Press Releases


Brian Doyle                                                                       

Chief Executive Officer

Family Services

845-452-1110 x3100

Family Services’ Prevention Work with City Youth

August 22, 2014- Poughkeepsie, NY

With school soon to be back in session we will see the resumption of Family Services’ Teen Resource Activity Center (TRAC) school year program at the Family Partnership Center.

September will bring with it a new curriculum for TRAC, one that is geared specifically toward steering youth away from gang activity and substance abuse, two important areas in which Family Services hopes to make headway in keeping our kids safe and on a good life’s course. The use of the curriculum is being funded through a grant the Dutchess County Agency Partner Grant Program.

This program is open to all City of Poughkeepsie youth ages 13 to 18 and will use two nationally recognized, evidence-based programs – The SPORT PROGRAM and The Phoenix Gang Intervention and Prevention curriculum.

The SPORT PROGRAM is a strength based approach designed to increase health enhancing behaviors like physical activities, sports participation, healthy eating and getting adequate sleep while avoiding alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse. SPORT targets naturally motivating positive images to increase personal goal setting and improve multiple habits and positive self-identity. This program is designed to help youth look and feel more active, fit and healthy by have them 1) identify key behavior that enhance fitness and health along with habits that interfere with reaching fitness behavior goals and positive self-images 2) think of positive images in youth engaged in health promoting behaviors and desired images of themselves in the future 3) make a commitment to sit and track multiple goals to increase fitness and health promoting behaviors while avoiding fitness- harming behaviors, as well as increasing the number of times parents/ guardians talk with and remind their youth to sit and monitor short term behavior goals to improve their health, fitness and positive self-identity.

The Phoenix Gang Intervention and Prevention curriculum guides the students to develop self-efficacy in identifying and addressing the highest risk factors for substance abuse, violence, bullying, gang involvement, and other crime. In the case of this program, self-efficacy will include the ability to recognize high risk people, places, things, and situations, and have confidence that they can handle these risk factors effectively using their new capabilities. These new capabilities and skills include a range of coping options for avoidance, escape, refusal, gang resistance, and violence prevention.

Self-efficacy is a known key to successful gang intervention and gang prevention. To develop self-efficacy, the students will demonstrate competence in skills such as problem solving, problem avoidance, refusal and "escape" skills, coping effectively with their highest risk factors, asking for help from safe and supportive people, feelings management (self-monitoring and emotional intelligence), gang resistance, and impulse control.