Gullotta, Chief Executive Officer, Child and Family Agency. “This allows children to receive care more quickly so that they can return to the classroom faster.”
Students in schools with Child and Family Agency operated school-based health centers can obtain services such as physicals, minor acute illness care, health promotion and disease prevention education, as well as group, individual and/or family therapy. The goal is to provide health care that allows the child/adolescent to maximize their school experience. Each SBHC is a freestanding health facility, operating in a manner appropriate to the school and community where it is located. They share a developmental approach to pediatric and adolescent health, respecting the age, cultural values and family situation of every student. The program is open to all students whose parent/guardian has signed a registration/permission form, regardless of income or health care coverage.
The Pawcatuck Middle School, SBHC is one of 18 operated by Child and Family Agency in New London, Groton, Norwich, Stonington, and Waterford. The SBHC will serve approximately 350 students.
“For many families, balancing school, work and healthcare can be a challenge,” said Tim Smith, principal, Pawcatuck Middle School. “We are thrilled that we can now provide easy access to physical and mental health services to our students right here in our school.”