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Support center gets a boost

Schools had eliminated counseling facility in June to save cash.

April 05, 2010|By Christopher Cadelago

“In the past, before we had this resource at our schools, often times all we had was a piece of paper to offer a referral and hope that they somehow managed to take their children to get help,” she said.

The counseling program in the last two years has served roughly 500 students on three middle school campuses.

Inclusion of elementary school students has been especially crucial because young children often do not have the capacity to explain what is wrong, said Tom Kissinger, the principal of Providencia Elementary School.

The program began on three campuses, but is now on 16, providing help to more than 1,000 students this past year who were referred for a number of issues, including parent deaths, sexual abuse, foster placement and teen pregnancies, said Laurie Bleick, executive director for Family Service Agency.

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Still, it’s often hard to tell the organization’s story because those individuals who benefited most cannot appear before policymakers and talk about their struggles.

“We hold the secrets, the precious secrets of your families. And we hold those close, and we hold those tight, and we hold those with great confidence because we’re asked to do that,” she said. “Don’t mistake me: They are life-saving services.”


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