By the Numbers
The Family Partnership Center
Sexual Assault Response Team
A Look Back
Family Services’ 2019
Sexual Assault Response Team
Family Services’ 2019
It has been an exhilarating 2019 for all of us at Family Services. The long-awaited merger of Family Services and Hudson Valley Mental Health was finalized in April. And while that was the date of the formal merger, leading up to that milestone and in the days since then, we as a now consolidated agency have been working diligently on having “all of the pieces fit together”.
I have been inspired by the many ways in which all staff from the Leadership Team on out to the “front lines” have undertaken this work to make sure that all of us are working in a coordinated manner to provide the best services possible to the many individuals who rely on us.
And, while this merger has been an important undertaking, I am reminded of what, I believe, is closer to what inspires us in this work every day.
I was recently reading about thoughts shared by German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer—“Giving is the primary relationship between one person and another, not the secondary one. It is family member to family member, friend to friend, colleague to colleague. People to community. It is the elemental desire to transform isolation and self-centeredness into connectiveness and caring. A personality awakens itself by how it gives.”
As I reflect on those thoughts, I immediately think of the many employees who are making connections to the people that we serve in the various corners of the community—People we serve through our Behavioral Health Centers, Youth Services, Family Programs, Victim Services, Prevention efforts, Community Safety and in the Family Partnership Center. They benefit from the sheer human kindness and caring offered by our staff.
I’m reminded of what I once heard that for all the good that is done by “programs”, “departments”, “funding” and all the rest in our world of work, what improves people’s lives most are the relationships. The relationship that is created when somebody experiences caring that is extended by another and faith that is shared, there is hope created within that relationship—hope that there can be a better life.
And, of course, we cannot do this work without supporters like you— supporters who embody Bonhoeffer’s sentiments: “Giving is the primary relationship between one person and another…people to community.”
At its core, this is the spirit of Family Services and I thank all of our employees and supporters for joining us in this important journey. Have a Blessed Holiday!
In six years at Family Services I’ve spoken with hundreds, perhaps thousands, of individuals who are interested in coming to work with us. Our staff come from a wide range of backgrounds but a common thread that hold us all together is a passion for the mission of Family Services. Oh and by the way that passion is INFECTIOUS!
When I speak with individuals about Family Services I make sure to share two essential bits of information in understanding who we are and what we do. First, I remind individuals that Family Services has been doing this work for a very long time—in fact as we were founded in 1879 we’ve been doing this work for 140 years! Second, I’ve committed to memory our mission and tagline—both our current mission as well as our historical mission. The words of our founder, Reverend A. Edward Lawrence, Jr., have always resonated strongly with me—that our work is about the need to “raise the needy above the need of relief”. I make a point of highlighting that although the term “needy” is antiquated the idea of helping individuals help themselves has always been a core part of our work.
Up until very recently I could, by memory, recite our recently retired tagline: providing hope, improving lives, and strengthening communities. I would use this tagline to describe the work of our programs—programs that serve over 17,000 individuals a year! However, very recently I’ve had a chance to try on our brand new mission statement: Family Services brings people together to find the support they need, improving their lives and communities, and building a stronger, safer Hudson Valley. I have to confess it will take a few more weeks to commit this new mission to memory; however I can tell you having repeated it numerous times to prospective applicants this mission statement is completely and totally in line with the work we’ve been doing for over a century! This mission also speaks to why I, and I sense all of my colleagues, spend so many of our waking hours doing this work.
I was recently asked by an applicant what I like about working at Family Services and my answer was as clear and infectious in that conversation as it has been for the last 6 years. I want to wake up every day and support staff who are doing work that is live saving and live enhancing. This is exactly what our staff do at Family Services so it is remarkably easy to get out of bed in the morning and give it my all (even on the those mornings when my toddler is having her terrible two moments!) Staff at Family Services have been giving their all to our community throughout our 140 year history and as we embark on a new chapter in our history with a new mission, vision, and brand I look forward to 140 more years of building a stronger, safer, Hudson Valley!
The holidays can be a special and joyful time for many of us. A time filled with happy reconnections with family and friends. It is a busy time and a time of giving.
For some, the holidays are anything but what they are portrayed to be on television and in the movies. There may be no singing, no family meals, no joyous children tearing open gifts. For some, the holidays may be filled with uncertainty, fear, and loss. The holidays can often be a time when people feel disconnected or lonely. Perhaps for some, the holidays have not always been a positive experience.
In behavioral health, we have an added duty to be aware that while we may decorate our offices because we associate the holidays with joy, not everyone shares that experience. While some clients had wonderful holidays as children, they may have had difficult experiences as adults. Perhaps there is struggle to meet expectations that others may place on gift giving or struggles with feelings that they can’t give enough. Feeling disconnected during the holidays can happen for any number of reasons.
It is important at this time of year to be mindful of others’ needs and it is also a time to remember to self-care. Take time for yourself. Reach out to friends or family for support. If you need to, seek support from service providers or find resources in the community when family and friends cannot be the support you need or want.
At Family Services, we celebrate the holidays and we acknowledge that for some, there is no celebration so we offer a safe place to converse and share experiences. We respect your right to not celebrate. We welcome your experience and take you as you are at any time of the year.
Family Services can help you or a loved one meet behavioral health needs. We have centers throughout Dutchess County in Beacon, Dover Plains, Millbrook, Poughkeepsie and Rhinebeck. In Ulster County, you can receive services in Ellenville, Kingston and New Paltz. For appointments in Dutchess County, call 845-485-9700, and for appointments in Ulster County, call 845-486-2703 ext. 4016.
Family Services partners with organizations to offer immediate support to clients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger of self-harm, call 911. In Dutchess County, call the Helpline at 845-485-9700. In Ulster County, contact Family of Woodstock at 845-338-2370. In Orange County, contact Access Support for Living at 1-888-750-2266.
Wherever you are this holiday season, know that we wish you well and are here to help if you need us.
It has been an exciting year at the Patricia A Kennedy Children’s Center at Dutchess County Family Court! The Center is proud to be an Autism Supportive Environment, offering a host of helpful activities for children and families in a safe and appropriate environment. Program staff are grateful to partners at the Anderson Center who offered this important training and certification.
The program has hosted wonderful interns from Marist, Vassar and Dutchess Community Colleges. Students, under the guidance of Lead Teacher Randi Chalfin, created program curriculum highlighting the Arts, Sand Play, Compassion and Psychological Literacy for children ages newborn to 12 years old.
In November, the program was proud to host an open house and luncheon in recognition of the United Way of Dutchess Orange Region. Program staff presented United Way a plague to acknowledge their constant support in helping the Center meet critical needs of the children and families served.
Everyday the staff of the Children’s Center find joy, happiness and beauty in the tenacity of the families we serve. The Children’s Center looks forward to 2020 when we will attend the NYAEYC (New York Association for the Education of Young Children) annual conference in the Spring. Staff continues to envision a larger center, with more space for children to play and where we can serve more families on a daily basis.
On Monday, December 9th Family Services staff gathered from 13 different locations across Dutchess, Ulster, and Orange Counties at The Grandview in Poughkeepsie to share some holiday cheer and mingle with colleagues we don’t often see.
Good food, dancing and sharing stories with individuals whose passion for the work they do is inspiring and sets the tone for a truly grateful heart this holiday season.
On Wednesday, December 11th Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress and Hudson Valley Network for Young Professionals hosted Basecamp Kingston, an event that is part of their Greater Hudson Valley Young Professional Summit series.
The event featured a panel discussion on “Leading from Where You Are” that included our Vice President for Community Programs, Leah Feldman, and other extraordinary leaders in our community.
Family Services’ 2019
Family Services’ 2019
• Increased use of drugs or alcohol
• Isolating from family and friends
• Sleeping too little or too much
• Withdrawing from daily activities
• Increased agitation or anger
• Trauma/abuse or neglect
• Increased depression, anxiety or other mental health symptoms
• Family history of suicide
• Relationship stress, loss or divorce
• Financial stress
• Loss of a job or home
3) Individuals who previously attempted suicide are at 30 to 40 times increased risk to die by suicide than someone without a history of suicide attempts.
4) Reach out when you think someone may be suicidal. Let them know that they are not alone and that you are there for them.
5) The most effective way to prevent suicide is to reduce access to guns.
6) All suicidal thoughts or actions should be taken seriously. Know your community resources. Seek help from a mental health professional.
Family Services’ 2019
Family Partnership Center Delivers Remarkable Return on Investment
For every $1 invested in a Family Partnership Center program, the short-term social return on investment averages $72 for the persons served and the community.
Wear Orange to Raise Awareness About Gun Violence
On May 30, 2019 Kathy Peluso, Family Services Center for Victim Safety and Support Coordinator of Training and Outreach who will soon be leading the Sexual Assault Response Team, received recognition from the Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse (CASADA). Kathy has worked tirelessly in support of victims for 15 years. Family Services is so proud of all that she has done and will continue to do to improve our community’s response for victims.
On Tuesday, June 25, 2019 Heritage Food + Drink will host a charity dinner for Family Services, donating 10% of the proceeds to support our critical work in the community. Come out an enjoy good food for a great cause!
Family Services’ 2019
Don’t miss your opportunity to bid on 6 (yes, 6!) different resort locations in Antigua, Panama, Barbados, and the Grenadines provided by Elite Island Resorts!
We’re providing a mini trip down to NYC with (2) tickets on Metro North, an overnight at one of the Marriott hotels, and a backstage pass and (2) tickets to see Mean Girls on Broadway, thanks to Family Services Development Committee members, Janna Whearty and Filomena Fanelli!
Community Playthings has generously donated one of their quality Roadstar I Tricycles made of tough one-inch steel tubing made for years of rigorous play for ages 2-4.
We have two sets of (4) tickets to a New York Yankees with this awesome view thanks to Royal Carting Services: May 4th vs. Minnesota Twins and May 6th vs. Seattle Mariners!
If you love concerts and being outdoors, we have a pair of lawn tickets to Bethel Woods’ entire summer season in our auction, generously donated by our Mission sponsor, iHeartMedia!
One of our generous board members, Peter Lumb, has handmade this beautiful dollhouse for our auction this year!
I am pleased to let our readers know that the merger of Family Services and Hudson Valley Mental Health has been fully approved and is effective April 1, 2019! This follows a November 2017 decision by both Boards, and the ensuing necessary legal and regulatory steps involved in such a consolidation.
As a fully unified agency we will continue to provide and improve upon the services that the 17,000 people throughout Dutchess, Ulster and Orange Counties have come to see as vital to their continued success. Such improvements, in large part, will be supported by the strengthened collaborations between our behavioral health expertise, and those programs that, every day, focus on social determinants of one’s long term health.
Overseeing the breadth of services that include those which had been performed by both Family Services and Hudson Valley Mental Health, Joan Crawford is the Chief Program Officer who will be working closely with our Vice President for Community Programs and Vice President for Behavioral Health (Leah Feldman and Robin Peritz, respectively).
The Community Programs consist of Family Programs, Youth Services, Victim Services, Community Safety, and Prevention. The Family Partnership Center also continues to be a huge part of Family Services and our surrounding community. The Behavioral Health Centers include those clinics located in Poughkeepsie, Beacon, Millbrook, Dover, Rhinebeck, Kingston, Ellenville, and New Paltz.
Finally, I cannot allow the opportunity to pass without extending my thanks to our dedicated Board Members, our committed Leadership Team and all of those who have successfully led and participated in this merger process. We ARE stronger together!
Of course, should you have any questions or concerns about the consolidation of the two agencies or anything related to the service needs that we address, please do not hesitate to contact me or any member of our Leadership Team.
NATCON 2019: Information and Inspiration
Integrated Services – Country Music – Access to Care – Cowboy Boots – Telepsychiatry – BBQ
What in the world can these have in common? Well, myself and three of my colleagues, had the opportunity in March to attend this year’s 50th Anniversary conference of the National Council for Behavioral Health (NatCon 2019) in Nashville, Tennessee. This is the preeminent annual gathering of Behavioral Health professionals from around the country and beyond.
And yes, there was music, boots and BBQ, but the real take-aways were the informative and inspirational seminars that so beneficially coincided with our recent merger with our affiliate, Hudson Valley Mental Health.
We all returned with ideas, strategies, and models for operations, service delivery, performance indicators, data collection, and other day-to-day practical measures to aid Family Services in our efforts to improve the provision of behavioral health care services in the Hudson Valley. Our goal of implementing Substance Use Disorder services in our centers will certainly be guided by the information gleaned by our Chief Program Officer, Joan Crawford, who attended several sessions on the subject. Our VP of Operations, Casey Hons, will be sharing with her team the latest material on data collection for moving into the Value-Based Payment arena. Robin Peritz, our VP of Behavioral Health, learned more about critical ways to support our staff in the high demand work we do and how the impact of the stress affects motivation, quality of work, and job satisfaction.
And then came the inspiration!
First, thousands of committed, passionate professionals showed up in Nashville to learn, to network, to share, and to lend a compassionate ear. Truly a testament to the behavioral health community’s might!
Then there were the moments that lifted us…that put the extra spark in us to keep going and do more!
Casey had a truly emotional experience listening to Mei-Ling Hoshing, a survivor of the Parkland school shooting, share her story and call us to action, honoring the voices of youth and addressing the disparities in our communities.
Joan, Robin and I were so fortunate to be right up front for the incredibly impassioned presentation by the Honorable Patrick J. Kennedy, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and one of the nation’s leading political voices on mental illness, addiction and other brain diseases. Amidst some self-deprecating humor and personal stories of his fight with addiction, he tackled the issue of parity and access to care for those struggling with mental illness and addiction. He spoke forcefully, even angrily at times, about this public health crisis and the lack of attention and resources directed to it. He has founded The Kennedy Forum and DontDenyMe.org to take this issue head on.
Surely a productive and meaningful few days for the four of us…information, inspiration, and yes, the shared experience of music, boots, and BBQ!
The Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) is a multidisciplinary team of all systems that respond to sexual violence in Dutchess County. The team consists of partners in county government, victim/survivor advocacy, sexual assault forensic exam providers, law enforcement, prosecution, clinical sex offense-specific treatment, probation, and local colleges. The multidisciplinary model of SART is a visionary collaboration to ensure that no matter where a victim/survivor discloses their sexual assault, the response is consistent, victim/survivor-centered, and trauma-informed. SART is founded on the ethic that victims/survivors of sexual assault have the right to make their own decisions related to their medical care and their involvement with the criminal justice system while interacting with a team of respectful, educated responders.
For the past year, the SART Coordinator has been working collaboratively among partners to develop a county-wide protocol for response to sexual assault. This month, SART Steering Committee is submitting the final draft of protocol to the Dutchess County Department of Community and Family Services for approval. SART Protocol describes a standard of care to be provided to victims/survivors, provides a clear point at which every victim/survivor is connected to advocacy services, and outlines the roles of SART partners.
Our family programs provide critical services to parents and throughout the Hudson Valley focused on nurturing, safety and support. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and Pinwheels for Prevention symbolize this nationwide campaign. Without safe and stable homes for children to grow up in, we have no future. Every action taken to support families makes a difference!
Actions can be as large as writing to a Legislator to advocate for funding for family programs, or as small as offering to babysit for a friend. Sometimes it’s nice just to offer a smile or supportive comment to a parent who’s struggling to manage a child’s behavior in the grocery store. A simple gesture of support can make a huge difference for someone who is overwhelmed. At our Family Education Centers in Kingston and Middletown, you will see pinwheel gardens popping up throughout the month of April.
May is Supervised Visitation Month acknowledged with an orange ribbon, a bright and bold color to symbolize the need for communities to take notice that there are thousands of children in need of these services. Family Services are members of the Supervised Visitation Network, a multi-national network of agencies and individuals who are interested in assuring that children can have safe, conflict-free access to parents with whom they do not reside.
Some of the children who need these services live in foster homes or with relatives. Some live with one parent who is estranged from the other. No matter the circumstance, children deserve the opportunity to spend time with their parents. Our family program centers offer these services in a family-like setting with professionally trained family educators. Our educators ensure the physical and emotional safety of all family members while also providing parent coaching and support before, during and after visits.
The Poughkeepsie-Arlington Rotary Club invited our CEO, Brian Doyle and Director of Development, Whitney Humphrey to present highlights of the many ways in which Family Services works to Provide Hope, Improve Lives and Strengthen the Community. Brian and Whitney shared news of program expansions in Youth Services and Victim Services, an update on the renovated Gymnasium and new Urban Park at the Family Partnership Center, and Family Services expansion into Behavioral Health, through consolidation with Hudson Valley Mental Health.
Family Services Visions of Hope & Healing is an annual event in recognition of Crime Victims Right’s Week, where survivors, advocates, criminal justice partners, and the community of supporters, come together in a celebration of strength to ensure that victims are treated with dignity and respect.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Family Services is joining the campaign to raise public awareness about sexual violence and educate communities on how to prevent it.
Please join us on April 25th as we recognize the Arnoff and Rossi Families for their commitment to our community! This signature event not only recognizes two incredible families, but also raises funds to support the work of Family Services throughout Dutchess, Orange and Ulster Counties. For more information or to purchase your tickets, please click here.
You don’t want to miss this special evening!
Family Services’ 2019
As we move closer to the completion of the merger of Family Services and Hudson Valley Mental Health, we welcomed Dr. Elizabeth Bradley’s fascinating presentation on Social Determinants of Health at our January 31st Report to the Community! Dr. Bradley’s message was particularly relevant to our impending merger as she clearly “connected the dots” for so many of us. Dr. Bradley’s research revealed how the long term health of a person can be drastically influenced by such factors as exposure to violence, poverty, racism, housing instability, and family dysfunction, to name just a few. These are all issues that Family Services and our partners in the Family Partnership Center address every day. And so, our linking with behavioral health services is a perfect opportunity to find ways to prevent or mitigate these destructive social determinants of health.
We are grateful to Dr. Bradley for bringing this topic to light in such stark and brilliant terms. We are also pleased we were able to recognize the community strengthening efforts of longstanding community partners: retired Family Court Judge Joan Posner, Barbara Sorkin and Sam Busselle, all of whom have spent their careers improving our community. Finally, we thank the nearly 300 people who attended our event, in support of the wide array of work we continue to do throughout the Hudson Valley:
National Professional Social Work Month is in March and this year’s theme is ELEVATE SOCIAL WORK. Every day, nearly 700,000 social workers across the nation act as advocates, therapists, educators and leaders who make our society a better place to live. Family Services and Hudson Valley Mental Health are proud to have many social workers as part of our team, impacting thousands of lives throughout our community.
For generations, social workers such have worked tirelessly to improve lives. These social workers include Labor Secretary Frances Perkins, who pushed for a minimum wage and Social Security; Nobel Peace Prize winner Jane Addams, who is considered the mother of social work; Civil Rights leaders Dorothy Height and Whitney Young Jr.; and Ambassador Wendy Sherman, who helped broker the Iran Nuclear Agreement. You may not realize it, but social workers are everywhere, including the majority of programs at our agency! For example, Sharon Grenley, clinical supervisor at Hudson Valley Mental Health, helps place people on the path to recovery; and Kathy Peluso, Coordinator at the Center for Victim Safety and Support trains advocates and students to help victims heal. They are in schools, helping students overcome issues that prevent them from getting a good education, and they help to prevent child abuse and neglect. They also help children find new families through adoption.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, social work is one of the fastest-growing professions in the United States, with 100,000 more social workers expected to enter the profession in just seven years. Still, this year’s theme – Elevate Social Workers – is not just about discussing the success of the social work profession. Despite the life-affirming, invaluable work that social workers perform, their salaries tend to lag behind that of other helping professions such as nurses, high school teachers and policeman. The services of social workers are needed now more than ever before as the nation grapples with issues such as income equality, the opioid crisis, the environment and continued struggle for equal rights for all. National Professional Social Work Month is an opportunity for social workers and their allies to turn the spotlight on the profession and highlight the important contributions they make to society.
During Social Work Month I hope you will take time to learn more about the profession and support the work of social workers in improving the lives of individuals and families and our communities. To learn more visit https://www.socialworkers.org/Events/Campaigns/Social-Work-Month.
Family Services is the lead agency for the Regional Sexual Violence Prevention (SVP) programming in Dutchess, Orange, and Westchester Counties. As part of the Center for Victim Safety and Support, the program uses evidence-based curricula to address behaviors and attitudes towards sexual violence on both an individual and community level. Sexual Violence Prevention initiatives include promoting a healthy school life and a healthy nightlife.
SVP is excited to announce we have successfully brokered a partnership between Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY and Monroe-Woodbury High School in Central Valley, NY. This partnership offers high school students the opportunity to earn college credit for successful completion of a bystander intervention skill building course. Family Services piloted this program with 31 Monroe-Woodbury High School students in Fall 2018 and received excellent feedback from students and staff at Monroe-Woodbury High School. We are offering the credit bearing version to students in the Spring 2019 semester. It is our goal to replicate this model in high schools across the counties we serve.
We also trained agency and partner staff within the three counties in December to work with staff in alcohol serving establishments. Our trainers will educate bar staff by means of a multisession bystander intervention course designed to promote safety in their establishments and a healthy nightlife for customers.
What an absolute exciting time it has been at the Family Partnership Center! We have welcomed new partner tenants to the FPC Family and continue to see the mighty impact we have on our community in so many different capacities.
At the Family Partnership Center, we are committed to excellence in everything that we do. With the addition of the FPC Steward to the team, we determined that the best way to understand the needs of our partners and address them effectively is to provide opportunities for feedback and discussion. In December of 2018, the new FPC Steward, Kellie Wofford, developed a survey that targeted four main areas: 1) Partner Satisfaction 2) Determining Collaboration Effectiveness 3) Understanding Partner’s Challenges 4) Identifying Opportunities for Improvement. According to the survey results, 70.7% either agree or strongly agree that they are satisfied with their space at the Family Partnership Center.
As a result of our team listening to what our partner tenants had to say, we took action and immediately began to implement improvements. One major improvement was making changes to the heating and cooling of the building and more changes will come.
This past January, we conducted a brainstorming session with partner agencies to review information and feedback gathered from surveys we completed. As a result of this session, we are all geared up and ready to make more changes that will prove to not only continue to satisfy our partners, but will assist us in our continued ventures to meet the needs of our community and clients.
Representatives from MidHudson Valley Federal Credit Union presented our Development Director, Whitney Humphrey with an award representing their generous sponsorship of our annual Family of the Year Awards Dinner.
TICKETS ARE NOW AVAILABLE!
Please join us on April 25th a we recognize the Arnoff and Rossi Families for their commitment to our community! This signature event not only recognizes two incredible families, but also raises funds to support the work of Family Services throughout Dutchess, Orange and Ulster Counties. For more information or to purchase your tickets, click link below. You don’t want to miss this special evening!
Family Services’ 2019
A heartfelt THANK YOU to our friends at IBM and throughout the community for making the season a little brighter for so many families through our Adopt A Family Programs.
“Denise consistently demonstrates that she cares a great deal about the Family Education Program, the clients we serve and the work we do. When children and parents come to our site, she is there to greet them with a smile and anything to help them feel comfortable…a cup of coffee, a snack, a toy form the basket in her office. She tunes in to the feelings of our clients and goes out of her way to make sure they have the best experience possible.”
Family Services’ 2018
On Thursday, October 25th, on the eve of what would have been his 75th Birthday, Family Services honored the legacy of our longtime friend and unparalleled community organizer, John Flowers, with a dedication of a special sculpture installation at the Family Partnership Center.
We are pleased to announce the Public Policy and Education Fund of New York has joined the FPC team! The Public Policy and Education Fund of NY and New York State of Health offers certified, unbiased and free Navigators. Navigators can assist clients apply for Medicaid, Child Health Plus, Essential Plan and find affordable Health Coverage, for children, families, individuals and small businesses. Welcome Tracey Givens-Hunter, Certified Health Care Navigator Manger, and Maryleen Moyer, Certified Health Care Navigator!
Family Services’ 2018
Family Services is committed to the health and safety of our clients, community partners, and employees throughout Dutchess, Orange and Ulster Counties. In the face of Coronavirus concerns, it is our goal to provide uninterrupted delivery of services that our community and clients have come to rely upon. As state and local guidelines continue to evolve, we will identify alternative standards of care as necessary. Please visit our Facebook page for the latest updates on how Family Services is responding.
If you don't feel well, or choose not to visit our agency programs during this time, please remember that we, and valued community partners, have 24-hour hotline service available: