Barbara Small, an 18-year advocate for Clinton youth and their families, has retired.
For many years she was the director of the town's Youth & Family Service Bureau with offices in the charming old schoolhouse on Glenwood Road. Recently, when the town merged her department with that of the Social Services Department, she became the head of both, making her the Director of Human Services.
"It would have been 19 years this March 3," said Small of her employment with the town of Clinton. Prior to joining the town, she taught school for the New Haven Public Schools system and worked part-time at a child guidance clinic.
A replacement for Small has not yet been announced.
With a staff of three full-time personnel (director, program coordinator, and clinician) and two part-time (prevention coordinator and secretary) for Youth & Family and a director of Social Services, Small orchestrated the programs of two multi-service agencies.
"I have an amazing staff," she said as she made her rounds on her final day of employment. "They are very independent and know what they are doing."
Small was also instrumental in getting the services and programs of the First Selectman's Task Force up and running.
Small calls Youth & Family the “connective tissue” of the town.
“Our job is to fill in the gaps in a community,” said Small. “We work in partnership with existing resources such as the Parks & Recreation Department, schools, police, regional service bureaus and state providers.”
They provide both prevention and intervention tools to the community, with a focus on its youth and their families. Services and programs include things such as summer, school, and community-based programs; improvisation theatre; and drug and alcohol prevention programs, among others.
Funding for the programs and counseling services is provided in part by the town, state and federal agencies, the United Way, and contributions. A non-profit Friends of Clinton Youth & Family Service Bureau has been created to receive contributions from the community.
The town’s Social Services program provides fiscal assistance to individuals and families needing food, or help paying their fuel bills.
Small and her husband Jeffrey are looking forward to enjoying more time with their son and daughter, their families, and their young grandchildren who live in the Washington, D.C. area.