News Release



For More Information:

William R. Steinhaus
Dutchess County Executive
Telephone:  (845) 486-2000
, FAX: (845) 486-2021,


March 8, 2001


Poughkeepsie. . . Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus announced the signing of an agreement between the county’s Youth Bureau and the YWCA of Dutchess County which provides $37,497 in funding from the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) to continue local youth service programs approved and monitored by the Dutchess County Youth Board.

Mr. Steinhaus commented, "The wide spectrum of programs receiving aid from this agreement will reach thousands of teens; they are essential to the healthy physical and mental development of the county’s youth."  Several programs will receive funding under YWCA-administered Teen Services. Youth Against Racism (YAR) will allow approximately 75 Dutchess County youth in high schools or youth groups to actively participate in this program by planning an event, raising consciousness and support for the event and encouraging others to participate. This will increase the teens’ knowledge of discrimination against any group for any reason and the detrimental effects on society. Under the Discover Me Program, approximately 900 students will attend presentations in schools or youth organizations with the aim of increasing their knowledge about self-esteem, values, decision-making and goal-setting ability, substance abuse and healthy relationships. The Teen Parent Program for pregnant youth will increase knowledge about maternity, birth, parenting, child-rearing skills and their children, set goals and understand boundaries and expectations as they develop a sense of purpose and a positive view of their personal future.

Also through the YWCA, the Youth Domestic Violence Prevention Program is targeted to reach 1,750 youth aged pre-teen to 20 years of age. The goal is to increase their knowledge of domestic violence and available agency services and promote awareness of their basic rights and options. The program is also geared to increase the knowledge of domestic violence in school personnel. Youth who attend the program will be trained to recognize and better handle domestic violence and be able to identify the components of a healthy relationship. Where appropriate, they will receive family and peer support. "The long-term aim of this program is to break the cycle of domestic violence," said County Executive Steinhaus.

The Supervised Visitation Program focuses on youth under the age of 18 who live in a home with one parent absent and the non-custodial parent has been ordered by the Dutchess County Family Court to visit with the youth only in a supervised setting. The program seeks to ensure the safety and welfare of these children by providing a consistent and positive experience for the children through supervised visitation by trained professionals at the Family Court Building and developing a definitive parenting plan for each child’s present and future needs that demonstrates joint parental commitment. It is hoped that the family will eventually move from supervised to unsupervised visits with the ultimate goal that youth will feel safe at home and in the community and begin to communicate positively with both parents and receive an increasing level of love and support from their families.

Mr. Steinhaus noted, "These and other examples of worthwhile programs, through the agencies that the county supports and helps to fund, essentially represent an investment in the youth of Dutchess County. Through programs like these that focus specifically on the teens and help them at times they need it most, they are given a better chance to become productive family and community members as adults."


2001 Press Releases