Our dynamic staff is dedicated to providing you and your family with the mental health and support services needed to heal and become stronger. The Child & Family Guidance Center team includes: social workers, psychologists, board-certified child psychiatrists, licensed alcohol and drug counselors, care coordinators, and parenting coaches. Our wide range of expertise and evidence-based models—including our suite of proven trauma-informed therapies—enables us to address your family’s specific situation with both cutting-edge skill and compassionate care.
President & CEO, MS, MSW
Michael Patota is the President and CEO of The Child and Family Guidance Center, and brings over twenty years of clinical and administrative expertise to his position. Prior to joining CFGC in April 2015, he served for fourteen years as Division Director of Clinical Services at United Services, where he was responsible for the oversight of a comprehensive array of outpatient behavioral health programs serving Northeastern Connecticut. Additionally, Michael has worked extensively with the Latino community in a variety of clinical settings. He earned his Masters Degree in Social Work from Boston University’s School of Social Work, his Master of Science in Nonprofit Management from Bay Path University, and his Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Psychology from Bridgewater State College.
Cay White, MD
Cay White, MD, is the Medical Director of the Child and Family Guidance Center, and has been with the agency for 23 years. She is board certified in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry as well as Adult Psychiatry. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Middlebury College where she graduated cum laude, and her Medical degree from University of Utah School of Medicine. Dr. White completed her psychiatric residency at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, and her Child and Adolescent Fellowships at New York Presbyterian, Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. She is a recipient of the Edward J. Sachar Outstanding Fellow Award from Columbia University, where she was the Chief Fellow. Dr. White has provided consultation services for the REACH program at Bridgeport Hospital and worked for the Dr. Robert E. Appleby School Based Health Centers in Norwalk, in association with Norwalk Hospital. In addition, she has a private psychiatric practice in Westchester, NY.
Irma Camacho, LMFT
Irma Camacho, LMFT, is the Director of the Family Support Services Unit at The Child and Family Guidance Center, and has been with the agency for 25 years. She started as a Marriage and Family Therapy Intern and upon graduation was hired as the Program Director for the Hispanic Family Outreach Services. Since then, Irma has assumed increased responsibilities for many programs and was ultimately promoted to Director for the Family Support Services Unit. In this role, Irma oversees multiple programs including: intensive evidence based in-home clinical programs for substance abusing children and parents; intensive in-home programs that provide services to families who have had their child/ren removed, are at risk of removal, or require supervised visitation; early childhood consultation or working with first time parents; and the Foster Grandparent Program.
Irma received both her Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy and her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Fairfield University. She serves on various advisory boards including: Department of Children and Families Fatherhood Empowerment Leadership Team (Co-Chair); Region 1 Advisory Board to the Commissioner of DCF (Co-Chair); the Statewide Advisory Council to the Commissioner of DCF; and the Marriage and Family Therapy Department at Fairfield University.
Terril Pile, LCSW
Terril Pile, LCSW, is the Director of the Behavioral Health Services Unit at the Child and Family Guidance Center, where he oversees Outpatient Mental Health Services and Adolescent Substance Abuse Services. He most recently served as the Director of the Emergency Mobile Psychiatric Services Program at the Child & Family Guidance Center and held this position for four years. Prior to that, Terril worked as a clinician on CFGC’s mobile crisis team for six years. A New York City native, he received his Master of Science in Social Work with a focus on Social Work Administration from Fordham University. Terril’s twenty years working in the Social Service field has given him experience working with foster care and the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), Mental Health Association of NYC, and Juvenile Probation. He also has a private practice in Milford, CT.
Director of Program Evaluation & Quality Assurance
Stacey Goodwin is the Director of Program Evaluation & Quality Assurance at The Child and Family Guidance Center, where she leads the organization’s efforts in outcome measurement, continuous quality improvement and program compliance. Prior to joining CFGC in 2016, she worked for more than twenty years at GE Capital, most recently serving in Risk Management leadership capacities. Over the last ten years, Stacey has also served on boards of two non-profit organizations focused on youth and education.
In 2016, Stacey completed the Encore!Hartford program, an executive program for experienced for-profit leaders moving to the non-profit sector. She earned her Masters Degree in Business Administration from the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia and her Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University.
Ken Fontaine, MBA
Chief Financial Officer
Ken Fontaine is the Chief Financial Officer at the Child and Family Guidance Center and is a senior level financial executive who brings extensive nonprofit and corporate experience to his role. Prior to joining the Child and Family Guidance Center’s leadership team, he worked at Fairfield University for eighteen years where he most recently served as Assistant Vice President for Finance and Controller. Ken’s expertise in finance and accounting include financial reporting and analysis, budgeting, information technology, strategic planning, treasury and purchasing operations. He received his Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of Connecticut School of Business, and his Bachelor of Science degree from Fairfield University.
Director, Information Technology
Kimberly Farrar, MS
Director of Human Resources
Kimberly Farrar, MS, is the Director of Human Resources at the Child and Family Guidance Center. Prior to joining CFCG as an Executive Assistant in 2012, she worked at various nonprofit agencies including Keystone House, Save the Children, Domestic Violence Services (New Haven), and Southwest Community Health Center. Kimberly received her Master of Science in Organizational Leadership with a concentration in Human Resources Management from Quinnipiac University and her Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Albertus Magnus College.
Hyacintha Jameson Bernard, MS
Director of Multiple Programs
Hyacintha V. Jameson Bernard, MS, is the Director of several programs at The Child and Family Guidance Center, including Reunification and Therapeutic Family Time, Intensive Family Preservation, and the Visitation Center. Prior to supervising these programs, Hyacintha provided therapy to children and families referred to CFGC. She has worked with youth with mental health issues, children infected and affected by AIDS, and children in crisis via our Emergency Mobile Crisis Unit. Before coming to CFGC, Hyacintha worked at The Kennedy Center (Bridgeport) as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and Coach for children and adults with developmental disabilities, and at Optimus Health Care.
Hyacintha received her Master of Science in Counseling from Southern Connecticut State University. She has worked with the HIV/AIDS population for the past 17 years; especially with children infected with the virus. Additionally, she has run groups with women, children, and the transgender community.
Noraleen A. Dunphy, RN, MPH
Director of Multiple Programs
Noraleen A. Dunphy, RN, MPH, is the Director of the Nurturing Families Network and Early Childhood Consultation Partnership and Parenting Programs at The Child and Family Guidance Center. In 2005, she joined the CFCG as Program Director of Nurturing Families and over the course of the next ten years has developed and expanded the Nurturing Families Program and assumed responsibility for the Parenting Academy and the Early Childhood Consultation Program. Noraleen serves on several advisory boards: including: The Bridgeport Alliance for Young Children’s (BAYC) Leadership Team, Support for Pregnant and Parenting Teens (SPPT), the Early Care and Education Work Group, and is co-chair of the quarterly “Help Me Grow” Networking Luncheons. She is an appointed member of the Bridgeport School Readiness Council and was recently appointed to the State-wide Home Visiting Consortium.
Noraleen is a Registered Nurse who has worked with pregnant women, infants, children and families for over 30 years. She received her Masters Degree in Public Health from New York Medical College and her Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Iona College. Additionally, Noraleen recently completed the Yale Leadership Program in Behavioral Health.
Donna Fletcher, LPC, LADC
Director, Turning Point
Donna Fletcher, LPC, LADC, is the Director of the Turning Point Regional Adolescent Substance Abuse Program at the Child and Family Guidance Center. She has marketed and expanded her program to provide substance abuse treatment to a region that spans Greenwich to Monroe, Connecticut. Donna is a nationally certified Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapist and serves as site coordinator for a grant working with juvenile justice involved clients. Over the last several years, she has served a leadership role developing a graduate student intern program in collaboration with local academic institutions. In 2013, she developed an Adult Services program for which she continues to supervise. Prior to her work in the helping professions, she worked in the Information Technology field.
Donna received her Master of Arts in Community Counseling from Fairfield University and her Bachelor’s degree from Boston College. She is a licensed professional counselor, a licensed alcohol and drug counselor and is certified as a co-occurring disorders specialist. Additionally, Donna holds national certifications as an Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach Supervisor and Clinician. She has a private practice in Stamford and is an adjunct professor at Fairfield University’s Graduate School of Counseling.
Danielle Langston, LMSW
Director, Community Support for Families
Danielle Langston, LMSW, is the Director of the Community Supports for Families program at The Child and Family Guidance Center. She oversees a group of 14 community support workers and parent navigators in program sites in Bridgeport and Norwalk. Danielle also serves as a back-up clinician for the Emergency Mobile Crisis Program in the Norwalk site. Prior to her current role, she worked for three years as a member of CFGC’s Care Coordination team. Before coming to CFGC, Danielle worked as an IICAPS Mental Health Counselor and was also a Child Development Specialist at a therapeutic group home at Klingberg Family Centers in New Britain, CT.
Danielle received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at Central Connecticut State University and Master of Science in Social Work from New York University’s Silver School of Social Work.
Karina Lawrence, LCSW
Director, Functional Family Therapy
Karina Lawrence, LCSW, is the Director of the Functional Family Therapy Program at The Child and Family Guidance Center. She has been with the agency since 2006 and has more than 10 years of experience working in social services. Karina’s previous work experience includes working closely with the Department of Children and Families in the capacity of Intensive Safety Planning case manager to assure children are safely returned to their parents’ care. She also worked as an outpatient therapist providing mental health services to children, adolescents and their families. Prior to her current role, Karina was a program director for CFCG’s Community Support for Families program. She has experience working with adults through her internship at Department of Mental Health in Bridgeport, and worked for Department of Children and Families as a per diem employee.
Karina received her Master of Science in Social Work degree Southern Connecticut State University in 2009, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Academy of Special Education (Warsaw, Poland). Karina’s native language is Polish and she also speaks Ukrainian.
Virginia Lopez, LCSW
Director, Care Coordination
Virginia Lopez, LMSW, is the Director of Care Coordination at the Child & Family Guidance Center where she oversees a group of 13 facilitators of the Wraparound process. Virginia has served children and families at CFGC for over a decade as a former Care Coordinator and Crisis Clinician. She is the co-chair of the statewide Multicultural WRAP CT Learning Collaborative, which was developed to empower, validate, and equip multicultural staff to provide individualized care. Virginia is a certified Wraparound trainer in both English and Spanish, and took the lead in translating and presenting Wraparound training in Spanish for the first time in the state. She continues to collaborate with supervisors statewide to provide consultation and support to bilingual staff.
Virginia was born in Puerto Rico and made Bridgeport, CT her home at the age of 14. She graduated from Harding High School and attended Sacred Heart University, where she obtained her Bachelor’s in Psychology. Virginia later received a Master of Science in Social Work from Southern Connecticut State University.
Sylvia Sanchez, LMFT
Sylvia Sanchez is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and has been providing mental health treatment to children and families for over 17 years. She began her work as a crisis clinician working with families that were victims of domestic violence. Still eager to work with families in crisis, Sylvia started as an EMPS clinician at The Child and Family Guidance Center nearly fifteen years ago. During that time she has grown from a clinician on our original EMPS team to Director of the entire program. Sylvia has a firm belief in the systems approach to treatment, and has utilized that skill to help thousands of families over the years. She received her Master’s degree in Counseling and Psychological Services Specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy from Springfield College in 1999. Soon after receiving her degree, Sylvia became licensed in the State of Connecticut.
Director, Multi Systemic Therapy
SudhaVeeraraghav is the Director of the Multi Systemic Therapy program at The Child and Family Guidance Center. She joined the agency in 2008 as a therapist and became director of her program in 2012. Sudha was awarded The MST Institute’s highest award as one of the top therapists in the world for having the highest Therapist Adherence Measures (TAM). This award is given to the top 1% of all therapists in the world. Additionally, Sudha had the highest TAM score among 1800 MST clinicians worldwide. Her prior work experience includes heading a school based mental health center in Bangalore, India where she was responsible for starting a school for the developmentally disabled. Sudha also worked as a clinician in an Early Stimulation Program, which was part of the Hill Health Center in New Haven.
Sudha studied in India and in the United States, and has two Master’s degrees and an M.Phil. (post graduate research degree in clinical psychology). In the United States, she received her Master of Science in Community and Clinical Psychology from the University of New Haven in Community and Clinical Psychology. Sudha is multi-lingual and fluent in four Indian languages.
Director, Foster Grandparent Program
Sara Witherington is the Director of the Foster Grandparent Program (a Senior Corps Program and branch of the Corporation for National and Community Service) at The Child and Family Guidance Center. Since first developing the program in 1998, Sara has recruited, motivated and maintained a corps of 80 senior (aged 55+) volunteers to tutor/ mentor in schools and community centers throughout the Greater Bridgeport Community. Sara and her dedicated staff are currently working on expanding the program into the Norwalk area with the assistance of the United Way of Coastal Fairfield County. Previously, Sara was the Assistant Director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program for the City of Bridgeport, Connecticut’s Department on Aging.
Sara received her Master’s Degree in Human Development/Gerontology from St. Joseph University (West Hartford, CT), and her Bachelor’s degree from Marquette University. In addition, she received a Certificate for Mentoring Supervision from Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City’s Center for Training and Professional Development and Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service.