Poughkeepsie... Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus has renewed the county’s funding commitment to Grace Smith House, Inc., assuring the coordination of domestic violence services to victims in Dutchess County. “Safety for our children and families has always been a priority of mine. Using the ‘team’ approach, county staff from my Probation, Social Services, and Youth departments, along with the District Attorney’s Office, Grace Smith House and Family Services, meets to ensure our domestic violence services to victims are provided in an efficient, effective manner,” said Steinhaus.
The Executive said, “I have entered into a contract totaling $524,000 with Grace Smith House to provide services such as advocacy, counseling, community education and outreach, pro bono legal services to victims, family court representation, family advocates, liaison workers in both adult and child protective services of the County’s Department of Social Services, as well as a hotline for domestic violence victims.”
Steinhaus noted further, “Sadly, last year more than 3,000 individuals in Dutchess County had to be served and 14,000 calls were handled on the hotline.”
Steinhaus added, “The key principal in this effort is safety for children and the battered parent.” Robert B. Allers, Commissioner of the Dutchess County Department of Social Services said, “In homes where partner abuse occurs, national figures from the Department of Justice show that children are 1,500 times more likely to be abused. To protect the children and families of Dutchess County, Grace Smith House provides a necessary and essential human service.”
“Grace Smith House provides a comprehensive variety of services for domestic violence victims living in our community,” said Judy Lombardi, Executive Director. “People think of shelters as the primary ‘fix’ for victims and often the other services provided by this contract are every bit as important for their success as our shelter.”
More information on Grace Smith House can be accessed through their website at www.gracesmithhouse.org.