Friday, February 25, 2011

Join Us for a Black History Month Celebration

This event is being brought to our community by Real Skills Network, a positive youth development program run by Tree Arrington, a Family Services Board member.
Celebrating Black History Month
Saturday, February 26th  12:00pm - 5:00pm
Lateef Islam Auditorium  Family Partnership Center   
29 N. Hamilton Street  Poughkeepsie, NY 
  • Professional Lectures on Black Studies
  • Traditional African Dances & Drumming by J&G Consultants
  • A one woman theatrical production by Carolyn Evans called "Harriet Tubman"
  • Dances by M*Power Cultural Dance & Fitness
  • FREE Southern African Cuisine
  • Community Discussion led by Michael Gee
  • A Showcase of Talent
  • Youth Tribute to African American History: Readings by Project Thunder Youth & other local youth
  • Spoken Word by Gold
  • Interactive Capoeira Workshop with Graduado Azulao
Standing on the Shoulders of Greatness

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Employment Opportunity- Crime Victims Therapist

Join Our Dynamic Team!

Family Services’ Crime Victims Assistance Program is seeking an enthusiastic and dedicated full-time therapist to provide trauma therapy to adult and child victims of crime.  Job responsibilities include: providing assessment, individual and group therapy; crisis intervention; responding to hotline calls; providing in-services and community presentations on related issues.  Some on-call services are necessary.  MSW or MA with NYS license required.  Experience working with victims a plus.  

Send resume and cover letter to Sharon Doane, Director of Forensic Services: by 3/4/11. 

Have You Bought Your Raffle Tickets Yet?

Creative Commons License photo credit: alykat
You can win a three or four day Royal Caribbean Cruise to the Bahamas for two* or an iPad with 3G and wifi -- first and second prize for the Family of the Year raffle.

Tickets: $10 each or three for $25. To purchase tickets contact Jean Calyer at 452-1110 x3135

Drawing: 8 p.m., April 7, 2011 at the Family of the Year Dinner, Grandview. Winners do not have to be present.

*Sponsored in part by Hunt Travel. Airfare to embarkation site in Florida not included.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Officials: 'Bath Salts' Are Growing Drug Problem

Divine Kiss Salt Bath Image by Ancient Oils via Flickr

Law enforcement officials throughout the country are reporting that products promoted as bath salts have become prevalent as a drug of abuse. Bath salts have recently appeared in some of the same retail outlets that previously sold synthetic cannabinoid products such as K2 and Spice, and also are available via the Internet. Bath salts are abused as recreational drugs typically by injection, smoking, snorting, and, less often, by the use of an atomizer. Effects include agitation, an intense high, euphoria, extreme energy, hallucinations, insomnia, and making abusers easy to anger. Preliminary testing indicates that the active ingredients in many brands contain MDPV (3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone) and/or mephedrone.
The abuse of bath salts and similar substances appears to be increasing, especially over the past 12 months. As synthetic cannabinoids are scheduled in various locations, many of their users begin to abuse bath salts. In addition to bath salts, these products are marketed as bath crystals, plant food, and herbal incense. Numerous brands are marketed in all 50 U.S. states and via Internet web sites. Common brand names include Blue Silk, Charge+, Ivory Snow, Ivory Wave, Ocean Burst, Pure Ivory, Purple Wave, Snow Leopard, Stardust (Star Dust), Vanilla Sky, White Dove, White Knight, and White Lightening. In central Pennsylvania, these substances have been offered for sale under the brand name “Blizzard.” The Blizzard brand is described as a white, odorless, fine-grained powder similar in appearance to baby powder or flour. Many other brands are a tan or brown powdery substance.

These products are readily available at convenience stores, discount tobacco outlets, gas stations, pawnshops, tattoo parlors, and truck stops, among other locations. Packaging typically includes a disclaimer, such as “not for human consumption.” The various brands are sold in 50-milligram to 500-milligram packets. Prices range from $25 to $50 per 50-milligram packet. These products have been widely available in the
United Kingdom for at least several years. This year, a number of overdoses have been reported in the United Kingdom, including some deaths. A ban of bath salt products that contain MDPV went into effect in the United Kingdom on April 16, 2010.

Nationwide, male and female abusers of these substances range from teenagers to those in their 40s, often with an extensive history of drug abuse. Some abusers describe the effects as similar to methamphetamine, ecstasy, and cocaine, and one referred to the substances as “complete crank” while others used the term “fake cocaine.”

The genesis of this watch was originally posed as a SENTRY ListServ question on December 7, 2010. POC: SENTRY Management Team, or (814) 532-5888

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

After a presentation I had given to an eighth grade class, a female student came up to me and asked me if her boyfriend was abusive if he shoved her into walls during fights.  She also expressed other abuses that were occurring and told me that she never thought he was being abusive because she was the one that always made him angry.

This is an all too common example of teen dating violence.  Many people believe that abusive relationships do not exist among teens, but abusive relationships exist in all walks of life regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, ability, and religion.  In fact, one out of three teenagers experiences abuse in their relationships.  Yet the majority of teens who are physically abused continue to date their partner.  Unfortunately, just like that eighth grade student, many of these teens do not consider what they are experiencing to be abusive.  This is why education about teen dating violence is so important.  In recent years the Battered Women’s Services Youth Domestic Violence Prevention and Education Program had educated over 2,500 students in Dutchess County each year on the warning signs of abusive relationships.  These presentations are provided free of charge in middle schools, high schools, colleges, and community programs throughout Dutchess County, and Battered Women’s Services provides follow-up counseling for any student who wants it.

This January, the US Senate passed a resolution that named February as National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.  This resolution is a testament to the important work the Battered Women’s Services Youth Domestic Violence Prevention and Education Program has been doing in the community.  The Senate has recognized the alarming statistics that show the severity of teen dating violence.  Statistics such as:

  • One in every three teenage girls experience abuse in their relationship.  This is a far greater victimization rate than other forms of violence among teens.*
  • Nearly 10% of teens experience physical abuse from their boyfriend or girlfriend.*
  • Although most parents (82%) feel they can recognize if their child is in an abusive relationship, many parents (58%) could not correctly identify the warning signs.*
  • Many students who are in abusive relationships do not recognize their relationships as abusive.*
  • Relationships in which the pattern of violence started during adolescence are shown to have a greater severity of violence.*
Most importantly, the Senate has acknowledged that education is a key piece in the prevention of teen dating violence. 

           The following year, I had met the same student during another presentation as a freshman in high school.  She told me that she had dumped her boyfriend, and thanked me.  

Family Services' Youth Council
members Lindsey Graham and
Hayley Ferris working on the
Teen Dating Violence Awareness
Project at the Family Partnership Center.
For over thirty years the Battered Women’s Services Youth Domestic Violence Prevention and Education Program has done an incredible amount of work towards educating teenagers in Dutchess County about the dangers of dating violence, but there is always more work to do.  If you would like to discuss ways to help address teen dating violence, or if you are interested in having someone come and speak about this topic please contact Katherine Raynor, the Youth Domestic Violence Prevention and Education Coordinator, at 452-1110 x3344, or  If you are being abused in your relationship, or if someone you know is being abused, please call our 24-hour hotline to speak to a counselor: (845) 485-5550

For more information about teen dating violence, please visit

*Please visit for more information on this resolution.
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Monday, February 14, 2011

Saturday, Feb. 19, Slavery in the Hudson Valley

Here's an event worth traveling to Albany:
“… a weed that grows on every soil” 
a panel discussion and performance about slavery in the Hudson Valley
Saturday, February 19, 2011
3:00 P.M. - 5:00 P.M.
The New York State Museum
Michael Monasterial will present
stories about the life of an escaped
slave in the Hudson Valley
Join us for a panel discussion on slavery in the Hudson Valley with leading scholars and historians. The discussion will be followed by a performance detailing the life of an escaped slave who lived in Mount Gulian, N.Y.

This is program is sponsored by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the New York State Museum. Doors open to the Clark Auditorium, Concourse level at 2:30 p.m.

This is a free event celebrating Black History Month.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Win a Royal Caribbean Cruise or an iPad

Coat of arms of The BahamasBahamas Coat of Arms via Wikipedia
You can win a three or four day Royal Caribbean Cruise to the Bahamas for two* or an iPad with 3G and wifi -- first and second prize for the Family of the Year raffle.

Tickets: $10 each or three for $25
To purchase tickets contact Jean Calyer at 452-1110 x3135

Drawing: 8 p.m., April 7, 2011 at the Family of the Year Dinner, Grandview. Winners do not have to be present.

*Sponsored in part by Hunt Travel. Airfare to embarkation site in Florida not included.
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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Come Thank These Great Volunteers, Feb. 17, 4-5:30, Family Partnership Center

Sue West, President
From Sue West’s Desk

If you live in the Hudson Valley, I’d like you to join me on February 17 when Family Services will be honoring the volunteers who give of their time and talents to make it possible for people in the Valley to help themselves manage some of the toughest problems families have to face.
Every year we hold a reception to say thank you to Family Services’ volunteers. In addition, our employees nominate two volunteers to honor for outstanding service to the community. This year we honor Sarah Beaumont and Dennis Dean.
Volunteering comes from the heart, from the passion a person feels for some issue or the compassion they have for people in need.
Sarah’s passion is helping victims of domestic violence. For four years, starting as an intern, she has volunteered on the hotline, counseled victims, advocated for their rights, educated legislators, provided childcare so mothers attend the Battered Women’s support group, participated in teen dating violence prevention education for middle and high school students, and helped to train new volunteers.  And, that doesn’t count adopting a family at Christmas.
In addition to her time and energy, Sarah brings a special understanding and knowledge of working with women and children with disabilities. She has done all this while finishing college, establishing herself as a young graduate, and starting a career.
Dennis’s passion is Poughkeepsie’s adolescents – providing them not only safety, hot food, and recreation at TRAC every day, but nurturing and mentoring them so that they can learn to be good citizens and parents in the future. You may know Dennis as a TRAC employee, but his commitment far exceeds a paid gig. When funding for TRAC evaporates, as it did last October, Dennis volunteers. As he pointed out, if we closed TRAC’s doors, we would never get them open again. He made the commitment to keep the center functioning with the same high standards established with a paid staff.
I’d like you to join me in thanking Sarah and Dennis and the many other volunteers they represent. They are helping all of us as we cope with crises, challenges, and growing pains. I hope to see you there.

Family Services Volunteer Appreciation Reception
February 17, 2011 (Snow date: 1/24)
4:00 to 5:30 pm
Family Partnership Center Cafeteria
29 North Hamilton Street
No RSVP required

The Family Education Program of Family Services Inc.
The Nurturing Parenting®Program

The Nurturing Program® is a twelve week workshop for parents based on four core values:
  • Love of Life
  • Respect for All Living Things
  • Structure and Discipline
  • Laughter, Humor and Play
12 Weeks, beginning March 2, 2011
Wednesdays 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

Topics include:

  • The Philosophy and Practices of Nurturing Parenting
  • Ages and Stages of Growth for Infants and Toddlers
  • Ways to Enhance Positive Brain Development in Children and Teens
  • Communicating with Respect
  • Building Self-Worth in Children
  • Understanding Feelings
  • Understanding and Developing Family Morals, Values and Rules
  • Praising Children and their Behavior
  • Alternatives to Spanking
  • Learning Positive Ways to Deal with Stress and Anger

Groups will be held at 85 Grand St., Kingston  
Transportation will be provided (Kingston area only)

Please call 845-331-5641 for further information.

                                       Funding provided by NYSPEP

Friday, February 4, 2011

FSI Job Opening: Counselor/Advocate

Job Opening: Counselor/Advocate
FSI's Battered Women's Services seeks a caring and competent individual with a variety of skills to work with adult victims of domestic violence. BA in Human Services field preferred, but 3 years relevant experience will be considered.  Counseling, advocacy, crisis intervention, community organizing, public speaking, and related work experience preferred.  Experience in domestic violence and bi-lingual (Spanish) a plus. Applicant must be highly organized and committed to the mission of the agency. Position is part-time with benefits. Send a cover letter and resume to Danielle Massa, Program Assistant, at