Bedford Youth and Family Services is about people – you, the citizens of Bedford; the youth and adults who use our services; our staff, volunteers, and Committee members. What we create between us in our interactions is what community is all about.
Hello, my name is Christopher Bang and I am the Community Social Worker. I am available to assist any resident of Bedford going through a challenging time and connect them with appropriate resources. Some common issues that I can assist with include health / mental health, substance use, domestic violence, housing issues, low-income barriers, fuel assistance, food insecurity, and health insurance. I am able to meet with residents at the Youth and Family Services office, in the community or at the resident's home. I also have regular hours at the Bedford Public Library on Thursdays from 12pm - 3pm. If you or someone you know needs help, please do not hesitate to call me.
I am Carla Olson, Healthy Communities Coordinator. I am the one to talk to about the Safe Routes to School Program (SRTS), Bedford in Motion, Healthy Bedford/Healthy Dining, and other Healthy Bedford Initiatives that support active and healthy living in our community. I coordinate the Healthy Bedford task force, which initially came together as a response to the rising obesity epidemic and comprises state, town, school, and citizen representatives focused on making Bedford a “Healthy Community” for all. The primary goal of Healthy Bedford is to ensure that the built environment promotes wellness and health. The task force mission is based on Healthy Community design principles, which also aim to strengthen social connections and people’s sense of community while promoting physical activity, improving air quality, reducing the risk of injuries, and curbing local contributions to climate change. I also manage the Healthy Bedford webpage and Facebook page and am certified to teach Mental Health First Aid training.
The clinical counseling staff from Eliot Community Human Services currently providing counseling at BYFS include:
Lynne Chapas, MA, started at BYFS as an Eliot psychology intern in 1999 and worked with children, teens, and adults for 12 years until fall of 2015. After taking a year off from clinical work, she returned to BYFS as Clinical Coordinator August 2016. Lynne enjoys working with adolescents, adults and older adults.
Andrea Vana, LCSW - joined Eliot Community Human Services in September 2016. She primarily works with children and adolescents. She works in Bedford on Wednesdays and at the Eliot Center in Concord other days.
Laura Smith, MSW, LICSW - graduated from Boston College School of Social Work and joined the Eliot staff in August 2017. She has been working with adolescents and adults since 1991 and is experienced in working with clients struggling with anxiety, depression, mood disorders, and parenting concerns, primarily using a strengths-based and cognitive behavioral approach in her work. She also has a great deal of experience in working with LGBTQ youth and adults. Laura is in the Bedford office on Tuesdays and at the Eliot Center in Concord other days.
Jeff Perez, MA - Jeff graduated from Lesley University in 2016 and joined Eliot in March 2019. He has worked with children, adolescents, and adults and enjoys working with all age groups. Jeff will be working in Bedford on Tuesdays and at the Eliot Center in Concord other days.