News Release



For More Information:

William R. Steinhaus
Dutchess County Executive
(845) 486-2000

For Immediate Release

July 23, 2002

County Executive Announces Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence
$500,000 Targeted for Services


Poughkeepsie… County Executive William R. Steinhaus has approved agreements totaling more than $511,000 with the YWCA of Dutchess County and the Grace Smith House to provide non-residential services to victims of domestic violence in Dutchess County. 

According to County Executive Steinhaus, “At a time when families involved in domestic violence situations truly need support and assistance, our efforts provide a range of services to these victims and their families, from immediate intervention to legal aid and education aimed at preventing future instances of violence.” 

Over $422,000 is being directed to the YWCA for their Non-Residential Services Program and their Family Court Advocacy Project.  The YWCA’s Non-Residential Services Program and Family Court Advocacy Project which provide a 24-hour telephone hotline.  The hotline can deal with immediate crisis intervention, counseling, and information and referral services for available residential programs and medical services; information and referrals to community services for all those affected by domestic violence; and advocacy services including information on accessing legal remedies and law enforcement personnel, obtaining medical care, social services, employment, and housing. 

A Battered Women’s Advocate is available at both the Dutchess County Department of Social Services and Dutchess County Office of Probation and Community Correction at least 35 hours per week, and the YWCA will also provide a full-time case manager for their Family Violence Prevention Services for TANF Individuals program.  Other services include accompanying victims to Family Court representation for Orders of Protection, child and spousal support, child custody and visitation proceedings, and other legal actions as well as provide assistance in the preparation of petitions for Family Court.

The YWCA, together with the Grace Smith House, also offers a series of life skills workshops to survivors of domestic violence.  These workshops will include an evaluation of the participants’ interests and abilities, budget planning, career goal setting, and the development of skills including resume writing, interviewing, money management, and document development and retrieval. 

The Grace Smith House will receive $89,000 for their Pro Bono Legal Services Program and their Family Advocate/Latina Outreach Program.  Through the Pro-Bono Legal Services Program, the Grace Smith House works with Westchester/Putnam Legal Services to establish a Domestic Violence Pro-Bono Panel, which provides legal representation for poor and low-income battered women in matrimonial, child custody and support actions in court.  The panel will be comprised of private practice attorneys in Dutchess County who will provide free or sliding-scale fee legal representation.  These attorneys undergo training in the areas of family law and practice and domestic violence litigation before cases are assigned to them. 

The Grace Smith House will also assign a full-time bi-lingual Family Advocate/Latina Outreach Worker to assist in the development of a program aimed at the prevention of family violence.  The advocate will aid Latino families in the Grace Smith House by providing referrals and information about available services, in helping program participants achieve permanent housing independent of their batterers, and in developing a safety plan to live violence free in their community. 

“These public/private partnerships with agencies like the YWCA and the Grace Smith House help us provide better services to victims of domestic violence and their families.  By supporting these programs, women who we help receive the best services possible and we help them connect with other support services that are available to them through the County and community service agencies,” said County Executive Steinhaus. 

For more information about these programs, contact the Dutchess County YWCA at (845) 454-6770, or the Grace Smith House at (845) 452-7155.


2002 Press Releases