Westborough Youth and Family Services to operate under new model

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Westborough Youth and Family Services to operate under new model
Westborough Youth and Family Services will begin operating under a new model this summer. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

WESTBOROUGH – Come July 1, Westborough Youth and Family Services will operate under a new model.

Westborough Youth and Family Services provides mental health and substance abuse counseling, prevention and education programs, information and referrals and service for the residents of Westborough. 

Under the new model approved at Town Meeting on March 23, Westborough would retain one position, an outreach and resource coordinator, in the department.

Clinical services would be provided through Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services, with two full-time clinicians providing services to Westborough clients.

Additional services would include training, workshops and groups using the Shrewsbury department’s clinicians and interns.

All services would be at the current department offices in Westborough.

The Youth Commission would remain as an advisory body to the town and contractor.

Under the new model, the budget would be as follows – for fiscal 2025, wages would be $68,248, expenses would be $209,175, for a total of $277,423, or about $5,000 more than the “old” service model for fiscal 2024.

The town decided to try a new approach after the Westborough department’s director left in February 2023, and the part-time counselor left in December 2022. A search yielded six applications for the director’s position, but there were no applicants for the counselor’s position.

In the summer of 2023, the town began talks with Shrewsbury for an alternate service model.

Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services operates with a 12-member board of directors with four student liaisons. It currently employs 11 staff members and seven interns. Additional staff will be hired to service the contact with Westborough.

For information, visit https://www.town.westborough.ma.us/youth-family-services.

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