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Community Education and Mandated Reporting Program

Educators for Mandated Reporter training provide lectures to community groups, individuals and all incoming employees of The Center, on how to identify and report child physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect and maltreatment. Specialized materials are provided for medical personnel to differentiate disease from abuse. Our educators are certified by New York State to teach the class to people whose jobs are classified as mandated reporters of abuse (educators, health care providers and emergency responders). Each attendee receives a certificate after completion of this class.

Personal Safety Program

Our PSP educators provide sexual abuse prevention education to more than 10,000 children in elementary and preschools directly, and to their parents and teachers throughout Dutchess County. Teaching staff provide age appropriate Personal Safety presentations using various media for PreK-5th graders in the comfort and security of their classrooms. In addition, our educators provide further instruction to 4th and 5th grade students regarding internet safety, cyberbullying and sexting, all of which are growing increasingly more prevalent with rapid advances in technology. Our PSP implements a more proactive approach to minimizing instances of child abuse; by empowering children as young as preschool age, we provide them with the necessary tools to protect themselves against predators and bullies prior to any instance of abuse every occurring in their lives. We provide children with a safe and comfortable outlet to disclose abuse if it has already occurred in their lives and determine whether or not a report should be made to Child Protective Services.

The Child Advocacy Center (CAC)

The Child Advocacy Center was the first of its kind in New York State. The CAC brings Child Protective Services (CPS) Caseworkers, Law Enforcement officers and other service providers together under one roof to meet the needs of child victims and families while undergoing sexual and physical abuse investigations. This collaborative response reduces trauma to the child victim and increases prosecution of child sex offenders. The CAC operates with the guidance of a multidisciplinary team with representation from each Dutchess County public and private agency involved in dealing with child sexual abuse and the most severe physical abuse and neglect of children up to 18 years of age.

The Parent Empowerment Program / Nuturing Families

PEP educators work with various groups of parents to provide support through group interactions, that help parents develop useful skills which they can apply to their daily lives. In addition, PEP educators enhance parent’s knowledge of child development and age appropriate expectations for children. Classes are offered to parents in substance abuse recovery, those that are involved with CPS and/or the court system or any parent seeking additional skills. Workshop series are also offered to parent groups through PTAs, daycare centers and other community organizations.  All PEP services are offered in both English and Spanish.

The Parent Empowerment Program has been in existence for more than 12 years, offering support, guidance and education to parents in Dutchess County.

PEP uses the scientifically-based Nurturing Skills for Families curriculum. This program focuses on parents’ strengths and encourages them to evaluate their philosophies on parenting and possibly open or change their minds regarding newer parenting practices.

Nurturing Skills for Families contains many Nurturing Parenting Skill Lessons to choose from to create a parenting program for families that meets their specific needs. Competency-based instruction helps parents learn the basic skills of Nurturing Parenting, a proven evidenced based program. Instructional lessons run 60 to 90 minutes and can be taught in group-based programs, home-based programs, or a combination of group and home-based.

The Adult-Adolescent Parenting Inventory (AAPI-2) and the Nurturing Skills Competency Scale (NSCS) are built in assessment tools to assess parenting beliefs, knowledge and skills. Measure the impact of the program with pre, post and process assessment tools. The Family Nurturing Plan (FNP) promotes a partnership between parents and professionals to work together in creating a parenting program that meets the specific needs of the family. Parents need to demonstrate competence in the Core Lessons that form the foundation of Nurturing Parenting. Increase parental commitment in attending and participating in learning Nurturing Parenting beliefs, knowledge and skills.

The Special Needs Parenting Program

The Special Needs Parenting Program provides specialized comprehensive services to parents who have been diagnosed with a developmental disability and /or mental retardation. While in the program Case Managers provide weekly parenting education classes and weekly home visiting intensive case management   for parents residing within our community that are caring for children, have children placed in Foster Care or currently pregnant.  In addition to learning parenting skills, clients gain socialization experience and build self-confidence through support from peers. Clients receive assistance in meeting the needs of their young children but more importantly they are provided with the necessary tools and resources to care for themselves and their families to the best of their ability. Case Managers work closely with other service providers involved with families in the SNPP Program.

Teen Parenting Program / Nuturing Families

TPP specifically addresses the needs of teenage parents and soon-to-be parents, (ages 13-20) both male and female, who reside in Dutchess County. Special care is given to age-appropriate, supportive and cooperative learning to help clients develop essential life skills and better prepare them for parenthood. Clients in this program are also educated on how to have nurturing and sustaining relationships with their children, as well as healthier relationships in their dating lives. TPP offers individualized case management, referrals, both one-on-one and in-group parenting classes as well as in-school support groups. TPP is a non-judgmental and emotionally supportive program that partners with the teen, his/her family and their schools to help clients achieve their goals and move toward self-sufficiency.

There is a great need for support and education for the younger parents in our community. It can be difficult for them to integrate into a class of older adults where they may feel overwhelmed and judged. We hope to create a space where younger parents can find camaraderie and interpersonal support with each other in a positive environment. We have selected Nuturing Skills for Teen Parents, a program specific to teens that discusses more fully the concerns and issues that they encounter.

Nurturing Skills for Teen Parents is multiple lessons taken from the internationally recognized and validated NURTURING PARENTING PROGRAMS® are assembled in one Lesson Guide. Each session is designed to last 50 to 90 minutes. Professionals teach parents of young children (birth – 5 years) and school-aged children (5 to 12 years) ways to improve their parenting skills.

The many individual lessons are presented in 16 different skill areas known to represent the range of appropriate parenting and child rearing practices. Each Lesson presents easy to follow, step-by-step instructions to teach the skills to the parents appropriate for the age level of their children. Skill Areas and Lessons can be taught in any sequence you choose based on the needs of the family.

Children are encouraged to be a part of the program to enhance positive teen parent-child attachment. Instructional booklets are provided to assist teens in promoting healthy child development.

Adolescents attending teen Nurturing Parenting classes receive a parent handbook, and engage in role play, discussions, and creative expression through art.