Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mary Ellen Still recipient of Leadership & Humanitarian Award

Dutchess County Courthouse, Poughkeepsie, NY, ...
Family Services offers our  congratulations to Dutchess County Probation Director Mary Ellen Still, who has been selected as the recipient of the 2011 Sara Tullar Fasoldt Leadership and Humanitarian Award

This award honors individuals who demonstrate extraordinary professionalism, personal commitment, and make a substantial difference in the lives of individuals’ involved in the criminal and juvenile justice systems.  Based on Mary Ellen's work, she certainly deserves this honor.

Family Services staff know that when agencies work together to coordinate and collaborate, we can make a real difference in the lives of those we serve. Mary Ellen Still provides leadership and wisdom to our combined efforts. We thank you for that gift, Mary Ellen.
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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

HVFCU Financial Services Raises Money to Help Community

Family Services wants to publicly thank the people at HVFCU Financial Services for their donation.

And, as much as we love the Poughkeepsie Journal, we have to correct their headline. HVFCU didn't raise this money for Family Services. They raised it to help friends and neighbors who need the services that FSI provides to our kids, victims of domestic violence and crime, young adults in need of job training, teen parents, and people who need some help getting on their feet.
Financial group raises money for nonprofit | | Poughkeepsie Journal: "Family Services recently received a $3,400 donation from Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, based in Poughkeepsie.

The money was raised during HVFCU Financial Services’ annual Member Appreciation Celebration, which featured antique appraisals and a silent action fundraiser.

Jeffrey Thatcher, director of HVFCU Financial Services, said in a press release, “It’s important to give back to your community, and this was a way for us to do that.”"
 Thank you, Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union! Your donation is greatly needed and appreciated. It will be put to good use.
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Friday, January 21, 2011

Walk a Mile with Family Services

What on earth do you have on your feet?!

The International Men's March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault & Gender Violence

There’s an old saying: “You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.”  Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® asks men to literally walk one mile in women’s high-heeled shoes.  It’s not easy walking in those shoes, but it’s fun and gets the community talking about a difficult subject--gender relations and sexual violence.

On April 30, 2011, FSI’s Crime Victims Assistance Program will host its first Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event at Marist College.

Walk as an individual or get your friends or club to register as a team. Have some fun as you compete in your red high heels. Get your girlfriends to cheer you on. It's for a great cause -- to raise awareness and funds to stop gender violence. More details to follow.

Everyone is welcome.  We are currently seeking sponsors.  Contact Sharon Doane 452-1110 x3127 or 

Like us on facebook or check back here for updates about walk registration and how you can participate!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Why is it so hard to fund teen parenting support programs?

Sue West, President
From Sue West’s Desk

There’s plenty of public controversy about teens having, or not having, babies – comprehensive prevention vs. abstinence-only education vs. the route many of our Hudson Valley communities take – no education. Then there’s abortion vs. adoption vs. parenting.

Passion and controversy usually prompt people to reach into their pockets to support an issue. So, I sit here wondering why it’s so difficult to find financial support for Family Services Teen Parenting Program. We’ve had to strip services back to the bare minimum and keep searching for grants, corporate sponsors, and donors to help.

In December I received a long letter from Krisken Lewis-Coward. She’s given me permission to share her story with you. Here are some excerpts from her letter.
My name is Krisken Lewis-Coward. I have been a client in the teen parent program for 5.5 years. I was 15 years old and pregnant when my guidance counselor at Arlington High School […] referred me to the program….[Krisken talks about her Family Services case managers and how they helped her]
…Birthing classes
…Referred my best friend when she became pregnant
…Encouraged me to make some goals and stayed on top of me
…Supported me when I got married and pregnant again
…Helped me find all the best help and information…benefited not only me but my family
My husband and I both work, I also attend school and we take care of our girls the best way we know how and I just wanted to express my appreciation for the teen parent program and its staff. They are great….The case managers all helped me if I couldn’t get to [my case manager] Jessica and they have all grown quite fond of my children.
I just want to encourage you to keep the teen parent program going for as long as possible.… Even though I have aged out of the program I still have a bond with the staff and program and I will continue to be active in volunteering and helping in any way shape or form that I can.
When any teen makes the decision to have her baby, she will need – well, everything! Information, advice, money, handholding, acceptance, cheerleading, celebration, smiles, someone to cry with, a place to live, baby furniture, a compass to navigate through the complex relationships of parents, baby’s father, his and her families, and friends and, and, and…. In Krisken’s case, five and a half years’ worth of support.

Krisken went on to talk about a career working with teens and her hope that she can afford to make a donation to support the Teen Parenting Program soon. She’s only twenty. She has a husband, children, job, and school to juggle. She’s doing well and we’re proud of her successes.

As I reflect on all of this, I have two questions for you. I’d love to read your comments below.
  • Why do you think it’s so hard to get funding for teen parenting programs?
  • Is there anything you can do to help?
All the best to you on this icy January afternoon,

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Watch Friday Night - Hope Survives: 30 Years of AIDS

On Friday, January 14 at 9pm ET/PT on CNN, Anderson Cooper will host a special one-hour broadcast Hope Survives: 30 Years of AIDS

Phill Wilson, President and CEO of the Black AIDS Institute, will join Sir Elton John, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Mo'Nique and others to provide insight and perspective on HIV/AIDS in the U.S., with a focus on stigma and the disproportionate impact of HIV on Black Americans and men who have sex with men. Phill will highlight pressing challenges and notable accomplishments, including the role of Greater Than AIDS - a new national movement to unite Americans on HIV/AIDS developed with the Kaiser Family Foundation.

As part of the show, CNN has filmed a montage with celebrities sharing personal "Deciding Moments" that changed how they thought about the disease and inspired them to get involved. As part of the Greater Than AIDS movement, hundreds of everyday Americans have already submitted their "Deciding Moments."

Greater Than AIDS is an unprecedented collaboration among a broad coalition of public and private sector partners united in response to the HIV/AIDS crisis in the United States. It is developed by the Kaiser Family Foundation  and the Black AIDS Institute  together with the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Ford Foundation, MAC AIDS Fund, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and other partners.

For more information, visit:

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Portrait of Inequality Video

Black Community Crusade for Children

Tomorrow Marian Wright Edelman of the Children's Defense Fund and Geoffrey Canada will announce new research on Black children. in crisis.

This is the challenge. Support Family Services and become part of the solution.

Monday, January 10, 2011

IRA Holders Can Still Make 2010 Charitable Distributions

If you're over 70 1/2  you can still make a 2010 charitable contribution from your IRA this month, January 2011. GuideStar offers this information and links for more details:
IRA Holders Can Still Make 2010 Charitable Distributions: "Persons aged 70� or older can again enjoy tax savings by making charitable gifts directly from their Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), thanks to a provision of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, which was signed into law December 17, 2010. The act also allows charitable distributions made from an IRA in January 2011 to be declared as 2010 gifts, should the IRA holder wish to do so."
By making a donation to Family Services, you are "Providing Hope. Improving lives. Strengthening Community." Thank you for all your support. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

OASAS Training - Working with Criminal Justice Clients - Feb. 3 &4

Workforce Development - OASAS Training: "Free OASAS-Sponsored Regional Trainings

The Family Partnership Center will be the site of a free two-day OASAS training for substance abuse treatment professionals.

Who Should Attend:
Professionals providing direct care in a substance abuse treatment setting, including clinical supervisory staff.
Professionals providing direct care in a criminal justice setting through drug courts, probation, or parole, including supervisory staff.
The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services’ (OASAS) Criminal Justice Unit will conduct a 12-hour training entitled “Working with Criminal Justice Clients” on January 18-19, 2011 at Johnson City Learning Center/BOCES, 500 Main Street, Johnson City, NY 13790, and on February 3-4, 2011 at Poughkeepsie Family Partnership Center, 29 North Hamilton Street, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601.

Training hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m. This seminar will cover Criminal Thinking from the perspectives of Cognitive-Behavioral therapies and the parallels between the thinking distortions that support addictive behavior and the thinking distortions that support criminality.

This training meets established standards for 12 hours of Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC Section 2), and Credentialed Prevention Professional/Credentialed Prevention Specialist (CPP/CPS Section 1) education and training. Participants are required to attend the full 12 hours of training to receive a certificate of completion. There will be no tuition charge for this training."

For more details and the application form click here.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hudson Valley Press Online Features the Family Partnership Center and REAL

Everyone likes to be the focus of good news and yesterday was a banner day for the Family Partnership Center and our partners! The Hudson Valley Press Online published two good-news articles that involve the Center.

The Wizards of Poughkeepsie cast on stage
The first highlighted the play "Wizards of Poughkeepsie" performed by youngsters in the Relationship Empowerment Affirmation Leadership (R.E.A.L.) Skills Network at the Family Partnership Center.  Over 800 elementary school children attended the December play which put a hip-hop spin on the Wiz to underscore the importance of college. You can read about the play and the other great programs R.E.A.L. offers here.

The second article identified the range of services available through agencies located in the Partnership Center.  From health care to teen parenting, battered women's services to literacy you can find what you need in a safe, convenient neighborhood center. You can read that article here.


Monday, January 3, 2011

NYBDC Foundation Provides Hot Meals for Kids

Image by Ordered Chaos
There's nothing worse than being hungry and many of the TRAC members count on having dinner with us.

Thanks to the NY Business Development Corporation (NYBDC) Foundation for their recent donation. Their contribution will help provide hot dinners for the kids at the TRAC Center.

TRAC - the Teen Resource Activity Center - offers City of Poughkeepsie youth a safe environment after school hours. At TRAC youth have many opportunities, including participation in community service activities, academic assistance, recreational activities, sports, mentors, volunteer opportunities and field trips.

The NYBDC Foundation asked NYBDC directors to identify community organizations that have "a direct and meaningful impact on the communities they serve." Thanks to director Carl Meyer who recommended Family Services.