Careers & Internships | Compliance

August 2018 Newsletter


Chris Pels, Director of Human Resources and Risk Management

The Value of Good Connections
By Chris Pels, Director of Human Resources and Risk Management
One of the recurring thoughts that keep those of us in the HR profession up at night is how to keep people engaged or connected to their jobs. Why is engagement so important? Well for starters, Dale Carnergie found that employers with engaged employees outperform others by 202%. Research on engagement has also shown increases in productivity, reductions in absenteeism, and better performance.
So clearly engagement is important, but how do you create engagement? Although a lot of thought has been given and ink spilled in answering this question, I would answer from experience that the most important way to create engagement is to ensure strong connections to one’s work…
What exactly do I mean by connections?
  • A strong connection with the mission of the organization – a clear path between what you do and how that impacts the lives of others.
  • A great connection with the leaders of the organization – relationships built on trust between the people leading the Agency and the staff who execute the work.
  • A super connection to one’s supervisor – the key relationship or connection in great jobs is having a supervisor who supports you and wants to see you grow.
  • A powerful connection with your colleagues – you dig the people you work with and know they have your back.
  • An unwavering connection with the culture – the values, mores, norms, and behaviors of the place you choose to work are consistent with who you are and what you value.
If you have these connections in place you’ll not only get great results, but you’ll also be happy in what you do!

Recent Events

On July 18th, Randi Chalfin, Head Teacher and Marist Intern Noelle Snyder, hosted an Open House at the Family Services Children’s Center at Family Court for interns and supervisors involved with Marist College’s Marie and Rupert Tarver Summer Internship Program. The event was extremely successful and was a great opportunity to network and expand working relationships with other nonprofit organizations in Dutchess County. Representatives from Grace Smith House, Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie, Hudson River Housing, and the Poughkeepsie Farm Project were in attendance.


On Saturday, July 21st staff from the partner agencies in the Family Partnership Center came together for the Dragon Boat Race as the Partnership Paddlers. It was amazing to see everyone come together and have fun in support of a great cause for the community! Thanks to staff from Hudson River Health Care, Dutchess Community College, Family Services, and Dutchess County Healthy Families for joining in the fun and congrats to Habitat for Humanity Dutchess County for a successful event!


MTA Police Department received their Lethality Assessment Program training through Family Services Center for Victim Safety and Support staff. They join the 15 police departments throughout Dutchess County that are already part of the project to assess domestic violence situations on scene for risk of homicide and connect victims to services immediately.

Program Spotlight

Last month, Outreach Worker Antuone Babb completed facilitating his first group as a Certified Offender Workforce Development Specialist in cooperation with local Probation. Antuone is the only SNUG Outreach Worker in the state with certification to facilitate the “Ready Set Work” workforce development curriculum for those returning home from being incarcerated.
Ready Set Work! is a 20 hour curriculum that helps probationers with skill building and equips them to make choices which will lead to employment and to job retention and advancement. Along with the traditional job readiness content the RSW curriculum also includes: Assessments, Barriers and Resources, Legal Issues and Financial Incentives, as well as a module which focuses on the local One Stops, to encourage increased probationer use of this valuable community resource.
One of our SNUG participants, Emmanuel Stewart, who has been working with Antuone through our program, has been able to find and secure employment. As a result, Parole has noticed Emmanuel’s commitment and efforts toward working hard to better his life through working with SNUG and has granted him an early release from parole.

By the Numbers
In 2017, 47 volunteers worked side by side with Family Services staff to provide hope, improve lives and strengthen our community.

Family Services’ Center for Victim Safety and Support (CVSS) is looking for volunteers for the fall. As a volunteer, you will help with a wide range of projects related to providing comprehensive services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other crimes. Must be 18 years of age or older with an availability of 4 hours per shift.
For more information on this opportunity, please contact Kathy Peluso at or 845.452.1110 x3138.


Employee Recognition
Thank you Dan Carroll for all that you do!

“Dan provides hope through his grounded and kind presence in the midst of a crisis response center. He improves the lives of clients and coworkers through his dedication and eagerness to support others.”

Upcoming Events


Leadership Partner

Family Services’ 2018
Leadership Partner

Shop and Support Family Services

Please support us when you shop on Amazon at AmazonSmile and Amazon donates .5% of the purchase price to Family Services! 

Leadership Team

Brian Doyle
Chief Executive Officer

Joan Crawford
Deputy Executive Director

Natalie Borquist
Chief Financial Officer

Amy Cole
Director of Family Support Services

Leah Feldman
Director of Center for Victim Safety and Support

Whitney Humphrey
Director of Development

Martina Kardol
Director of Forensic Programs

Christopher Pels
Director of Human Resources and Risk Management

Kevin Hazucha
President of Hudson Valley Mental Health

Mark Sasvary
Director of Clinical Services for Hudson Valley Mental Health
Dr. Yugandhar Munnangi
Medical Director for Hudson Valley Mental Health
Casey Hons
Director of Operations for Hudson Valley Mental Health

Our Partners at the Family Partnership Center

Community Voices Heard

Dutchess County Behavioral & Community Health

Dutchess Community College

Dutchess County Healthy Families

Dutchess Outreach

Flores Chiropractic Group NY

Hudson River Community Health Care

Hudson River Housing

Hudson Valley Mental Health

John Flowers Community Events

Mental Health America-Mel’s Place

Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson

Planned Parenthood

Prime Health Choice

R.E.A.L. Skills Network, Inc.

Rebuilding Our Children and Community

Sadie Peterson Delaney African Roots Library
845-452-6088 ext. 3343

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