The Science of Hope
by Joan Crawford, Deputy Executive Director, Family Services
On May 31st more than seventy people gathered in the Lateef Islam Auditorium at the Family Partnership Center. The audience was comprised of community members, parents, social workers, medical professionals, advocates, and scholars. We joined together for a film screening of James Redford’s film, Resilience: The Biology Of Toxic Stress And The Science Of Hope. I had the privilege of being the Master of Ceremony for this joint venture between the Resilient Child Fund and Family Services. The screening was followed by a compelling panel discussion with issue area experts from a variety of fields (including our own Amy Cole, Director of Family Support Services).
Resilience is a documentary that delves into the science of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and a new movement to treat and prevent toxic stress. ACE’s are stressful or traumatic events, including abuse and neglect. They also include witnessing domestic violence or growing up with family members who have substance use disorders, behavioral health problems or incarceration. ACEs are strongly related to the development and prevalence of a wide range of health problems throughout a person’s lifespan. Research has demonstrated a strong relationship between ACEs, substance use disorders, behavioral problems, and physical disease. When children are exposed to chronic stressful events, their brain development can be disrupted. As a result, the child’s cognitive functioning or ability to cope with negative or disruptive emotions may be impaired. Over time, and often during adolescence, the child may adopt negative coping mechanisms, such as substance use or self-harm. Eventually, these unhealthy coping mechanisms contribute to disease, disability, and social problems, as well as premature mortality. This is not mere speculation. There is irrefutable science that traces these changes and correlations.
As noted in the film by Dr. Robert Anda, the good news is, “what is predictable is preventable!” Having adverse childhood experiences does not mean all hope is lost. It means that we need early identification of ACEs, and early intervention to ameliorate negative impact. Family Services will continue to play a key role in the Hudson Valley to educate others about the impact of ACEs and design and advocate for programs and services to address the public health crisis caused by childhood adversity. The film highlights successful interventions including, home visiting programs to strengthen families, co-location of medical providers and behavioral health providers, and engaging school personnel. If you are interested in learning more, please feel free to contact me at: JCrawford@familyservicesny.org
Left to Right: DC Legislator Rebecca Edwards, DC Legislator Craig Brendli, DC Legislator Randy Johnson, SNUG Committee Member Jocelyn Smith-Lee, SNUG Committee Chairperson Herb Bullock, SNUG Program Coordinator Danny Hairston, SNUG Committee Member Joe Fields, SNUG Outreach Supervisor Curtiz Luck Simpson, SNUG Outreach Worker Antuone Babb, Antuone’s Son Elijah Babb, DC Legislator Barbara Jeter-Jackson
Gun Involved Violence Elimination (GIVE)
Family Services’ Gun Involved Violence Elimination (GIVE) program, in collaboration with the City of Poughkeepsie Police Department is working with children and parents in our community to prevent gun violence and gang involvement. GIVE utilizes the evidence based Phoenix Curriculum, a proven motivational interviewing (MI), and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) model that reduces resistance, builds student participation, and guides the process of change for increased self-efficacy.
On June 2nd, the GIVE program hosted a “Wear Orange” event featuring food, fun and education in the Family Partnership Center’s Gymnasium. 50 community members from Poughkeepsie, Beacon and Wappingers Falls joined Family Services in wearing orange to raise awareness about gun violence. Why orange? Orange is the color that Hadiya Pendleton’s friends wore in her honor when she was shot and killed in Chicago at the age of 15 – just one week after performing at President Obama’s 2nd inaugural parade in 2013. After her death, Hadiya’s friends encouraged our nation to stand up, speak out, and wear orange to raise awareness about gun violence. Since then, orange has been the defining color of the gun violence prevention movement.
Upper Left: Jessica Wallach-Youth Services Coordinator, Alexiss Dandrade-Cancel-GIVE Specialist;
Bottom Left: Alexiss and youth from Beacon; Right: Daisy Lee-Krieger Afters School Program Site Supervisor, Alysia Green-Youth Services Program Assistant, youth from Poughkeepsie
By the Numbers
Gun Violence Rates Drop in the City of Poughkeepsie
The City of Poughkeepsie has seen a significant decrease in
incidents of gun violence:
In 2016 there were 16 incidents of gun violence;
In 2017 there were 6 incidents of gun violence;
and in 2018 so far there have been 2 incidents of gun violence.
The SNUG Program has played a significant part in this remarkable trend.
KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK KEEPING OUR COMMUNITY SAFE!
May Employee Achievement Award
Kate Guinan, Development Assistant
The Employee Achievement Award is an award that is given to a
Family Services employee who demonstrates exceptional performance and service and goes “above and beyond” his/her job description and exemplifies the mission and values of the agency.
Left to Right: Loule Gebremedhin-HR Manager, Kate Guinan-Development Assistant, Jean Calyer-Executive Assistant & Development Associate, Brian Doyle-CEO
Family Services’ 2018
Chief Executive Officer
Deputy Executive Director
Chief Financial Officer
Director of Center for Victim Safety and Support
Director of Human Resources and Risk Management
Director of Development
Director of Forensic Programs
Director of Family Support Services
President of Hudson Valley Mental Health
Director of Clinical Services for Hudson Valley Mental Health
Dr. Yugandhar Munnangi
Medical Director for Hudson Valley Mental Health
Director of Operations for Hudson Valley Mental Health
Our Partners at the Family Partnership Center
Community Voices Heard
Dutchess County Behavioral & Community Health
Dutchess Community College
Dutchess County Healthy Families
Flores Chiropractic Group NY
Hudson River Community Health Care
Hudson River Housing
Hudson Valley Mental Health
John Flowers Community Events
Mental Health America-Mel’s Place
Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson
Prime Health Choice
R.E.A.L. Skills Network, Inc.
Rebuilding Our Children and Community
Sadie Peterson Delaney African Roots Library
845-452-6088 ext. 3343