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About Us


New Canaan CARES is an independent, non-profit community organization whose purpose is to advance the health and well-being of youth and families. CARES provides responsive educational programs that support and strengthen parenting skills, positive youth development, and healthy lifestyles – free-of-charge.

Inclusion Statement

As an organization, we stand for individuality, against racism and work to educate the New Canaan community and beyond with our responsive programming.

Local Prevention Council

New Canaan CARES is the state-sponsored Local Prevention Council for the Town of New Canaan. As the LPC, New Canaan CARES helps to organize and facilitate the New Canaan Coalition – a group of affected families, community organizations, concerned citizens, faith organizations, first responders, government, the recovery community, schools and youth organizations, and treatment centers, committed to enhancing the lives of New Canaan youth and families through education, prevention, and positive programs.

The specific goals of LPCs are to increase public awareness of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug prevention and stimulate the development and implementation of local prevention activities primarily focused on youth.


Executive Director

Judy Phillips

Judy has been working throughout her career, both professionally and personally, with a focus on promoting the positive, healthy development of youth and families.  With a firm belief that we are stronger together, she has built community coalitions to maximize limited resources and touch as many lives as possible.

For the last several years, Judy has served as the President/CEO of the YWCA/Darien Norwalk, where she established a strong foundation for the long-term growth of their programs and services.  Judy’s diverse background has included facilitating educational programs for parents, providing before and after school programs at a local elementary school, supporting youth programs in Nicaragua, working with homeless women and children in New York City, social justice education and advocacy, and work in various branches of government. As a Fairfield County native, Judy has a deep respect for the history and traditions of the area with an eye towards building for the future.  She knows the importance of engaging the full community and looks forward to working with those who have so strongly supported CARES over the years and to developing relationships with those who aren’t as familiar with our organization.

With a dedicated, engaged Board of Directors, talented staff, passion for providing programs that support our families, and the heart of a Mom with a personal stake in the mission, Judy is well equipped and excited to be leading CARES.

Education and Program Coordinator

Stacey Walker, MA

Stacey has been working for New Canaan CARES since 2017. Her career began in 1999 where she taught first grade in the inner city of New York. She quickly realized mental health and education were integral components to family dynamics. With this in mind, she taught parent workshops and created an after-school theatre club for her students to express themselves through the arts. Keeping this theme throughout her career in New York, Colorado, and Connecticut, she continued to educate children and parents to promote wellness and growth within each family. Stacey earned her Master’s Degree in Education from New York University and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Vermont. She is a sexual assault crisis advocate, serves on numerous boards, and has piloted programs for Scholastic and Kids in Crisis.

Office Administrator

Elle Smith

Elle is a 2018 graduate of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, where she earned a BFA in Theatre Performance with a concentration in Directing. Regional theatre credits include the Summer Theatre of New Canaan, ACT of Connecticut, and the Purple Rose Theatre Company. She is also a Realtor® with William Raveis Real Estate in New Canaan.


East School                            Jill Tobin 
South School                        Felicia Jamin
West School                          Laura Sousa
Saxe Middle School              Kristie Breed (Lead NCPS)
NC High School                     Michelle Bramwit
Privates                                  Taryn Sonesson
Preschools                             Jen Joyce


All you need to know!


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