C&FS Partners with Buffalo Prep to Offer Educational Counseling for Students


BUFFALO, NY – Buffalo Prep, a local program that helps underrepresented students prepare for college preparatory high schools and higher education, recently announced a partnership with Child and Family Services, an organization that fosters safe and healthy environments for children and families in local homes, schools, work places, and communities. Beginning in October 2018, Child and Family Services will host a satellite counseling clinic one night a week at Buffalo Prep.

Through this initiative, Buffalo Prep students and their families will have access to a Child and Family Services licensed counselor right inside the Buffalo Prep building, where they can receive professional counselling and additional support services to further assist students as they navigate and overcome barriers associated with educational and societal inequities.    

Child and Family Services has a proven record of success providing counseling within the Western New York community,” said Gretchen Szymanski, director of clinical services for Child and Family Services. “A licensed counselor will be available to ensure that these students have the support they need to be successful. This will allow students and families to participate in counseling in the supportive environment that they are already used to with Buffalo Prep; all the while alleviating time and transportation challenges.”

Buffalo Prep will also be taking advantage of the Child and Family Services Employee Assistance Program, which will provide its staff access to face-to face counseling appointments, a 24/7 crisis counseling hotline, work-life services, including legal consultation, financial services, conflict resolution, nutrition services, and more.

“This partnership is truly going to make a difference in our students’ lives, as well as our dedicated staff,” said Patti Stephen, executive director for Buffalo Prep. “If they need someone to talk to when suffering from different stressors, we now provide more resources than ever. The goal of having these services under one roof is increased collaboration, communication, and coordination among our staff, Child and Family Services’ staff, and families within our program.”

This partnership with Child and Family Services aligns with Buffalo Prep’s new culturally sustaining curriculum that launched this past summer, which focuses on whole-student readiness and seeks to support the development of a well-rounded student who can self-advocate and navigate mature or difficult situations.  Buffalo Prep teachers have been undergoing training on this new curriculum, guided by Dr. Jevon Hunter. Dr. Hunter is an urban education professor at SUNY Buffalo State and well-known in the local school circuit for his teachings on critical literacy and culturally relevant and sustaining curricula.