HEADLINES

Why Small Businesses Matter: Family Consultants of Westport

Why Small Businesses Matter

Shop small, do big things for your community

Why Small Businesses Matter puts a spotlight on the local merchants who donate their time, talent, goods, and services for the betterment of our community. The shop local movement spreads virally as local businesses who are “tagged” have the opportunity to share their story!

You're IT Family Consultants of Westport!

Four questions with Lauren Barnett, founder of Family Consultants of Westport.

Why did you start your business?

I built Family Consultants of Westport out of the dire need to help individuals and families gain more efficient and personalized access to mental health treatment. Too many people are suffering and struggling and they don't know how to find the best therapist and care for their (child's) needs.

What is your best-selling product/service?

Most clients start with the introductory "Getting Started/Family Together" packages whereby FCW provides them with informed guidance and direction and personally connects them with the right-fit mental health professionals. Countless families are in crisis and they are tired and overwhelmed from the many roadblocks and hurdles they face just to get an appointment/sit on waitlists/have mediocre care.

At FCW we go beyond the broad and vague platforms and databases where treatment providers are listed; our network of local professionals is personal and selective and offers our clients genuine and viable referrals to therapists and other providers who offer a wider net of services for the unique needs of each family.

How many local businesses do you use to support your business (products and services) and can you name them?

It is my network of colleagues who have been instrumental in supporting and advising me as my business evolves. Dan Woog, of the lifeline local blog "06880", and the Westport Moms platform, really helped to launch FCW and they are huge cheerleaders of everything local. In terms of my referral network, every business/practice I work with is local, specialized, and fantastic!

Many clinicians own their own practices in the community and have built it from the ground up, (some larger and more collaborative, and others small and more specialized), which I find admirable and courageous. More specifically, however, I am blown away by the creativity and skill set that so many local professionals embody (for example, The Hangout Spot, an evidence-based social learning program for children and teens), whereby they see a void in the mental health and behavioral health landscape, and they build it and fill it.

Have you "reimagined" your small business?

With every new client and clinician I meet, I am continuously reminded about the very reason I created FCW-because therapy truly isn't a 'one size fits all' approach; each client's personality, family, background, and psychological concerns are genuinely unique to them and the same goes for each provider-which is why this process is so delicate and essential.

Unfortunately, the severity of mental health issues and increase in mental health needs due to COVID-19 has forced me into 'full speed ahead' gear very quickly and I have had to adapt accordingly. I have evolved into providing more continuous and extensive care for families as they navigate their child's evolving needs.

Additionally, it has been exciting to see how many local professionals have reached out to meet me so I could assist them with managing their potential clients and 'vetting' referrals so they, too, feel they are the most suitable clinician for the client and client's needs (rather than their having to turn people away or, accept clients with whom they may not be wholly aligned, but they don't want to leave them without care). Therefore, FCW now mutually impacts and supports professionals and clients in need.

Visit Family Consultants of Westport online here, and make sure to check out their Facebook and Instagram pages as well!

HamletHub thanks Fairfield County Bank for making our Why Small Businesses Matter series possible!

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