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Cornell Cooperative Extension
Relatives As Parents Program (RAPP)
2715 Route 44, Suite 1
Millbrook, NY 12545
Phone: (845) 677-8223
Fax: (845) 677-6563

The Relatives As Parents Program (RAPP) was designed to encourage and promote the creation of services for grandparents and other relatives who have taken on the responsibility of surrogate parenting due to the absence of the biological parents. There are numerous reasons why grandparents and other relative caregivers are being called upon to rear children. But generally, they have one common thread: they are stepping in due to a family crisis. Relative caregivers report that they are raising children for many reasons, such as:

  • teen pregnancy
  • an adult parent’s substance abuse
  • financial problems
  • incarceration
  • death
  • homelessness
  • deployment

Coffee and Conversation Support Groups

RAPP provides accessible support groups and other supportive services to relative caregivers and the children in their care. RAPP focuses on the needs of a growing number of families with youth being parented by kinship caregivers, many of which are grandparents. The primary goal of the mutual support groups, or “Coffee and Conversation”, is to help the participants find an environment that provides comfort and safety for the expression of their successes and challenges as caregivers of relative children. The secondary goal is to assist caregivers to learn from and help each other (i.e. peer mentoring, informal care giving among families, etc.).

The outcomes of the support groups are to assist kinship caregivers in locating resources in the community to address financial, mental health, and legal issues; improve family relationships through access to educational resources and trainings; and for kinship caregivers to find comfort in expressing their successes and challenges in a safe and supportive environment. Twice a year the support groups will join together for special events: the winter holiday party and summer picnic. The purpose of these events is to provide encouragement and fun for kinship care families.

Inter-generational Activities

Inter-generational activities bring together individuals of different ages as partners to explore, study, and work towards a shared goal. These activities foster cooperation and promote interaction among generations including youth and older adults. RAPP Inter-generational activities are designed to improve family relationships, teamwork and communication. Some examples of previous RAPP Inter-generational programs are:

  • Annual RAPP Summer Picnic
  • Family Day at Camp Ramapo
  • Ellis Island Family Heritage Day
  • Grandparents Day Cruise on the Hudson River

Respite Events

The formal term for getting a break is respite. Many relative caregivers seek respite, but are unable to get it due to financial limitations and family stressors. RAPP provides respite to relative caregivers through a variety of events. Relative caregivers drop off the children who take part in educational and cooperative activities, while the adults take a break from the daily demands of parenting. Time away gives them a more balanced perspective regarding the family’s strengths and challenges.

A New York State Office of Children and Family Services Kinship Caregiver Program.

Abbott House
HEART Permanency Resource Center
100 Commerce Dr. Ste. 101
New Windsor, NY 12553
Catharine Raffaele, LMSW
Program Coordinator
Phone: 845-457-5030, ext. 3525

HEART – Helping Each Adoptive and Guardianship Family Remain Together Permanency Resource Center offers support and resources at no cost to families raising adoptive or guardianship children residing in Dutchess, Sullivan, Ulster or Westchester Counties. Our services include in-home counseling (child/caretaker), Trauma Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy,  advocacy, education assistance, recreation activities, support groups for parents and children, training for caretakers,  24 hour crisis telephone, and  referrals to community providers.

Funded by New York State Office of Children and Family Services

Adoptive and Foster Family Coalition of New York
Adoptive and Guardianship Assistance Program for Everyone (AGAPE)
Program Contact: Tomasine Oliphant,
108 Main Street, Suite 5
New Paltz, NY 12561
Phone: (845) 679-9900; (888)354-1342

This is a Permanency Resource Center (PRC) to serve post adoptive and post guardianship families. It cannot serve kinship families with custody or informal arrangements.

A New York State Office of Children and Family Services Program

Legal Services of the Hudson Valley (LSHV) (formerly Westchester/Putnam Legal Services)
147 Union Street
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Phone: (845) 471-0058, 1-877-574-8529
Fax: (845) 4710244

Legal Services of the Hudson Valley (formerly Westchester / Putnam Legal Services) has provided free, high quality civil legal services to low-income people. Our services help struggling individuals resolve urgent, non-criminal legal problems that can lead to larger social problems such as homelessness, child neglect and domestic violence. The result is strong communities where the rights of our neighbors are protected, regardless of their incomes.

Program Brochure

Alternative Dispute Resolution Site
147 Union Street, Suite 102
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Phone: (845) 471-7213

Dutchess County Office for the Aging
27 High Street
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Phone: (845) 486-2555
Fax: (845) 486-2571
Child Care Council of Dutchess and Putnam, Inc.
70 Overocker Rd
Poughkeepsie, NY 12603
Phone: (845) 473-4141
Fax: (845) 471-4161

The Council offers parents information on child care and gives referrals to child care programs from its database of over 400 programs in the two counties. The Council registers, renews, regulates and monitors Family Day Care and School Age programs. Technical assistance and required training are offered on an ongoing basis to child care providers. We also administer the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) for home-based child care, guiding providers on how to provide nutritious snacks and meals to the children in care.

The Child Care Council of Dutchess and Putnam, Inc. works to promote affordable and quality child care, provide information and support to families, and strengthen the early childhood workforce in Dutchess and Putnam Counties.

New York State Office of Children and Family Services Division of Child Care Services.

Dutchess County Division of Youth Services
60 Market Street
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Phone: (845) 486-3000
Fax: (845) 486-3090

Dutchess County Family Services
29 North Hamilton St
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Ph:one (845) 452-1110

Provides Youth, Family and Teen programs to residents of Dutchess and Ulster Counties.

Dutchess Outreach Center
29 North Hamilton St
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Ph: (845) 454-3792

Whether it’s distributing food to hungry families, providing clothes for children, or assisting with eviction or utility shut-off notices, our staff and volunteers provide clients a helping hand.We help our clients maintain their dignity, sometimes during devastating circumstances. Each client comes to us with a unique situation, and we treat each with the individuality he or she deserves. If you or a loved one is in need of our services, please contact us.
Child Advocacy Center
35 Van Wagner Road
Poughkeepsie, N.Y. 12603
Phone: (845) 454-0595

The Child Advocacy Center was the first in New York State. Beginning in 1994, this community collaboration began serving child sexual abuse victims and their families. We provide emotional support and an array of services through the collaborating agencies during the investigation phase of a child abuse allegation. Center staff works with CPS workers and police officers stationed at the agency. Following the interviewing process, the multi disciplinary team comprised of the CAC team members, attorneys, medical staff, therapists, police officers, probation officers, and the Department of Social Services Caseworkers meet to ensure that the needs of the child victim and their family are met, and that the perpetrator is kept from jeopardizing the safety of the child victim.

Astor Services for Children & Families Early childhood Programs Administration
50 Delafield Street
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Phone: (845) 452-4167

Developmental Screening for Children under 3 years of age.
Mental health services for young children.

Dutchess County Department of Social Services
60 Market Street
Poughkeepsie, New York 12601
Phone: (845) 486-3249
Catholic Charities
218 Church Street
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Phone: (845) 452-1400

Catholic Charities services include information and referrals for advocacy services, case management, immigration services, eviction prevention, free tax preparation, financial literacy workshops, electronic applications for Food Stamps eligibility and benefits pre-screening, and rehabilitation and education to legally blind county residents.
Center for Prevention of Child Abuse
Contact: (845) 454-0595
The Center’s mission is to reduce the incidence of child abuse and neglect by providing education, prevention, and intervention services throughout Dutchess County.
This center offers parenting classes.


Astor Services for Children and Families
6339 Mill Street
Rhinebeck, NY 12572
Phone: (845) 871-1000
Fax: (845) 876-2020

Community based, no-profit organization that provides children’s mental health services, child welfare services, and early childhood development programs. Serves children and families in New York State’s Hudson Valley Region and the Bronx.

2-1-1 provides callers with referrals to and information about health and human services both in times of crisis as well as for every day needs. The 2-1-1 service is operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Call 2-1-1 -or- if you are unable to connect to the 2-1-1 number, call the toll free number at (800) 899-1479.