July/August Newsletter


 A Note from Our CEO
by Brian Doyle
As we move through these sultry, summer days one would think that we all slow down and savor the beauty of summer. While we do appreciate this season, it’s hardly about slowing down. There are lots of Youth Programming opportunities at the Family Partnership Center, including the Boys & Girls Club’s Poughkeepsie Performing Arts Academy; R.E.A.L. Skills Network; Rebuilding Our Children & Community; Finish Strong for Wellness; Community Matters 2; Family Services’ Programming with Summer Camp, SNUG, TRAC and the Summer Youth Employment Program. All of these enliven the Family Partnership Center as we have experienced and look forward to more in the way of Youth Services, so desperately needed particularly in these times where our kids are challenged and need cool, constructive and fun summer opportunities.
Meanwhile, Vanguard Roofing has been contracted to replace our old and warn Family Partnership Center roof so that we can look forward to decades to come of being warm, dry and safe. MASS Design has been enlisted to complete the design, plans and specifications for what will be a world-changing look to the Family Partnership Center entry way. We will be seeing new program space, far better accessibility, a safer structure, and a welcoming visage to the surrounding community.
With all that said, we are also thrilled to be working with the Poughkeepsie Library District as they come to be part of the Family Partnership Center and provide great resources to the children and families in the north side of Poughkeepsie. (More to come on that and how the Library District will be strengthening and enlarging the presence of the Sadie Peterson Delaney Library).
So, while we are hoping our readers and supporters are enjoying a great summer, we are as well. With some time set aside for needed R&R, it’s hard for us to stand still as you can see from all of the activities around the Family Partnership Center.

 We Are Change Makers 
   By: Natalie Borquist, Chief Financial Officer  
Since 1879, Family Services has been a social change leader. We advocate for systems change to make areas like law enforcement, criminal justice, and healthcare more person-centered. We advocate for social justice, on the streets when necessary. We take an active role in creating legislation to effect social change. By effecting positive social change, we help individuals find the opportunity to lead their best lives.
Advocacy at Family Services takes on a variety of issues and in many different formats. We participate in committees and associations, we write and call our county, state and federal legislators, we draft legislation, we educate and inform our community stakeholders and partners.
We advocate each day by providing our program services for individual clients and their needs.
  • Victim’s Rights
  • Youth Services
  • Housing
  • Services
  • And more!
We advocate locally in the counties we serve by sitting on numerous committees impacting systems and community challenges.
  • Dutchess County Universal Response to Domestic Violence
  • Dutchess County Sexual Assault Response Team
  • Mid-Hudson Community of Practice, Integrated Ulster and the Trauma-Informed Care Collaborative
  • The Poughkeepsie Alliance
  • City of Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet
  • And more!
We advocate on a state and national level for behavioral health regulation reform, victim’s rights, youth services, and other high-level system reforms. Family Services is a member, and active participant, of various councils and associations that focus on this work. Here are just a few:
  • NYS Council for Community Behavioral Health
  • Community & Family Service Association of NYS
  • National Council for Behavioral Health
  • Council on Addictions of NYS
  • OCFS Advantage/Empire Provider Advocacy Network
  • CBHS IPA – Advocacy Committee
  • NYS Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • NYS Coalition Against Sexual Assault
  • And more!
As just one example of our advocacy efforts, this month, as our nation and our region are moving back to some pre-pandemic normalcy, we have found both the need and the opportunity to specifically advocate for the allowance of, and pay parity for, behavioral telehealth services. While many clients are ready and anxious to return to in-person visits with their therapist and medical provider, there are barriers that many of them face in doing so. This might include transportation, COVID anxiety, and childcare challenges to name a few.
Access to behavioral health services has always been an area of concern, and the flexibilities afforded during the pandemic highlighted how effective that telehealth services could be in the continuity of care and overcoming barriers to in-person services. We are seeing that the NYS behavioral healthcare system is hearing our voices, and system change is expected!

Program Spotlights

Universal Response to Domestic Violence 

  by Jenna Sarvis, Project Coordinator of URDV

The Universal Response to Domestic Violence (URDV) was established in 1994 with a mission to develop and maintain a coordinated community response to domestic violence. The URDV creates, implements, and monitors protocols among criminal justice, civil justice, law enforcement, and human service agencies working with victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. Before URDV was established, different systems were often working in silos, not always collaboratively, to create one victim centered response for the community.

Law enforcement partners are crucial to the success of a coordinated community response. Collaboration with law enforcement opens the lines of communications between agencies. This allows for better, more accurate information sharing and it reduces misunderstandings. An example of collaboration between URDV and law enforcement is the Lethality Assessment Program (LAP). LAP is an evidence-based response to intimate partner homicide prevention and has been operational in Dutchess County since 2014.

Through LAP, victims of domestic violence are screened on the scene by law enforcement. If a victim is at increased risk of homicide, the officer calls Family Services for support and encourages the victim to speak with an advocate. Police then follow up with the victim within 96 hours, showing the victim that advocates and law enforcement work together for their safety. We are proud to have partnered with 17 law enforcement agencies to train and implement LAP, resulting in 70% of victims staying connected after their initial connection on scene.

Collaboration leads to combining resources, knowledge, and skills to get the best outcomes for survivors. It improves survivor trust in the system and enhances survivor and officer safety. 

After the Bell Program 

By Stacey Greenberg, Associate Director of Youth Services and
Outcomes Management 

In June, the After The Bell program collaborated with Crazy Over ART on Tour. Crazy Over ART on Tour is a mobile art van that provides a creative environment to encourage and teach art to local communities with limited access to the arts. Through art, they promote self-awareness, imagination, as well as hands-on and visual experiences. We were excited to partner with them in expanding opportunities for artistic expression for our Youth at the Family Partnership Center.
Elementary school-aged youth engaged in a number of art activities including designing t-shirts, making birdhouses, and even beadwork. Our After the Bell Youth had an incredible time expressing themselves creatively and learning new ways to create art. We look forward to the Crazy Over ART van visiting again during our Summer Youth Enrichment Program.

A Look Back

Tree Arrington Mural Dedication

On Saturday, June 19th our community came together at the Family Partnership Center to witness the unveiling of a mural dedicated to the life and legacy of Theodore “Tree” Arrington.

Tree was an inspiration to all who gathered to celebrate his contributions to the community. Tree was a teacher, a leader, a change-maker who empowered everyone around him. His memory will continue to live on within the Family Partnership Center.

Bettina “Poet Gold” Wilkerson penned a beautiful tribute to Tree in spoken word. In reflections of Tree, the first words of Poet Gold’s poem impacted the heart and soul of all those who gathered:

There are those who preach from the pulpit
and those who preach on the street corner standing on boxes
But there is another, who spoke truth to power,
he wants to be remembered as “The Hoodlum Prophet”

We invite you to stop by the Family Partnership Center lobby to read Poet Gold’s entire poem and view the beautiful mural painted by Nestor Madalengoitia.

Hudson Valley Gives Day

On May 19th, Family Services once again participated in Hudson Valley Gives Day, a 24-hour day of giving designed to encourage people to give where they live. This year, the Family Services family had extra fun with the event as staff donated for the chance to win an ice cream party for their team and bonus vacation day for themselves. Congratulations to Margaret Maher from our Rhinebeck and Millbrook Behavioral Health Centers who was the big winner.

This year, with our community’s generous support, we raised $3020 to support the critical work of our programs throughout the community. THANK YOU!

Center for Victim Safety and Support Celebrates PRIDE

During the month of June, staff at our Center for Victim Safety and Support celebrated Pride and continued our efforts to create an inclusive and respectful environment for all who walk through our doors.

CVSS welcomed friends from the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center to share a training on Inclusive Pronouns as we strive to help all clients “Bee Free” to be themselves at CVSS. During the training, staff painted Bees and included their preferred pronouns within their work. This artwork now welcomes visitors to the Center for Victim Safety and Support, so clients and staff would know that they can “Bee Free to Share Pronouns at CVSS”.

Upcoming Events

The Family of the Year Awards Dinner is only a TWO weeks away! On Thursday, July 29 we are thrilled to honor the Ruge Family of Ruges Automotive and Don and Jill Veith of Veith Electric for the many ways they have contributed to our community.

Time is running out to get your in-person or virtual ticket to the event. The last day to purchase tickets is Saturday, July 24th. We hope that you join us at the Grandview (or from your living room if you prefer) to celebrate these wonderful families.


It’s not too late to share your congratulatory message with our honorees through digital ad or share your support for Family Services with an event sponsorship or donation to our auction.



Join Our Family Tree

By joining our Family Tree, you are supporting our vision of stronger, safer communities where our neighbors have access to critical resources when they need it most.

Support Family Services when you shop online

By choosing Family Services as your charity of choice through AMAZON SMILE, Amazon will donate .5% of all qualified purchases to Family Services.

Family Services’ 2021 Leadership Partner


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Continue reading “July/August Newsletter”

2021 May/June Newsletter


 A Note from Our CEO:
A Roof Over Our Heads and a Warm Welcome for All Who Enter Honoring the Legacy of Theodore “Tree” Arrington 
Brian Doyle
Tree Arrington was a leader and a change maker who challenged each of us to ask ourselves: What are we doing to help children in our community?  He faithfully served the children at the Partnership Center for many years and while his spirit lives on through the work of R.E.A.L Skills, for the past year his booming voice has been missed at the Family Partnership Center.
Please join us on Saturday, June 19th, what we now know to be Juneteenth, when Family Services and friends will unveil a mural dedicated to Tree’s legacy. This lifelike portrait was completed by the distinguished artist, Nestor Madalengoitia. The noontime ceremony will include remarks by those who knew and revered Tree and will be followed by further celebration at Mansion Square Park. Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day – is a holiday celebrating the long-awaited emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States.
Tree and his team at R.E.A.L Skills Network changed the lives of countless children. Tree had an inexplicable way of helping and empowering children—insisting that they find their own strength and their own voice, even in the face of the injustice and racism they might encounter. Tree was integral to the beginnings of the Family Partnership Center. He faithfully served the children at The Partnership Center for many, many years—also leading the Family Partnership Center, and for several years serving as an officer on our Board of Directors. Tree Arrington will be remembered as a teacher, leader, and most of all, a changemaker, never scared to step out and leave his mark.
This event has been planned for many months with the help of Cleopatra Jordan, who continues to lead R.E.A.L. Skills in service to the children; City Council Member Yvonne Flowers; Family Partnership Center Steward, Asher Leigh Boone and Tree’s loving wife, Sharon Arrington.

Are You Experiencing Stress? 
      By Robin Peritz            

Vice President for Behavioral Health

Are you surviving or thriving? Your mental health is as important as your physical health. People are incredibly resilient and will thrive in the face of adversity with the help of supportive families, communities, and peers. However, everyone experiences stress.  When it is affecting your life, health and wellbeing, it is important to tackle it as soon as possible because stress can lead to more serious mental health problems, like depression and anxiety disorders. While stress affects everyone differently, there are common signs and symptoms you can look out for:
  • feelings of constant worry or anxiety
  • feelings of being overwhelmed
  • difficulty concentrating
  • mood swings or changes in your mood
  • irritability or having a short temper
  • difficulty relaxing
  • eating more or less than usual
  • changes in your sleeping habits
  • using alcohol, tobacco, or drugs to relax
  • aches and pains, particularly muscle tension
  • feelings of nausea or dizziness
You can’t necessarily remove the sources of stress, but you can figure out ways to cope better with whatever comes your way. And decades of research suggest which steps are most likely to work.
Think about a stressor you would like to work on and plan some steps you will need to take to reduce it. Consider what you typically feel when you are stressed out. Why do you want to change? What are the emotions and physical symptoms you feel when stressed? Being aware of these symptoms allows you to have a better handle on your emotions as they are happening.
Have you heard the saying Rome wasn’t built in a day? The same is true for habits and ways that we are used to coping with stress. The reason they are often so daunting is because we often want immediate relief and set a whole year’s worth of expectations all at once. Let’s say that when you don’t get enough sleep you can’t concentrate and are short with loved ones. You know that you like to exercise and that when you do you sleep better and feel less stressed. You just have not done it lately. Try setting a small goal of exercising one or two times this week. Each week, evaluate where you are in your meeting your goal. Once you have taken one step, take another. Change is a marathon, not a sprint.  To help you get started, consider the 12-day Stress Reduction Challenge or the 10 Tips to Stress Less below.

Program Spotlights
Behavioral Health Centers

   by Kahli Mercik, Center Director Beacon Behavioral Health Center

In the midst of this global pandemic, the Behavioral Health Center staff have seen an increase in people who are struggling with behavioral health issues and substance use disorders.
Our commitment to our communities and the people we serve is to help them manage these challenges. One way is by providing accessible, reliable, trauma informed, culturally and clinically competent care for co-occurring disorders of mental illness and substance use disorder in our behavioral health clinics. We understand the importance for there to be no wrong door for people who are looking for help and support from a community agency.
In October and November 2020, our therapists, psychiatrists, and nurse practitioners in Dutchess and Ulster Counties trained with a Dr. Kenneth Minkoff, a leading expert in co-occurring disorders. Dr. Minkoff challenged and inspired the staff to be in the business of Hope and Helping.
We strive to have all of our services be:
  • Trauma Informed
  • Hopeful
  • Individual and/or family-driven
  • Empowering and strength-based
  • Designed to help people achieve their most important and meaningful goals.
We are excited about the journey that we are on to continue to enhance the experience of clients we serve in the Behavioral Health Centers and doing the complex work of providing treatment.
Dr. Minkoff encourages us to think of Hope as “Every person, including those with the greatest challenges, is inspired when they meet us with hope for achieving a happy, hopeful, productive, and meaningful life.” In order for our system to inspire people and families with serious challenges and multiple issues, we need to be in the hope business.

 Teen Resource Activity Center 

By Stacey Greenberg, Associate Director of Youth Services and
Outcomes Management

Youth Services Creates Music Studio in the
Family Partnership Center 

The youth who come to our program seek opportunities to express their creativity and knowledge, and asked for activities that are centered around music production and becoming entrepreneurs. To provide this resource for youth, TRAC was recently awarded $10,000 from the City of Poughkeepsie to create a music studio and purchase top of the line studio equipment including iMac computers, Ableton Love 10, Logic, Garage Band, Pro Tools and Mainstage. Youth have the opportunity to learn the skills necessary to create and edit music in a professional studio setting, using professional studio equipment.

Students enjoy creating their own songs, albums, and music videos. They write their own music score and lyrics and perform their own vocals. They learn how to put it all together into a completed song and many youth eventually want to create a full-length album. As often as possible, staff have brought in Poughkeepsie residents to help youth with production – local artists who have “made it” and are willing to share their success stories with youth for inspiration.

In our separate podcast studio, youth are able to promote their work and build networks with peers and professionals in the field. Our music program benefits youth as they gain early exposure to possible career choices. It provides artistic and creative outlets for youth to explore and discover healthy ways to express themselves and be productive.

A Look Back

Pinwheels for Prevention

Pinwheels for Prevention takes place every April to raise awareness about child abuse and educate communities on how to promote healthy child development. This year, Family Services’ Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), After the Bell (ATB), and Family Education Programs (FEP) participated in Pinwheels for Prevention.

Pinwheels represent the happy and carefree childhoods that all children deserve. They are a reminder that we all play a role in children’s lives. Children who are raised with safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments are more academically and financially successful and grow up to be productive, contributing members of their communities.

 Garden of Hope 

Throughout the United States, Crime Victims’ Rights Week is celebrated in April to honor individuals who have been victimized and acknowledge the professionals who serve them. This year, Family Services’ Center for Victim Safety and Support (CVSS) joined the rest of the country in celebrating this special week with activities from April 18-24.

During Crime Victims’ Rights Week, Family Services staff planted a Garden of Hope outside of the Family Partnership Center Annex to serve as a symbol of hope to survivors, letting them know they are not alone as we all continue to grow together. Special thanks to Aliviana and Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson, Inc. Troop 10122 for their support as it helped purchase mulch and beautiful flowers.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month 

During the month of April, Family Services Center for Victim Safety and Support and the Sexual Assault Response Team was excited to partner with local libraries in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Libraries throughout the Hudson Valley shared books that highlight sexual assault and survivors, while providing information about ways to access help within the community.

Participating libraries included the East Fishkill Community LibraryHyde Park Free LibraryPoughkeepsie Public Library District (PPLD)Millbrook Library, and Pleasant Valley Free Library. We thank them for their partnership as we continue to raise awareness within our community!

Thank you Marshall & Sterling, Feed The Children and Dutchess Outreach

Last month, Marshall & Sterling Insurance and Feed the Children worked together to coordinate a huge effort to provide food and hygiene items to 400 families in our community! With additional help from the team at Dutchess Outreach, many families in our community, including clients of Family Services, were able to stock their pantries!


Every day Family Services’ SNUG team works tirelessly with participants to reduce gun violence in Poughkeepsie through conflict medication, crisis intervention, and employment readiness. They never forget that it is important to have fun together too! Last Month SNUG staff and participants had a great time (and a lot of laughs) at a community skating event.

Upcoming Events

Now more than ever, our community must
come together in support of our neighbors

On Wednesday May 19th, Family Services is participating in Hudson Valley Gives, a 24-hour day of giving designed to inspire our community to give where we live. In times of crisis, essential organizations like Family Services are needed more than ever.

In these challenging times, we are focused on our vision of stronger, safer communities where everyone has the opportunity to lead their best lives. Our services have evolved to meet the needs of families in our community and we will continue to develop programming that helps our neighbors as challenges arise. Whether it is reaching victims through new and innovative partnerships, supporting clients through mental health crises, or providing opportunities for youth, Family Services is here when you need us.

When you give on May 19th, your gift goes even further by increasing our chances of winning cash prizes that will support more of our work. If you can’t wait until May 19th to support Family Services, that is OK⁠—you are able to donate through our website today.

Bookmark Our HVGives Page for May 19th

We invite you to save the date for our Family of the Year Awards Dinner on Thursday July 29th as we look forward to honoring Don and Jill Veith and the Ruge Family for the many ways they have contributed to our community. The event, to be held in the Outdoor Tent at the Grandview in Poughkeepsie or you can join us virtually.

To purchase your tickets or learn how your business can be involved in the celebration through sponsorship or auction donation, please click the links below.  We look forwarding to seeing you on July 29th.





Join Our Family Tree

By joining our Family Tree, you are supporting our vision of stronger, safer communities where our neighbors have access to critical resources when they need it most.

Support Family Services when you shop online

By choosing Family Services as your charity of choice through AMAZON SMILE, Amazon will donate .5% of all qualified purchases to Family Services.

Family Services’ 2021 Leadership Partner


Find Us On Social Media

Continue reading “2021 May/June Newsletter”

March/April Newsletter


 A Note from Our CEO:
A Roof Over Our Heads and a Warm Welcome for All Who Enter 
Brian Doyle
As I walk around the Family Partnership Center and see all of the wonderful activities and offerings, I am reminded, yet again, of the importance of the Family Partnership Center to all those who visit for a variety of reasons.
The on-going presence of in-person services for youth is inspiring as I see R.E.A.L. Skills, Boys and Girls Club’s Poughkeepsie Performing Arts Academy, and Family Services’ Youth Services all flourishing, whether it be dancing in the auditorium, creating art, or simply enjoying the athletic facilities.
Additional partners within the building continue to be there for our community. Dutchess Outreach provides good food to all who come from far and near to gain nourishment. It is great to see Dutchess Community College offering, once more, their many educational opportunities to young and old alike. And most recently, how encouraging it is to see person after person come into the Family Partnership Center to receive their COVID vaccinations from Sun River Health.
All of these and many more valuable activities, today and into the future, depend on the on-going sustainability of the Family Partnership Center. For that reason, this week we are embarking on our bidding process to secure just the right roofing contractor to replace the four roofs that shield these strong walls from rain, snow and other weather events. The four roofs include those for the main building, an intermediary roof, the gymnasium roof, and the auditorium roof – all of which have outlived their useful lives. I am also tremendously excited to be in the process of enlisting design consultants to further envision and define a new front entryway that will ensure the structural integrity of stairs and landings and grant full accessibility to those with mobility constraints and the many strollers that come in and out of the Family Partnership Center. Finally, this new entryway will create an aesthetically respectful and inspiring entry to the Family Partnership Center, replete with what we hope will be a glass atrium where exhibits and performances can take place in years to come.
All of this is challenging and yet it’s inspirational, as well, because we know that these improvements and others are central to how we are going to move this beautiful building into the future, being a Center that offers hope, joy and sustenance to the people of the surrounding community.


Start by Believing 
By Leah Feldman

In middle school, a friend disclosed to me that she had been sexually assaulted. The assault had happened a few hours earlier and she was visibly physically and emotionally injured. I was scared and confused. I took out the yellow pages and looked up ‘RAPE’. I found a hotline number and called it. The person who answered knew exactly how to help. She referred us to the hospital, and I helped my friend tell her parents so that they could drive us there.
Have you considered what your reaction will be if someone tells you they have been sexually assaulted? It can be overwhelming to think about how you would respond but here are some simple tips:
What to say:
“I believe you” – These 3 little words can make all the difference. Survivors are often doubted and blamed which can increase physical and emotional trauma and decrease the likelihood that they will seek the help they need.
“It’s not your fault”– It is common for survivors to blame themselves for the assault. Do not ask questions like “were you drinking?” This may cause further self-blame for the survivor.
“I am here to listen” – Let the survivor decide when they are ready to talk and when they are ready, listen.

What to do:

Respect the survivor’s decisions – During the assault, the survivor had power and control taken away from them and making their own decisions can help them regain control of their life.

Offer information – Provide them with information about their options and available resources. Family Services leads the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) which is comprised of the agencies responsible for responding to a sexual assault. This includes medical, emotional, and law enforcement support. The Family Services 24-hour Rape Crisis/Crime Victims hotline connects survivors, supporters, and community members to the SART.
Years later my friend told me how much my support had meant to her. The simple act of believing her and scanning the yellow pages, opened my eyes to how I could impact someone in their time of need. Little did I know I would end up working for the organization that saved my friend all those years ago.
We all play a part in supporting survivors. The simple answer is to Start by Believing. When you hear people blame a survivor or suggest that they are not being truthful, challenge those uninformed responses. Start by Believing and create an environment where survivors are safe and supported.
For more information on how to support survivors, or if you or a loved one need help, please reach out to our 24-hour Rape Crisis/Crime Victims hotline at 845-452-7272To learn how you can participate in April’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month Activities, keep reading our newsletter and be sure to follow Family Services on Social Media.

By the Numbers
10, 970 

Individuals served agency wide in 2020

During a challenging year, Family Services continued to bring people together to find the support they need, improving their lives through innovative and effective programming in Behavioral Health, Victim Services, Family Programs, Youth Services, Community Safety, and Prevention. We are grateful to our many collaborative partners, supporters and a dedicated staff who worked tirelessly to ensure that our neighbors had the support they needed when it was needed the most!

Program Spotlights
 Family Education Program 

Innovation and optimism have been two focal points for the Family Education Program this year.

Beginning in 2020, the Family Education Programs in Orange and Ulster County undertook a project to modernize the way we collect feedback from our clients, and, in turn, use their feedback to fuel improvements to the services we provide to our families. Our new digital survey is designed to gain a better understanding of our client’s experiences with the Family Education Program, including measures of our Team’s proficiency, professionalism, and ability to support the family in making positive changes. Through this process of capturing detailed feedback from the families we serve, we have identified areas to grow as a program, such as bolstering our evidence-based curriculum regarding adolescents and increasing programmatic consistency between Orange and Ulster County.

Almost a year has passed since the Family Education Program first adapted the Nurturing Parenting Program to virtual platforms such as Zoom to accommodate the “new normal” of COVID-19. Our Program is excited to be returning to limited in-home visitation. As of March 2021, our team will be entering clients’ homes to assess safety and wellbeing, assist with home maintenance, and provide face-to-face parent education. Our mission of strengthening and preserving families is as strong as ever.

Blue pinwheels, which symbolize Child Abuse Prevention Month, will be displayed at the Family Partnership Center in April to raise awareness on the prevalence of Child Abuse in our community.

Sexual Assault Response Team  

The Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) is a multidisciplinary team working to provide trauma-informed, victim/survivor-centered response to sexual violence in Dutchess County. SART brings together victim advocacy, medical/forensic providers, law enforcement, criminal prosecution, probation, clinical sex offender treatment, and college campuses to ensure a consistent and coordinated response to sexual assault. Last year, the SART team oversaw the community response to 78 cases of sexual assault.

In 2020, SART focused on establishing strong collaborations between first responders. Service providers and first responders held cross trainings which will continue throughout 2021. SART’s hope is that by strengthening these key relationships, it will lead to a consistent and victim-centered response for survivors countywide. Community awareness has been an ongoing focus for SART and has resulted in the creation of a mini pamphlet outlining victim and survivor’s rights, resources, and support services in Dutchess County. This year, SART will continue to build on our protocols by expanding our network to include community healthcare partners and increase community education through Sexual Assault Awareness Month activities.

A Look Back

Family Services’ 2020 Annual Report is now available online. Last year, our dedicated employees rose to every challenge and supported the Hudson Valley when it needed us most. Read highlights about Family Services successful programs and partnerships in the community.

To read our Annual Report, please follow the link here


On February 25th we held our first virtual Report to the Community Event. We were able to highlight our successes during a challenging year and talk about our upcoming plans for 2021. At this year’s event, we learned how trauma impacts our community and how we can work together to make a difference in the lives of children and families.

Weren’t able to join us for our Zoom event? We missed you and hope you enjoy watching the recording available on our You Tube Channel


Upcoming Events



Throughout the United States, Crime Victims’ Rights Week is celebrated in April to honor and acknowledge individuals who have been victimized and the professionals who serve them. This year, Family Services Center for Victim Safety and Support (CVSS) joins the rest of the country in celebrating Crime Victims’ Rights Week from April 18-24.  The 2021 Crime Victims’ Rights Week theme “Support Victims. Build Trust. Engage Communities.” aligns directly with our values and recognizes the victims’ rights movement ability to advance victim safety and offender accountability throughout the years.

At CVSS, we operate under the guidelines of a victim-centered approach, supporting victims’ rights, dignity, autonomy, and self-determination. Each year, we are inspired by the strength and resiliency of the individuals we serve. Through engagement in community initiatives like Universal Response to Domestic Violence Steering Committee, Sexual Assault Response Team, Human Trafficking, and ACE Task Forces, we uphold our commitment and engage systems to promote a victim-centered, trauma-informed approach in serving victims of crime.

CVSS staff members are working diligently to find COVID-safe ways to commemorate this important milestone throughout the week of April 18-24 and are looking forward to your participation. Check out the Family Services Social Media to stay informed on how we will celebrate.


Sexual Assault Awareness Month takes place every April to raise public awareness about sexual assault and educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence. This year, Family Services and the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) in Dutchess County have several activities planned.

SART is busy rolling out a new mini pamphlet, “What to do if you have experienced sexual assault” to agencies and businesses across Dutchess County. The pamphlets will soon be available in Spanish and distribution will continue throughout April and will include medical groups, private practices, pharmacies, libraries, hair salons and many other locations. In addition, during the week of April 5, lights on the Mid-Hudson Bridge will be lit up in teal, which is the color for sexual assault. We are also excited that several libraries in Dutchess County have agreed to display books related to sexual assault during the month of April in addition to sharing our new pamphlet. We also look forward to “Casual Conversations” with individuals who respond to sexual assault which we will share on Social Media in an effort to better educate our community on how we can work together to support survivors. Lastly, we are creating a denim quilt with statements from survivors of sexual assault that will be displayed on social media in recognition of Denim Day on April 28th.

We hope that everyone will join us to raise awareness about sexual assault during Sexual Assault Awareness Month and always.  Be sure to check out Family Services on Social Media to stay up to date on all of the month’s activities.

April 28th is Denim Day and we are asking our community to stand in solidarity with survivors of sexual violence by sharing photos of themselves rocking denim. Denim Day asks community members make a social and fashion statement by wearing jeans as a visible means of protest against the misconceptions that surround sexual violence.
For more information about Denim Day, visit www.denimdayinfo.org.


We invite you to save the date for our Family of the Year Awards Dinner on July 29th as we look forward to honoring Don and Jill Veith and the Ruge Family for the many ways they have contributed to our community.
Stay tuned for more information on the event page of our website. Soon you can learn how to take part in this exclusive event by attending in person or virtually and how your business can support as a sponsor or auction donor.


Join Our Family Tree

By joining our Family Tree, you are supporting our vision of stronger, safer communities where our neighbors have access to critical resources when they need it most.

Support Family Services when you shop online

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Family Services’ 2021 Leadership Partner


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January/February 2021


A Note from Our CEO:
Brian Doyle
“Mike Duffy was one of the first people I met when I came to Family Services. For weeks, every morning, when I came to work there was a man there already hard at work. Sometimes he had a paint brush, painting the trim on the third floor. Sometimes he would come up from the basement with wrenches and buckets. Regardless of what he was working on, he always greeted me warmly. Then suddenly he wasn’t there in the mornings when I arrived. I asked one of my colleagues what had happened to the nice maintenance man. She didn’t know who I meant. I asked around and someone figured out that I was referring to our Board member, Mike Duffy. Wow, was I impressed! Such a hardworking man, incredibly committed to the Family Partnership Center. Mike Duffy was the backbone of the newly formed Family Partnership Center, the physical plant and its ideals” – Joan Crawford.
The Family Partnership Center and its partners have stood strong together through the COVID-19 crisis, and we stand together now to pay tribute to a man who shepherded this great community center of hope to life – Michael Duffy, who passed away on December 30th
I, myself, came to Family Services in 2011, not having witnessed its infancy. At that point Mike had already moved on to nurturing new projects (The Community Boat House; Walkway Over the Hudson!!). But whenever I needed a historical reference or insight into this beautiful old building’s infrastructure, I would call Mike who made himself available, readily offering advice and encouragement. Many in our community counted on Mike to be there when needed.
Rob Dyson, Dyson Foundation Board Chair and longtime friend to Family Services recalls: “Years ago My wife (Emilie Dyson) came up with the idea of taking over a vacant school and creating a place where family services of all kinds could exist in one place. Realizing that this could take several paths, I asked Mike – ‘I need a guy who knows how to count’ to join up and insure this could work and execute the needed construction. He did and it’s still there and thriving in downtown Poughkeepsie”.
When Mike first learned of the project that was to become The Family Partnership Center, he had recently retired from IBM, adding with a chuckle, “and I just finished painting my garage floor for the second time! I was ready for a new project.” He dived into the emerging Family Partnership Center, a one-stop human service center, with an ever-increasing commitment. His talents were huge and varied, from engineering and construction, to finance, and administration. According to many, it always seemed that Mike was going to or returning from the most remote parts of the building – basement, boiler room, attic, as he infused his spirit into the building and mission of this building. Board member, Peter Leonard recalls “Mike was eager to join with people with different talents, always with a gentle smile that lived on the verge of a laugh. This led to his friendship with the charismatic community organizer Lateef Islam, a friendship that was an essential component of the wider collaboration that transformed human services in Poughkeepsie”.
In a letter to Mike from years ago, Brian Riddell, then Executive Director of Dutchess Outreach, perhaps, said it best in citing Mike’s selfless example of charity, clarity and fiscal responsibility. “You never lost sight of the PEOPLE who came here for help. It is a pleasure to salute a man who literally got down on his knees, to work, as likely to pray, for the success of the Family Partnership Center”.
Michael Duffy 1940 – 2020
We thank you for the many ways your shared your heart with our community. Your legacy will live on in the thousands of lives that are impacted inside The Family Partnership Center each year.


By Joan Crawford and Kait Rodriques
Family Services’ Center for Victim Safety and Support (CVSS) provides 24-hour, non-residential, comprehensive services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and other crimes. We operate under the guidelines of a victim-centered approach, supporting victims’ rights, dignity, autonomy, and self-determination. All services are free, accessible, and confidential.
As January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, we are provided with an opportunity to shed light on an issue that impacts 40.3 million people worldwide (hopeforjustice.org). The Department of Homeland Security defines human trafficking as the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. Different types of human trafficking include sex trafficking, forced labor, and domestic servitude.
It is important to know that human trafficking can and does happen in all communities, even in our Hudson Valley. Human trafficking is a crime that happens in cities, in suburbs, and in rural areas. Individuals victimized by human trafficking can be any age, race, or gender.
Though human trafficking can present in a multitude of ways, CVSS advocates are trained to assess for indicators of human trafficking, such as unsafe working and living conditions, complexities around immigration status, report of threats, abuse, fraud, and coercion, and other red flags. Staff at CVSS utilize an individualized victim-centered approach to combat human trafficking and offer specialized support. CVSS advocates understand the challenges around reporting human trafficking and seeking safety.
Family Services is part of the Dutchess County Task Force Against Human Trafficking, led by David Garcia (david.garcia@dfa.state.ny.us). True to the Family Services mission, and through unique collaborations with area hospitals, law enforcement, prosecution, and other resources, Family Services works with the Task Force Against Human Trafficking to provide wraparound, holistic, and quality services to victims of human trafficking.
If you or someone you know has been victimized by human trafficking, Family Services’ Center for Victim Safety and Support can be a resource. Connect with us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 845-452-7272.

By the Numbers
5766 Clients Served

Covid-19 has had a significant impact on our mental health this year. According to a recent survey by the NYS Office of Mental Health, 70% of individuals have had an increase in anxiety, stress and related symptoms due to the impact of the pandemic ranging from loss of job to changes in education. Family Services’ eight Behavioral Health Centers throughout Dutchess and Ulster Counties were a source of in person and telehealth support for nearly 5800 individuals in 2020, a year of crisis.

If you or someone you know needs help, our team of counselors and medical staff are available for support.
Schedule your appointment by calling:
In Dutchess County – 845.485.9700
In Ulster County – 845.486.2703 x4025


Program Spotlights

A new year brings new opportunities for SNUG to serve high risk youth as the needs of families and our community continue to grow. But one thing remains constant, SNUG’s ability to reduce gun violence by mediating conflicts, providing support to participants, and bringing the community together.
SNUG is excited to partner with Rhinebeck Bank – as staff and participants participate in weekly financial fitness. When individuals have a solid understanding of personal finance and investing, navigating the world can seem a bit easier. With the Financial Fitness Program, participants have begun to learn where their money goes, how to pay off debt, how to save. and how to apply the important lessons learned to real life. 
On January 30th, from 11:00am – 3:00pm at the Family Partnership Center, SNUG invites the community to the Take and Go Pancake Event.  This event is a time for community-building and celebration of the people who support our efforts to build brighter futures for the children and families we serve. Parents, students, friends, neighbors, staff, teachers, clergy, politicians, and all community members are invited to come and enjoy a delicious pancake breakfast. For more information, contact Debra Long at dlong@familyservicesny.org

Elder Case Management Program
A Component of our Center for Victim Safety and Support

The Elder Case Management Program serves individuals 60+ who have been the victim of financial exploitation, neglect, psychological abuse, sexual abuse or domestic violence. The goal of the program is to provide early recognition and intervention, intensive case management, community outreach, training and education, and to prevent further instances of abuse. 
Recently, the program completed the development of a new Elder Abuse Case Management pamphlet that will be distributed throughout the community. The program has connected with organizations throughout Dutchess County, in order to share program information and offer presentation of our Elder Abuse Case Management services to their staff. Program staff continue to research agencies, hospitals, assisted living homes and other community resources the elder population may connect with in order to grow our resource list and expand community outreach. To ensure we are providing comprehensive and holistic services to clients who connect with us for help, Family Services is coordinating an Elder Abuse Response Committee wherein organizations who work with individuals from the elder population can connect and share resources and trainings. If you are interested in being a part of the Elder Abuse Response Committee, contact Krystal Peters at kpeters@familyservicesny.org.

A Look Back

Thank you for your thoughtfulness and generosity this holiday season. You helped ensure our services remain available by contributing to our Giving Tuesday and End of Year Fundraising Appeal. You also helped make the holidays brighter for children and families throughout the Hudson Valley by providing toys, clothing, and food for those in need. The happy faces behind the masks below belong to youth in our After the Bell Program who received sports jerseys for the holidays from our friends at Family Ball Park Memories.

Upcoming Events

Save the Date for Family Services’ Virtual “Share Your Heart” Auction opening February 1st to benefit Youth Services Programming. These are tough times for children in our community – so many activities are cancelled, remote learning can be a challenge, and youth miss being with their friends. When you support the “Share Your Heart”  Auction, you help provide a safe space for youth at the Family Partnership Center where they can develop their academic, athletic, creative, workforce and social skills. Stay up to date on available auction items by visiting the auction page of our website here.

If you would like to contribute an item to the “Share Your Heart”  Auction, please contact Development@familyservicesny.org.


Join us on Thursday, February 25th for our annual Report to the Community Luncheon as we highlight our successes during a challenging year, discus how trauma is impacting our community, and talk about our upcoming plans for 2021.This year’s luncheon will be a virtual event and we invite you to grab your lunch and join us online from 12:00pm – 1:00pm.

Tickets to Report to the Community are FREE, but donations are welcome to support Family Services’ vision of stronger, safer communities where everyone has the opportunity to lead their best lives. Register by clicking the link below and prior to the event, you will receive an email with information to join our first ZOOM Report to the Community.

Join Our Family Tree

By joining our Family Tree, you are supporting our vision of stronger, safer communities where our neighbors have access to critical resources when they need it most.

Support Family Services when you shop online

By choosing Family Services as your charity of choice through AMAZON SMILE, Amazon will donate .5% of all qualified purchases to Family Services.

Family Services’ 2021 Leadership Partner


Find Us On Social Media