The Child Guidance Center of Southern Connecticut received a $60,000 grant award from the Community Fund of Darien in support of its community programming.

"TCF's insightful staff and volunteers recognize that the need for these critical services is on the rise," Sherry Perlstein, center president and CEO, said.

The center helps families with children who struggle with emotional, behavioral, developmental and psychological challenges to their mental well-being. Staffed by psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical social workers and care coordinators, the center offers assessment, therapy and treatment and wraparound services for its clients. It serves children from birth to 18 years who may struggle with a range of problematic and high-risk behaviors, troubling symptoms and psychiatric disorders.

"Over the past year," she said, "we have seen referrals jump by more than 20 percent. Without timely and effective treatment for children in need, there can be serious long-term consequences."

In addition to creating complications for them in school, it compromises their overall healthy development and increases the risk that they will experience unemployment, poverty, and relationship difficulties throughout adulthood."