2021 November/December


A Note from Our CEO

Upended, Still Resolute 

by Brian Doyle

Upended is how it often feels like these days! There are countless ways that the Coronavirus has had continuing and extraordinary consequences for all of us and yet we move forward.

As a nation, we have suffered more than 750,000 deaths. Worldwide the number of people who have died is nearly 5,000,000. Incredible. Some have endured severe illness and for those who have “recovered” there have been lingering long term effects for which there is little explanation or estimated duration.

The disruption to personal lives has been enormous as we have seen increases in isolation, depression, anxiety, all of which have taken a yet to be measured toll. Our children have experienced loss of learning and social development that by all estimates may never be fully recovered. The world economy has been battered, supply chains disrupted, prices soaring. Businesses have been suspended, closed, or otherwise impacted by safety needs with workers losing their jobs and now, employers unable to recruit the personnel they need.

Like other organizations and businesses, Family Services has not been immune to this volatility. We have seen significant increases in turnover and greater difficulties in attracting candidates for some of our positions. This has put a strain on those employees who are taking on additional workload owing to vacancies. It has caused financial strains as we try to keep up with salary demands “in the market”.

While we struggle with these issues of turnover and vacancies, I have been particularly inspired and heartened by the efforts of our employees up and down the line, throughout the organization. Agency Leadership Team Members are tracking and responding to these challenges, with a sharp eye on such vital issues as sustaining quality services, upholding employee morale, and navigating enormous fiscal hurdles.

While there are never “perfect answers”, in the face of ambiguity, the Leadership Team has displayed tremendous creativity and unshakeable commitment to our Mission all in a climate of daunting uncertainty. I know Family Services is not alone as we face these hardships, but I cannot imagine another agency or business that is fortunate enough to have a more committed and fearless team of leaders. Click here to meet the Leadership Team of Family Services!

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful to them all.


Chris Pels, Vice President for Human Resources, Risk Management and Organizational DevelopmentGiving Thanks, Showing Appreciation, Retaining Staff During the Great Resignation 

by Chris Pels, Vice President for HR, Risk Management, and Organizational Development 

You’ve likely heard the terms “the great resignation” or “the big quit” to describe the incredible staffing challenges that we face across the nation. In the HR field, we have certainly been looking at the many creative ways we can recruit new staff to join our organizations – however equally salient has been the importance of focusing on staff retention. Below I wanted to share some of the ideas circulating in the HR space and my own thoughts on how we can retain staff during this trying time.

First – an easy one: Acknowledge the good work being done! I saw an article from Harvard Business Review that said that employees need 6 positive pieces of feedback from every one negative bit of feedback. It’s worth all of us thinking about what our ratio is of positive to negative feedback with the staff that work with us on a daily basis. A little positive feedback often goes a long way towards staff morale and belonging.

Second, ensure managers have the right training and philosophy on work. It’s been said 1000 times before but the most oft-cited reason that staff tend to leave an employer is their boss. Ensuring managers have training on policy and procedure and that managers are clear about the organization’s and their own philosophies around leadership goes a long way towards keeping staff from looking elsewhere.

Third, focus on wellness. Staff need to know that we care and need to know that we understand that there is nothing normal about the time we have living in right now. It’s important we emphasize that staff take time off as they need, they focus on their mental and physical health, and that staff find some way to turn as much of the chaos and stress related to work off at the end of a long day.

Lastly, connect values and mission to each person’s work. I’ve seen some argue that we’re not seeing so much the great resignation as much as the great realignment. Across the country, we have reflected deeply on our lives and asked important questions about how we want to spend our time. Every employer has a new found opportunity to draw a connection between their organizational values and mission and the values and missions of the staff who work there. We have a particularly strong case around values and mission in the non-profit space as the work and the people we serve are a particularly strong force for those who go in mission-driven organizations.

I have the privilege of meeting with a lot of prospective employees and a question I often get asked is – how would you describe the culture at Family Services? I usually answer this question in the following way – I start by saying that almost every new employee stops me at some point to say just how nice everyone is that works at Family Services. I usually follow this with the observation I’ve made over the last 8 years that the glue that holds all the diverse employees of Family Services together is a strong connection to our Agency’s mission. I can say at Family Services we’re truly blessed with staff who care so much about our mission that instead of having to worry about staff staying until 5:00 we usually have to focus on how to get them out the door as many would just keep working late into the evening. It has been said that if you find a job you love you’ll never work a day in your day – I think this sentiment is certainly reflective of nearly all of the dedicated staff at Family Services. That is certainly something to be grateful for and something to reflect on during this challenging time. Hopefully, some of the ideas above can drive us towards a brighter future at work in the year to come.

Program Spotlights

 SUNG and TRAC: Working Together for City of Poughkeepsie Youth 

  by Debra Long, SNUG Program Coordinator, and Keith Hudes, Director of Community Initiatives

We are very excited to share that as of Summer 2021, we have strengthened our work to support youth in the City of Poughkeepsie by further aligning SNUG, our Gun Violence Prevention and Street Outreach program, with Youth Services programming at the Teen Resource Activity Center (TRAC).

This TRAC program enhancement provides additional targeted interventions for high-risk middle and high schoolers. While our primary goal is to keep youth safe, we also aim to increase awareness of how cultural norms can lead to violence, giving youth the knowledge and skills to make changes in their lives that will make our communities safer and healthier for all.

We are partnering with the Poughkeepsie City School District to work with the Middle School and High School to support youth in school and in the evenings after school. We have established a team of Youth Outreach Workers who will work with youth during the day, provide Safe Passage following dismissal from school, and continue providing services in the evenings at TRAC. Through this alignment with SNUG, youth will benefit from increased adult mentoring, art therapy, music therapy, gun and gang violence prevention workshops, help with their homework, healthy socialization, a hot and nutritious meal each night, learn life skills, and engage in other exciting programming and event opportunities.

As part of this alignment, we moved our teen center to another area inside of the Family Partnership Center that is more conducive for delivering trauma-informed services. Our new TRAC space features high ceilings, natural light, inviting colors, improved internet access, and availability, and more!

 Community Fun at the Family Partnership Center

by Tanysha Casellas, Family Partnership Center Steward


Greetings Family Services & Partners – My name is Tanysha A. Casellas and I am your FPC Steward. I would like to thank everyone for the warm welcome I have received having joined Family Services in September 2021. Since I began as FPC Steward, I have been able to meet and collaborate with multiple partners both internal and external and explore ideas and opportunities to enhance our abilities to serve the community.

We were thrilled with the success of recent events and look forward to bringing our community even more events in the months to come. In October, the FPC hosted a sports ministry event organized by Street Katz and Revolving Door Inc. and we closed out the month with our annual Halloween event for children and families in the City of Poughkeepsie. We look forward to November’s Family Partnership Center Community Resource Fair, where partners inside and outside of the FPC will have the opportunity to reintroduce ourselves to one another and the community. And we are excited for our FPC Holiday Giveaway in December when we will partner with the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Department in remembrance of the late Sheriff Adrian “Butch” Anderson.

Want to learn more about resources available in the Family Partnership Center? Check out the FPC’s new digital resource for partners and clients.

Thank You to Our Facilities and Security Team!

We want to give a huge SHOUT OUT to our facilities and security team! Each team plays a pivotal role in keeping the Family Partnership Center safe and running smoothly. Our facilities and security teams prioritize the safety of all of our clients and partners, despite any adversity they may encounter. We are grateful for all of their hard work and thank them for taking care of everyone who walks through the doors of this critical community center.

A Look Back

Walk a Mile to End Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence 

On October 23rd, we hosted our 11th Annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event at the Poughkeepsie Galleria. THANK YOU to the nearly 200 people who came out to help spread awareness. The mall was filled with incredible energy and enthusiasm as we came together to stand against sexual assault and domestic violence in our community.

With the help of walkers, donors, and sponsors, we raised $69,698 to support the programs of Family Services that empower victims, educate youth, and prevent future violence.

Trauma-Informed Sexual Assualt and Domestic Violence Investigations Training 

In October, Family Services organized a training for Dutchess County Law Enforcement officers thanks to funding from Dutchess County. The “Trauma-Informed Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Investigations” training was presented by retired Chief of Police, Thomas Tremblay from Burlington, VT. Chief Tremblay is a national and international advisor and trainer for police, prosecutors, advocates, higher education, the military, and government. Throughout his distinguished thirty-year policing career, Tom Tremblay has been a passionate leader for the prevention of domestic and sexual violence – passion in which he imparted to our partners in the community.

Family Services offered two, 2-day training sessions in which officers from the Town of Poughkeepsie, City of Poughkeepsie, the City of Beacon, Village of Wappinger, East Fishkill, Hyde Park, New York State Police, MTA Police, the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office, and advocates from the Center of Victim Safety and Support attended. Bosch, the District Attorney’s courthouse dog also attended both sessions offering his calming presence for the attendees. Thank you to the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office for hosting in their training room.

 Halloween at the FPC 

 On Friday, October 29th, the Family Partnership Center hosted a Halloween Tent event for youth in the community. Partners were encouraged to decorate tables and hand out promotional materials, along with fun treats for families. The afternoon was filled with spooky fun and adorable costumes. Thank you to all of our partners who participated and helped make this Halloween memorable!

Upcoming Events

You are invited to Family Services’ newest event, Festival of Trees

Friday, December 10th, 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Saturday, December 11th, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
at the Poughkeepsie Tennis Club

Shop local artisans and enjoy holiday music and raffle prizes! And don’t forget to vote for your favorite tree….and maybe even take it home! Click below to get your ticket or learn how you can submit a tree or wreath for the Festival of Trees!


About Us 

Our Leadership Team
Our Board of Directors
The Family Partnership Center Agencies

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.

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2021 September/October Newsletter


A Note from Our CEO

Enhanced Parenting Time Program in Ulster County 

by Brian Doyle


I am thrilled that we are undertaking a new initiative in Ulster County that will further our work in strengthening families and ensuring closer ties between parents and their children.

When I think of the Agency’s name, Family Services, it recalls a central part of our work that has always been the case within this Agency and that is preserving families wherever possible.
While unfortunately, we do see instances where families in their current configuration cannot be saved owing to domestic violence or other destructive forces, it is heartening to know that there are many families facing obstacles that can, with proper support and encouragement, overcome those challenges and become closer and healthier.
This has been the goal of both of our Family Education Programs in Ulster and Orange Counties and now a new opportunity for our work to be extended has emerged.
Specifically, this Enhanced Parenting Time Program provides specific curriculum-guided skills for building healthy family relationships and aids in promoting the family goals of reunification for those who have been involved in the Ulster County Family Treatment Court.
Specifically, their families have been apart due to such issues as substance use disorder on the part of parents. Reunification of those families is pursued in a way that is carefully approached with great care utilizing a multidisciplinary approach. Our staff will be providing supervised visitation between parents and the children who have been removed from their custody and providing age-appropriate skill strategies and education to families with a focus on substance use disorder and how it affects a family. Our skilled staff will work with parents before and after each parenting time session to review the session and prepare for upcoming sessions.
Resources such as transportation, training, and support in the Ulster County Family Treatment Court as well as tracking progress and providing feedback about the parenting time sessions is all part of the work in preparing families and children as they return to the home. Work continues during this transition period and after the transition home for a minimum of three months making sure the family has the support necessary to ensure stability and continued long-term reunification.
What a fabulous opportunity this presents to our Family Programs which are skillfully and sensitively led by Nicole Wong, our Director of Family Support Services.
Having worked with families in situations like this early in my career, it has remained a part of my heart, and I am excited to see this extension of our Family Programs succeed for the parents, for the children, and for the overall community.

Casey Hons, Vice President for Operations

The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Domestic Violence  

by Casey Hons, Vice President for Operations  

Domestic violence (also referred to as intimate partner violence, or IPV) is, unfortunately, a common experience for many Americans. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:
  • 10 million people a year are physically abused by an intimate partner.
  • Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crimes.
  • 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men have experienced intimate partner violence, sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking during their lifetime.
  • On a typical day, more than 20,000 phone calls are placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.
  • 1 in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year, with 90% of these children being eyewitnesses to this violence.
Pandemics, economic recessions, natural disasters, and other crises can lead to increases in domestic violence for a variety of reasons. This past year and a half, the coronavirus pandemic has created several more barriers for individuals seeking a way out of these situations. Here are just a few of the reasons why this occurs.
More Time Spent at Home
If domestic violence was already a problem in a relationship, the pandemic has most likely made the situation worse. Once stay-at-home orders were implemented, many domestic violence hotline organizations prepared for an increase in the demand for services. However, many organizations experienced the opposite, some seeing significant drops in call volume. Experts in the field do not see this as an indication that domestic violence rates decreased, but rather that victims are unable to safely connect with services.
Financial Stress
Economic independence is critical in domestic violence prevention. For individuals who experience IPV, it can be increasingly difficult to leave a situation in which the abuser and the victim’s finances are intertwined, or when the abuser has total control of the victim’s finances. The pandemic has resulted in millions of lost jobs in the first half of 2020 and has especially affected women, people of color, and other marginalized groups. Although some government programs helped struggling families, many people still lost income, making financial independence difficult to achieve.
Increased Isolation
The stay-at-home orders cut off many individuals from their normal sources of social support. Those who are abusive can monopolize on increased isolation to keep power and control over their victims. Isolation is an effective tool to keep partners away from their support systems. During the pandemic, abusive partners did not have to work as hard to keep victims from meeting with family and friends who might notice that something is wrong.
As we continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to know that services are still available. At Family Services our dedicated staff at the Center for Victim Safety and Support are finding creative, safe ways to continue working every day to help those experiencing domestic violence, even if the path to safety and recovery is made more challenging.
24-Hour Hotlines
Domestic Violence Hotline: 845.485.5550
Rape Crisis/Crime Victim’s Hotline: 845.452.7272
Chat Line
By text: 845.583.0800
Monday – Friday from 9:00am – 4:00pm
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and there will be numerous opportunities for you to get involved in raising awareness about a crime that impacts so many of our neighbors. We invite you to join our 11th Annual Walk a Mile Event on October 23rd as we walk to shine a light on domestic violence in our community and ensure survivors have 24/7 access to safety and support. 

Program Spotlights

UPC Offers New Substance Use Prevention Program for Adolescents 

  by Cheryl DePaolo, Program Director of Ulster Prevention Council 

The Ulster Prevention Council is now offering Teen Intervene, a 2-4 session Evidence-Based program to address adolescent alcohol and other drug use in its early stages by providing education, support, and motivation to reduce substance use. This is a free service being offered virtually and in person to youth in Ulster and Sullivan Counties.
The model aims to meet teens where they are and recognize that some teens may not understand why they should change their behavior. Teen Intervene draws from various models proven effective in addressing substance use; including motivational interviewing, stages of change theory, and cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Teen Intervene is for teenagers who have experienced mild to moderate problems associated with their substance use. They may have been “caught” by parents, police, or others drinking or using marijuana at home, at school, at a gathering with friends, or at other places in the community.
Anyone concerned about a teen’s substance use can make a referral. Click here to download a program flyer to share. If you want to learn more about the Teen Intervene Program contact:
Jody Gboney, Prevention Educator
Office: 845-452-1110 x2233​
Email: ​jgboney@familyservicesny.org 

Sexual Violence Prevention: A Safer Hudson Valley 

by April Bourlier, Sexual Violence Prevention Regional Coordinator 

The world has changed considerably since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. As leaders in regional prevention, we know all too well the current epidemics that are threatening our communities as it relates to behavioral health, poverty, and gender-based violence. At Family Services, we pride ourselves in not only providing the highest quality support and advocacy services for victims/survivors, but we also understand the critical importance of prevention work, in addition to crucial response services.
The word prevention simply means, “the action of stopping something from happening or arising” and in this case, the Regional Sexual Violence Prevention program led by Family Services, is tasked with overseeing and administering multi-layered, community-level prevention work within our community to address and prevent gender-based violence. Family Services serves as the lead agency for the NYS Department of Health Regional Sexual Violence Prevention programming for Dutchess, Westchester, and Orange Counties, and supports the implementation of the Healthy Nightlife and Healthy School Life initiatives. Both initiatives focus on many different community components of prevention, including partnership and coalition building, policy work, environmental impacts, as well as evidence-based interventions. Within the Healthy Nightlife initiative, educators implement the Safer Bars curriculum that educates bar staff on positive bystander skill building to reduce sexual aggression in alcohol-serving establishments. Within the Healthy School Life initiative, middle school and high school students learn important lessons about the importance of boundaries, what it means to be an active bystander, as well as learn how to talk and discuss issues regarding gender-based violence.
The SVP Program is launching our exciting new media campaign this fall that directly aligns with our overarching goal of creating a Safer Hudson Valley. The goal of our Safer Hudson Valley campaign is to raise awareness among individuals and communities within the Hudson Valley with the goal of reducing risk factors and promoting protective factors related to sexual violence in the Hudson Valley. This campaign includes a landing page that highlights our work within the nightlife scene and our neighboring county school partners, engages and actively participates in social media to bring to light the importance of prevention, as well as an interactive “choose your own adventure” animation series that highlights the pillars of bystander intervention as it relates to real-life scenarios. As an enhancement to the SVP program at Family Services, our hope is this campaign starts to change social norms in our community by encouraging all bystanders to become empowered when they encounter gender-based violence in their daily lives.

A Look Back

Family of the Year 2021 

On Thursday, July 29 Family Services hosted our annual Family of the Year Celebration. This year we had the enormous pleasure of honoring Don & Jill Veith and the Ruge Family for their many contributions throughout the Hudson Valley.
The success of Family of the Year would not have been possible without the hard work of our volunteers and staff and the generosity of our sponsors, advertisers, and auction donors.  With their assistance, we were able to host a beautiful evening in the outdoor tent at the Grandview with nearly 300 of our friends.
Thank you to everyone who helped make the night successful, we hope that you will join us at next year’s Family of the Year (moving back to the spring on Thursday, April 28, 2022).

Teen Resource Activity Center Summer Basketball League 

This summer, 90 youth from our community participated in a 6-week basketball program at the Family Partnership Center. On August 18th, the championship game was held after weeks of hard work and fun. After the game youth were able to enjoy ice cream, a treat made possible by generous donors.
Thank you to our incredible staff that helped youth stay off the street, away from violence, and engaged in positive activities. We would also like to thank Heritage Financial Credit Union for supporting this program!

Celebrating 33 Years of Service

Happy Retirement Mary Turner 

Mary (Flannery) Turner joined the Family Services Family on September 9th, 1988. At that time, our agency was much smaller and the entire operation fit in a beautiful old home at 50 North Hamilton Street in Poughkeepsie.  It has been a pleasure and an honor to have Mary be part of over three decades of our story. Throughout her time at Family Services and the Family Partnership Center, she has held several key positions. For many years, Mary served as the Executive Assistant to the CEO, supporting management and the Board of Directors. Later, she took on the role of Facility Supervisor for the Family Partnership Center. In her most recent position, she has served as our part-time Receptionist, meeting and greeting staff and clients alike, as they entered the Family Partnership Center.
Mary has played an integral role in her 33 years, shaping Family Services and the Family Partnership Center at every step.  Mary’s versatility, dedication, and wit will certainly be missed, but we wish her the very best as she transitions into her next chapter and the exciting adventure of retirement. Thank you, Mary!

Upcoming Events

Join Family Services for our 11th Annual Walk a Mile Event on Saturday, October 23rd at the Poughkeepsie Galleria. For over a decade, we have walked as a community to eliminate sexual assault and domestic violence and show our solidarity with children, adults, and families who have been impacted by violence throughout the Hudson Valley.
This event is also an opportunity to raise funds that support survivors, educate youth, and prevent future violence. Meet us at Center Court at 11:00 am to help raise awareness and join in creating stronger, safer communities for all.
Visit our website to learn how to form a walking team, donate to an existing team, or support the event as a sponsor.

Support Walk a Mile Today

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 “2021 September/October Newsletter”

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


Find Us On Social Media

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

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

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.

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