September 2018 Newsletter

 

The Work
By Brian Doyle, CEO
Having just celebrated Labor Day I am taking this opportunity to applaud members of our Family Services workforce to whom we owe great thanks.

Labor Day was established as “a day to celebrate the contributions that workers have made to the strength…and well-being of the country”. So, too, Family Services employees strengthen our community and the people of the community.

As I have said many times, everyone who works at Family Services contributes, in one way or another, to the overall mission of the agency. Whether it be our facilities staff, finance department employees or other administrative, support or supervisory staff. Everyone is “part of the whole” that has an extraordinary impact on the lives of those in our community.

In this column, I pay special tribute to those on the very “front lines” of our work – those who every day work directly with the children, families and individuals served by our various programs – Youth Services, Family Programs, Victim Services, Community Safety, Prevention, the Family Partnership Center.

The work of the victim advocate who meets, once again, with a domestic abuse survivor who is not yet ready to leave her offender can be tremendously frustrating and exhausting. Couple that with the exasperation that advocate experiences when the justice system falls short of holding the offender accountable and one can understand how that staff can feel totally drained.

The staff in our Teen Resource Activity Center and Elementary after School Programs, every day, provide care, nurturing and mentoring to kids many of whom face considerable challenges in their day-to-day lives. Helping a girl whose recent poor behaviors tell you, squarely, that she is contending with considerable adversity in her life. That she needs your support is not
something you can leave behind easily at the end of the workday. Such worries go home with you.

Helping the parent who may be at risk of losing their child to out of home placement is an incredibly emotional experience for the Family Educator trying to assist that family in staying together despite the odds.

The clinicians working with victims of sexual abuse are privy to heartbreaking stories of pain and loss, which can undeniably take a toll on those who do this work every day.

These are only a few examples of what it takes to do the work of helping people see their own strengths and achieve their own personal victories despite the hurdles in their way. There are many other examples whether it be in the work of SNUG, our Forensics programs, at the Family
Partnership Center, or elsewhere.

Of course, along with the difficulties associated with the work, there are also many rewards especially as employees see the individuals with whom they work draw on their inner strengths to achieve success!


Special Thanks

Family Services is grateful to the many friends who are supporting The Family Partnership Center Gymnasium and Urban Park Project. Thank you New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Dyson Foundation, McCann Foundation, Nuhn Foundation, Louis Greenspan Trust, Linda and Steven Lant Family Fund, and Ulster Savings Bank. Together we are renovating the gymnasium and creating an outdoor park so that youth have access to a safe, clean and fun place to play!

Brian Doyle, CEO of Family Services accepts a donation from Valerie Belton of Ulster Savings Bank.


Program Spotlight

TRAC
(Teen Resource Activity Center)

The Teen Resource Activity Center (TRAC) has been a safe haven for adolescents in the City of Poughkeepsie since 1999. Serving more than 200 teens each year (ages 13-18), TRAC offers a free, supervised place for youth to come afterschool during the school year or during the summer at the Family Partnership Center (FPC) where there is gymnasium and large auditorium. Here is one of the program’s success stories where the staff of TRAC impacted a young men’s substantially.
Tyzhaun Catts came to the TRAC program in September 2017. He was 18 and senior at Poughkeepsie High School. Tyzhaun had lost his mother to an illness when he was 10. He left his father’s home because he didn’t want to follow his father’s rules. After a brief absence from school he decided to go
back. Tyzhaun has always struggled academically because of developmental delays. He had an IEP and received special services from the school. Tyzhaun began to hang out with the wrong crowds and was in several altercations, one resulting in him being stabbed. He was going through a court case at the time and had to pay restitution for his crime. He told staff that he was not going to pay the fine; he was just going to jail because he felt like he needed to go away and get his mind together. Once staff heard this, they went into overdrive and strategies were planned. Staff ensured he paid the fine and then began to seek resources and options that were available. Tyzhaun finally began to see that the way he was living was going to either get him imprisoned and/or even worse get him killed. With staff’s assistance, Tyzhaun applied to Glenmont Job Corps and was accepted. Staff still checks in on him, often calling him and having long conversations. He is doing well and continuously thanks TRAC for saving his life.

By the Numbers
45,000/110,000

Within the walls of the Family Partnership Center an estimated 45,000 individuals are served annually with a minimum of 110,000 service interactions!


Staff/Volunteer/Interns

Yasmin Torres has been a visitation monitor for Family Services Supervised Visitation Program at Dutchess County Family Court for many years.  She works closely with Family Court staff to ensure that children are able to safely visit with their non-custodial parent.  Yasmin has made it her life’s work to protect children and make the world a better place for them.  Congratulation to Yasmin for publishing her first children’s book!

“Bella wonders, ‘Do I matter?’ Her parents have separated. She now lives with her daddy and she is confused. She just wants to see her mommy. No one seems to be listening to her. Have you felt like Bella? Bella wants you to know, you DO matter.”


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