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.



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Upcoming Events

Center for Victim Safety and Support – Adopt a Family
09/12/2023 - 12/20/2023    
All Day
For over a decade, the Center for Victim Safety and Support (CVSS) has brightened the holiday season for victim-survivors of crime in Dutchess County through [...]
50 Meaningful Miles
All Day
CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE MOVEMENT ! The 50 Meaningful Miles campaign represents the journey of overcoming hardships of something that feels impossible, and reaching [...]
Events on 09/26/2023
Events on 09/30/2023