As we all wondered if Spring would ever come our way, the month of April kept us busy on many fronts, even beyond the day in and day out work on behalf of the people and communities throughout Dutchess, Ulster and Orange counties.
Our record-breaking April 26th Family of the Year event was a great success, with many highlights. The 350 in attendance had a chance to learn more about our two sterling honoree families, the Lepore and Feldman families. Both Joe Lepore and Jeff Feldman spoke of their blessing as well as their commitment to community. Their gracious, thoughtful and humble remarks captured the rapt attention of the audience. The music was fun; both the silent and live auctions were full of winning items and experiences; and our terrific supporters were treated to a great opportunity to socialize and enjoy the hospitality of the evening! Many thanks to all who came or otherwise supported the event.
The evening also offered an opportunity for our guests to learn more about the work of Family Services, and its impact on the community, including one mother and child who were successfully reunited in large part owing to the intense support provided by our Family Education Program staff!
April saw yet another important development when the Board of Family Services and the Board of Hudson Valley Mental Health proceeded with their commitment to merging the two affiliated agencies into one fully unified organization to better serve the people who rely on us for support and services.
Both Boards voted to approve the official Certificate of Merger and “Plan of Merger” which address the legal, financial and operational changes that will take place such as listing the required changes to the Family Services’ Certificate of Incorporation. They also appointed all Family Services Board members to the Hudson Valley Mental Health Board and appointed all Hudson Valley Mental Health Board members to the Family Services Board. There will now be “mirrored Boards”, meeting together over the course of the year until the merger is complete by the end of this year.
With this planned merger, we are committed to combining our considerable areas of expertise in ways that can further improve the work of our talented employees. As just one example, we know that a person enduring or even witnessing domestic violence can have a lasting influence on one’s behavioral health. Taking into account such a “social determinant of health”, our behavioral health staff will now be in a better position to benefit from the expertise of our Victim Services staff and vice versa, all with the aim of helping the victim to overcome their trauma.
We are quite excited about the many possibilities unleashed by our coming together as one, united, agency and as we develop our plans further, we will continue to provide updates.
Quite an April!
The Family Services’ Family of the Year Awards Dinner took place on April 26, 2018 at the beautiful Grandview in Poughkeepsie. For almost 30 years, this noteworthy event has recognized and commended individuals who have made significant contributions to the community and whose ideals reflect those of Family Services by providing hope, improving lives, and strengthening community. This year, we were pleased to honor Jeff and Rona Feldman with the Quality of Life Award and Joseph and Maria Lepore with the Good Neighbor Award.
Thank you to the more than 350 Family Services’ closest friends – business and nonprofit leaders, community partners and supporters – who gathered together to make Family of the Year a huge success!
To see the program feature video and photos from the evening, please CLICK HERE
Family Education Program
The Family Education Program (FEP) provides home visits and parenting groups to families in Ulster and Orange Counties. The mission of FEP is to preserve, strengthen and empower families who are seeking support in staying together. We recognize the many challenges that parents and children face and we are committed to:
Helping families stay safe at home and in the community;
Improving family life by teaching skills that encourage cooperation, mutual respect and positive communication;
Supporting families in becoming self-sufficient and maintaining self-sufficiency;
Respecting and building upon the strengths and unique qualities of every family.
In January 2018, Family Education Program expanded its partnership and services with Ulster County to include an innovative family visiting component. Parents and family members who are required by Family Court to have supervised contact with children can be referred by their Ulster County Caseworker to our program. We provide parent coaching and support in a family-like setting with several visitation rooms that are stocked with games, toys and activities for children of all ages. Family Educators provide parenting education before, during and after visits and support all family members through the process of reunification. This new service is an improvement upon traditional supervised visitation services as it provides caregivers and children the opportunity to visit in a family-like setting that better nurtures their growing relationships.
For more information about Family Visitation services or the Family Education Program, please contact Amy Cole, Director of Family Support Services at 845-331-5641 or email@example.com.
By the Numbers 352
352 friends and supporters attended the Family Services’ Family of the Year Awards Dinner on Thursday, April 26th!
Every career step Antuone Babb now takes is to help open a door for others trying to turn their lives around.
Antuone, an outreach worker with the SNUG Program, just completed the intensive,180-hour Offender Workforce Development Specialist Certification through the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. This training will enable him to help individuals he meets through SNUG to find meaningful employment and better understand the importance of career planning. CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ARTICLE
Staff enjoyed a “Welcome Spring” potluck luncheon on Friday, May 4th. This luncheon was planned by the Wellness & Morale Committee of Family Services and Hudson Valley Mental Health.
Family Services is taking part in Hudson Valley Gives this year on May 16th! Hudson Valley Gives Day is a chance for people living in the Hudson Valley to give back to their community!
Why give on May 16th? HV Gives offers the opportunity to maximize your gift to Family Services through incentives throughout the day! A list of prizes can be found here: https://www.hvgives.org/prizes.
So mark your calendars for this awesome opportunity to join with others in the Hudson Valley and support valuable community organizations like Family Services! To see our Hudson Valley Gives page: please visit
As there is a mounting conversation around the country related to sexual harassment and the proliferation of gender bias, many organizations, businesses and agencies have good reason to look inward and take stock of how they respond to these issues. As others are examining such matters, this has been a discussion we have seized upon at our Family Services / Hudson Valley Mental Health Leadership Team Meetings over the past several weeks. We will continue to look at how we can further strengthen our efforts in preventing sexual harassment and eliminating gender bias.
In December of last year, County Executive Marc Molinaro and I co-authored an opinion piece in the Poughkeepsie Journal, citing the numerous publicized instances of sexual assault taking place in various places from Hollywood, to Washington, inside hotel rooms, boardrooms or newsrooms. In the article we urged the readers to take seriously allegations of assault, abuse and harassment by those in power. We applauded those courageous enough to emerge from the shadows and share their experiences despite all too often having previously been marginalized or made to feel ashamed. We went on to say that if we are ever to rid community of abuse and assault, we must first believe those brave enough to step forward and share their stories of trauma, telling those who come forward, “Yes, we believe you.”
So as we turn our attention to the gender-related work we have to do within our own agency, we will be scrutinizing a variety of aspects of the issue, some more nuanced than others.
We will be reviewing our current policies on the matter of sexual harassment. Are they clear enough and sufficiently known throughout the agency? Are there other organizations or agencies from whom we can learn as we seek to have the strongest policies possible, making ours a safe work environment?
What are our policies and practices, in instances when one of our employees might encounter sexual harassment during the course of their working with colleagues outside of the agency? Are we doing enough to prevent these issues? Are we strident enough in addressing such instances when they occur?
Beyond the matters of blatant sexual assault or harassment, what is the experience of our employees in the matter of more subtle but harmful gender bias, ways in which they may feel marginalized due to gender? Do all employees feel they have “a voice at the table”? Are their opinions and perspectives valued? Do certain “role assignments” pigeon hole people and obscure talents to be utilized?
One would hope that gender bias is not experienced here, in an agency that holds justice, respect and diversity as key values, but we are kidding ourselves to think that unconscious bias never plays a part in the way in which we interact with one another. The key to eliminating gender bias is to identify its roots, its manifestations, to discuss them and then to make affirmative efforts to eliminate them.
To that end, we will undertake agency-wide efforts to carry this important work forward – hearing from our employees, believing them (!) and joining together to ensure that voices are heard and full participation is embraced.
We would appreciate hearing how any of our partners and supporters are addressing this in their workplaces. I believe there are ways in which we can learn from one another.
Recognized by Dutchess Community College with the
Bridge to the Future Award
On Saturday, March 24th, Dutchess Community College hosted their Annual Foundation Gala where Family Services was honored with the Bridge to the Future Award. This award is given to individuals or organizations that distinguish themselves in working with others to enhance education, economic vitality, community wellness or civic responsibility in the Mid-Hudson Valley.
Danny Hairston, Coordinator of
Family Services SNUG Program
Spoke at the Poughkeepsie
Violence Against Youth Forum
on Saturday, March 24th
Danny was quoted as stating “it’s a gun issue but also a “mental health” issue and an “economic advantage” issue. When an act of gun violence occurs in the city, he said SNUG – guns, spelled backwards – dispatches a group of people who try to understand the complex reasons for which it might have happened, and if an act retaliation seems likely. To better understand gun violence, people need to think of it as a public health issue that is “transmitted” from “one person to another.”
CLICK HERE to read the full article in the Poughkeepsie Journal.
Family Services Teen Resource Activity Center (TRAC)
Collaborates with Local Music Program
Family Services Teen Resource Activity Center presented Music Night,
with JB’s House of Music, featuring performances by the Trash Pandas
and Laila Mach. With over 60 people in the audience, the evening was a successful kick off to our JB’s House of Music program.
For more information contact Jessica Wallach at 845-452-1110 ext. 3033.
Children’s Center at Family Court Assistant, Heather DiGiamo, worked on an expressive art project for her final Art Therapy class at Dutchess Community College creating a Mother’s Day project with the children in the Center.
By the Numbers 643
The Family Services Center for Victim Safety and Support provided services to 643 adult or child victims of sexual violence.
The Family Services Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) reviewed 80 acute sexual assault cases that presented across three hospitals in Dutchess County. Of those 80 cases, 48 (60%) were reported to law enforcement, which, fortunately, is well above the national average (34%). 49 cases (61%) included an evidence collection kit (or rape kit). 63 of the 80 victims (about 79%) were assaulted by someone they knew, be that a friend, family member, intimate partner/former intimate partner, or other acquaintance.
Randi Chalfin, Head Teacher, Family Services Children’s Center at Dutchess County Family Court was recognized by her peers for her outstanding commitment and dedication!
From left: Marsha Henderson, Family Services Payroll Manager/Wellness & Morale Committee member, Randi Chalfin, Head Teacher Family Services Children’s Center at Dutchess County Family Court, Brian Doyle, Family Services CEO.
Her nominator states “Randi constantly engages in professional development to deepen her understanding and intervention skills to support children and families experiencing traumatic events. She strives to create a nurturing environment and provides therapeutic art based activities that allow children to express themselves.”
WELCOME TO OUR TEAM!
New staff of Family Services and Hudson Valley Mental Health
took part in the March New Hire Orientation Program
HVMH – Victoria Britton, Clinician, BMHC; Michelle Cottle, Clinician, BMHC; Elizabeth Travis, Clinician, PMHC
FSI – Monica Idema, LAP Victim Advocate, CVSS; Ashley Sanchez, Bilingual Victim Advocate, CVSS; Naimah Muhammad, Family Educator, FEP Ulster and Lydia Diaz, PT Program Assistant, UPC.
Social Determinants of Health
by Briand Doyle, CEO
With 2018 well underway, Family Services and Hudson Valley Mental Health are moving along with the implementation of the robust Strategic Plan that was developed by both Boards and Leadership Staff in 2017.
A huge part of that work in 2018 will be to move toward the consolidation of Family Services and Hudson Valley Mental Health. For years, the two agencies have been closely affiliated, sharing many administrative services and with both Boards working together on areas such as finance, governance and auditing.
This merger is based on our commitment to providing the highest quality of services to the people served by Family Services and Hudson Valley Mental Health and a recognition that this one strengthened organization will best serve those for whom we provide services, as well as to the surrounding community.
As noted in the past, the unified organization will include a Behavioral Services Division and a Program Services Division with Kevin Hazucha as President of Hudson Valley Behavioral Services and Joan Crawford as President of Hudson Valley Program Services.
The full consolidation of the two organizations is expected to take place by the end of 2018.
One important outcome of the merger is that we’ll be able to focus and further magnify the extent to which health in general and behavioral health, in particular, is greatly influenced by social determinants such as domestic violence, street crime, family difficulties and poverty, just to name a few. These are areas in which Family Services has, for years, been working and so the merged organization is expected to be in a stronger position to address those factors that significantly influence behavioral health and behavioral health needs in a more holistic, person centered manner.
We are very fortunate that this consolidation is moving along with the help of various supporters and stakeholders such as the Counties of Dutchess and Ulster, The New York State Office of Mental Health and others. We are particularly privileged that the Dyson Foundation is providing resources to allow us to enlist the help of the New York Council of Nonprofits (NYCON) and others who have an expertise in such restructuring.
There are many complexities to this consolidation and as we tackle the various legal, licensing and fiscal issues we will also be closely examining the importance of messaging to the surrounding community of what will now be a unified and, we believe, stronger organization.
So please stay tuned for more and should you have, any questions do not hesitate to contact me, Kevin Hazucha, or Joan Crawford.
Public Gun Violence Forum Brings Community Together
with Sights Set on Change
On Saturday March 3, the community gathered at the Family Partnership Center to attend a public forum on gun violence organized by Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney. Approximately 250 people, including numerous students from local school districts, shared their feedback, their experiences and their recommended solutions with Congressman Maloney and those in attendance.
Family Services’ “Youth Services Corner”
TRAC Youth Receive Active Shooter Preparedness Information
Thank you to City of Poughkeepsie Police Sergeant Joe Ciardi for speaking with our Teen Resource Activity Center (TRAC) youth about what to do when faced with an active shooter situation.
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness month
The 2018 Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month theme was to remind each and every youth that they are good enough, they deserve to spend their time and energy as they wish, and they are ALWAYS worthy of a love that builds them up – especially love from themselves. Having youth remind themselves that they are worthy of positive love can help reduce the number of roughly 1.5 million high school students in the United States that are physically abused by dating partners every year.
TRAC youth created positive affirmations that help focus on the things they love about themselves.
Marist Social Work students helped the youth create their affirmations to be displayed during the month of February.
By the Numbers 27 Officers Trained in 2017
In 2017, 27 law enforcement officers received Lethality Assessment Program (LAP) training.
An additional 131 officers that had previously been trained received refresher training.
The Lethality Assessment Program is an evidence-based program that originated out of Maryland’s Network Against Domestic Violence in 2005. Utilizing research from Dr. Jacquelyn Campbell, the program involves training law enforcement to recognize the red flags of victims who are at a greater likelihood to be murdered by their intimate partner. Once identified as high risk for lethality, research shows that connecting victims to advocacy services like those offered through the Center for Victim Safety and Support, on the scene of an incident, can significantly decrease a victim’s risk for homicide.
So far in 2018, 16 officers in 2 departments have received training. By the end of March, the final 2 departments will be trained, resulting in 100% participation from Dutchess County Law Enforcement in the Lethality Assessment Program within 4 years of the program’s start date.
Leah Feldman, Director of Family Services
Center for Victim Safety and Support will be a panelist at upcoming panel discussion at Vassar College
Leah Feldman, MPA, has been working in the field of interpersonal violence since 2005 and began her work in Dutchess County at Family Services in 2009. Currently, she is the Director of the Center for Victim Safety and Support at Family Services, overseeing non-residential rape crisis, crime victim, and domestic violence services. In this role, she has been instrumental in partnering with the community to implement and manage evidence-based systems enhancement projects with multi-disciplinary teams. She was vital to the development of American Association of University Women (AAUW) Court Watch and is a member of AAUW. She participates in numerous local and statewide committees and boards and has a certificate in Leadership Coaching through the Leadership Practices Inventory. Her areas of interest include leadership coaching and development for women and young professionals. Leah is a certified fitness coach and Girls on Guard self-defense instructor. Leah holds a BA in Psychology from Siena College and a MPA in Public Administration from Marist College.
LEAN IN? OPT OUT?
WHAT’S A WOMAN TO DO?
Thursday, March 8, 2018
7 pm to 8:30pm
The Aula (Ely Hall) at Vassar College
Chris Pels, HR/Risk Management Director to Speak in D.C. at Non Profit Talent and Culture Summit Conference
Our own Director of Human Resources and Risk Management, Christopher Pels, Ed.D. has been invited to speak at this national conference. His topic will be “Harnessing the Power of Coaching and 360 Degree Feedback for Leadership Development”. Chris will talk about his experience in leading Family Services and Hudson Valley Mental Health Leadership staff through the Leadership Development initiative, involving 360 Degree Assessments, followed by effective coaching. Using the Kouzes and Posner’s Leadership Practice Inventory, Chris and other leaders within the agency spent several years utilizing this tool to enhance the leadership competencies of the managers within Family Services and Hudson Valley Mental Health. The presentation is intended to extend understanding of the role of Human Resources in facilitating and managing such a development program and to teach the basics of coaching and 360 degree feedback, all within a modest budget.
This presentation will engage participants and teach how to measure outcomes and evolve such a program as needs change within other organizations.
by Joan Crawford, Deputy Executive Director
Like many of us, I have a morning ritual. I wake up before my alarm clock rings (I’m not sure why I bother to set it each night, except for the fear of over sleeping, which I have not done in more than 20 years), I brush my teeth, I start the coffee, and I turn on the news. I listen to stories of natural disasters, murders, outbreaks of illness, corruption and tweets. I have decided to change my ritual. I worry that my cherished and cultivated optimistic world view is being altered by too much exposure to these kinds of events. In watching the news and scanning social media, I am becoming aware that my perception of the ratio of negativity to positivity in the world is being altered and I need to change that. I have decided to pass on the AM news and listen to Ted Talks with optimistic messages in the morning. I am doing this not only because I want to “feel” better, I actually want to “be” better.
On March 27th, 2017 the New York Times published an article called “Look on the sunny side of life”. It reviewed studies that have shown an indisputable link between having a positive outlook and health benefits like lower blood pressure, less heart disease and healthier blood sugar levels. I want all that. I also want these benefits to last. I spend at least a third of my time working, so my positivity needs to extend past my morning ritual and carry throughout the workday. A positive attitude in the workplace has significant benefits as well.
Barbara Fredrickson, University of North Carolina published a landmark paper about how positive thinking impacts our brains. Her findings suggest that positivity in the workplace enhances our ability to build skills, enhance productivity, improve outcomes, and develop resources that last a lifetime! Optimism influences how we approach our daily work lives and assists us in effectively meeting and mastering challenges in the workplace.
Family Services has long been committed to “Providing Hope, Improving Lives and Strengthening Community”. We approach our work from a strength based perspective, a way of viewing people as resourceful and resilient. This focus helps to create a positive mindset that builds on peoples best qualities, helps find strengths, and assists in building a worldview that is more positive.
I encourage all of you to think about ways in which you can bring more positivity, hopefulness and optimism into your lives and your workplaces.
Here are few ideas to get started:
Show gratitude – recognize others and say thank you
Focus on strengths – build others confidence
Balance negatives – don’t focus on a slight in the meeting, build your inner resilience by focusing on successes
Acknowledge steps to success – identify and celebrate incremental goals
Support your team – do your colleagues know you believe in them? Communicate your confidence in your team members
Thank you to all who came out to support Family Services at the Report to the Community Luncheon on Thursday, February 1st at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel.
Brian Doyle, CEO of Family Services, discussed our outstanding accomplishments of 2017 and what plans are in store for us in 2018.
Dr. Stephen Bavolek, recognized leader in the fields of child abuse and neglect treatment and prevention as well as parenting education, was the keynote speaker.
Top Left to Right: Dr. Stephen Bavolek, Kerry Eaton, Health Quest Chief Operating Officer, Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney. Bottom Left to Right: Brian Doyle, Family Services CEO & Barbara Jeter-Jackson, Dutchess County Legislator, Brian Doyle, Family Services CEO & Sabrina Jaar Marzouka, Commissioner of Dutchess County Department of Community and Family Services, Richard Mitchell, Esq., Family Services Board Chair.
The Family Services’ Family Education Program held a graduation for its participants in the Parenting Journey group on December 13th. Parenting Journey is an opportunity for parents to be nurtured and to develop as nurturing people, capable of making responsible and informed choices in rearing their children.The FEP team and program participants were joined by guests and the NEXIS team from Ulster County Department of Social Services (UCDSS). Participants lit a unity candle and walked down the hallway for the graduation march with their graduation caps.
On Friday, February 2nd, the Family Partnership Center hosted a Naturalization Ceremony where 145 people from 56 different countries were sworn in as US Citizens. The auditorium was filled with family, friends, and members of our community and government to congratulate and celebrate them.
Family Services’ “Youth Services Corner”
On January 20th, Family Services’ Teen Resource Activity Center (TRAC) held its second annual MLK Peace & Love Basketball Tournament and Community Day. The event took place in the Family Partnership Center Gymnasium and Cafeteria.
During this event, children and families enjoyed basketball and music by a DJ, participated in the Child ID Safety Program, ate pizza and ice cream, and had access to multiple community resource tables.
Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Peace is not merely a distant goal we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.” “The MLK Peace & Love Tournament brings our community together for an event the whole family will enjoy and supports the great talent of our city youth” said Jessica Wallach, Youth Services Coordinator.
By the Numbers 11,000 LIVES IMPROVED
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE COMPLETE 2017 ANNUAL REPORT
The Wellness & Morale Committee of Family Services collected
hats, gloves and scarves to distribute to those in need of a little warmth
A Review of 2017 and Look Forward to 2018
by Brian Doyle, Chief Executive Officer
2017 has been an astoundingly successful year for the work of Family Services. We have expanded our work in the community to include such things as a new Family Education Program in Orange County where we are working from our newly opened Middletown office to strengthen thirty families who are found to be in need of nurturing and support in order to benefit both children and parents alike.
In Poughkeepsie we launched the SNUG Program, a proven anti-gun violence initiative that is currently successful in eleven sites throughout New York State and whose early results are showing gains in the struggle to reduce or eliminate gun violence in the streets of this City.
A recently awarded contract with the City of Poughkeepsie School District gives us the opportunity for extending Afterschool programing to an additional 100 elementary school students adding to the programming that already exists in Clinton and Krieger Schools.
Through a partnership with Community and Family Development, an important City of Poughkeepsie based day care center, our Finance Office is providing back-office accounting, payroll and budgeting support in order to bridge some fiscal management gaps and contribute to the further success of this daycare program.
The Boards of Hudson Valley Mental Health and Family Services worked tirelessly throughout the year with Fairweather Consulting, a New Paltz based firm, to develop a robust Strategic Plan that asked important questions of our agencies and developed a path forward that promises further expansion of services as well as realigning the resources of Family Services and Hudson Valley Mental Health into what will be a consolidated agency – unified and providing greater cohesive services throughout the Hudson Valley. Specifically, the Boards of Hudson Valley Mental Health and Family Services voted to consolidate the two agencies into one so as to eliminate such duplications as exists with two Boards and to align to a stronger set of services.
Extensive study of Capital Development needs of the Family Partnership Center is underway and, furthermore a new Family Partnership Center Steward position will be created to provide guidance and support toward more collaborative efforts among the agencies calling the Family Partnership Center home.
Finally, the Strategic Plan calls for the creation of a Quality Improvement position within Family Services. This position will further ensure, for ourselves as well as our funders that the services we are providing in the various program areas (Youth Services, Family Programs, Prevention, Victim Services, Community Safety and the Family Partnership Center) are the very best that they can be.
So, as we end 2017 a year of success and greater fiscal health, we can look forward to 2018 and all that will newly unfold as we continue the work of improving lives, providing hope and strengthening community.
Best wishes for a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Blessed Kwanzaa and a Happy New Year.
Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul visited Family Services on Thursday, December 7th to tour the Center for Victim Safety and Support and host a press conference in the lobby of the Family Partnership Center. The Lt. Governor addressed the matter of sexual violence and the support and funding provided by New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services and the New York State Office of Victim Services to combat this issue and support victims.
The Family Services’ Family Education Program held an Open House on Friday, December 1st from 12pm to 2pm at their new office in Middletown highlighting the expansion of the Family Education Program into Orange County. Several friends from local government and other non-profits were in attendance.
Ulster Prevention Council graduated more than 300 students in the Too Good for Drugs program
“Too Good For Drugs” is a comprehensive and evidence-based substance use prevention curriculum that Family Services’ Ulster Prevention Council implements in partnership with Ulster County school districts. Prevention Educators apply interactive social games and activities to promote healthy decision-making. Students within Wallkill and Ellenville 6th grade classes recently took part in a 10 week prevention curriculum that focused on strengthening knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and skills to support drug prevention. The goal is to create a safe and supportive environment by establishing a healthy drug free foundation. Through the years, Too Good for Drugs has reached well over 1,000 students in Ulster County.
Family Services’ “Youth Services Corner”
The kids in the Clinton Elementary School Afterschool Program celebrated the season with a Harvest Pot Luck Festival on November 29th.
By the Numbers 171 FAMILIES
The Poughkeepsie United Methodist Church distributed Thanksgiving Baskets at the Family Partnership Center to 171 families. Catherine Close, Chairperson Missions/Outreach states:
“The people who received a basket appreciated the convenience of coming to this location where there were no stairs and where it was closer to their homes. We were able to provide a traditional Thanksgiving dinner to 171 families.
The staff at the Center were very helpful and had the room set up just the way we needed it.”
Family Services enjoys recognizing staff accomplishments!
The Family Services family keeps growing. Congratulations Loule and Family!
Family Services sends thoughts and prayers to Sutherland Springs,Texas and Manhattan, New York where many lives were lost through the recent horrific acts of violence.
Family Services sends thoughts and prayers to Sutherland Springs,Texas and Manhattan, New York where many lives were lost through the recent horrific acts of violence.
Our 7th Annual Walk-a-Mile in Her Shoes Event
By Natalie Borquist
Just a few weeks ago, on October 14th, I joined hundreds of community members at AllSport in Fishkill to participate in one of Family Services’ major community events – Walk-A-Mile In Her Shoes. Not only is this an important fundraiser for our agency, raising over $65,000, which helps to support the vital services provided in our community, but it is just as critical in raising awareness around an issue we fight everyday – Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Gender Violence.
As I walked the mile with my daughter, my 3-month old grandson (in pink booties to support the effort), and a friend I had brought along to share the day, I noticed an older gentleman in front of me, wearing some formidable heels. He was inching along and teetering with every step, and I thought a sprained ankle was imminent! He held the arm of his companion and walked that whole mile, and I was so inspired by his determination, and then wondered, “What inspired him?….Was someone in his life a victim of violence? His mother, sister, daughter, wife??” You see, it is not just women impacted by this violence, it is the all of the people in their lives who care for them, and it is our entire community that suffers.
The weather cooperated for our walk, the bagels, cookies, and coffee fueled the crowd, and the bouncy house amused the kids. And the speaker, Christine McFadden, a woman who had suffered horrific violence at the hands of her stepfather, brought tears to our eyes with her story of pain and ultimate triumph. She now shares her story as part of her healing and to bring awareness to those who will listen, that this violence must end, and we all have a part in making that happen.
Done in a playful way….where men actually walk a mile in women’s shoes….the event opens a dialogue around a difficult and “ugly” truth – Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Gender Violence is an epidemic…every 9 seconds in the U.S. a woman is beaten or assaulted…1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18! Please join us in the fight!
American Heating & Cooling, Architectural Door and Hardware, Christiana Glass, Dutchess Overhead Doors, Inc.,
Hudson Valley Community Center,
Mental Health America of Dutchess County, Rhinebeck Bank,
Rondout Electric, Rose & Kiernan, Inc.,
ServPro of Western Dutchess,
Troy Boiler Works, Inc., Veith Enterprises, Inc.,
Williams Lumber and Home Centers
6th Annual Trick or Treat Event at the Partnership Center
Staff and Volunteers from Family Services and the many partner agencies within the Family Partnership Center participated in the festivities of our annual Trick or Treat event.
Nearly 250 ghouls and goblins haunted the halls of the Center looking for treats.
They were not disappointed!
The smiling faces of our community youth went door to door and collected goodies in a safe, warm and friendly place.
Thank you to all who helped make it a great event!
By the Numbers
11th DAY, 11th HOUR, 11th MONTH
Family Services recognizes and appreciates the sacrifices made by so many brave individuals who have and continue to protect our freedom.
Joan Crawford, Family Services Deputy Executive Director was the keynote speaker at the SUNY Ulster “Started Here and Went Far” conference on Monday, October 16th.
This conference was created by the Human Services Department to show students that START HERE. GO FAR. is not just the College slogan.
It can become a reality for all who attend SUNY Ulster.
The kick-off of the coat giveaway will take place at the Family Partnership Center on Monday, November 6 and Tuesday November 7, 9am-1pm with registration at 8:30am in the cafeteria.