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Southwest Dutchess Daily Voice serves Beacon, East Fishkill, Fishkill, LaGrange, Poughkeepsie, Wappinger & Wappingers Falls

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politics

Molinaro Budget Focusing On Youth Success, Empowerment

Marc Molinaro's 2018 budget will include more funding for youth.
Marc Molinaro's 2018 budget will include more funding for youth. Photo Credit: Contributed

The 2018 Dutchess County budget is 11 days away but Marc Molinaro already knows what he wants to target.

Molinaro plans to unveil his budget on Oct. 31 and said it includes new grant-funded positions to improve success for children in foster care and continues the county’s partnership with the Boys & Girls Club program at the New Hope Community Center.

“Every child deserves the opportunity to thrive," Molinaro said. "We are firmly committed to ensuring Dutchess County kids have every chance to grow, learn and succeed."

With a grant from Wendy’s Wonderful Kids (WWK), the Department of Community and Family Services will partner with the Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie for a new Adoption Recruiter, who will identify homes for children who have traditionally been difficult to find adoptive families for. Research has shown children served in Wendy's Wonderful Kids are 1.7 times more likely to be adopted.

DCFS will also hire a new Peer Outreach Coordinator utilizing a grant from the Redlich Horwitz Foundation. The Peer Outreach Coordinator, a parent whose children had been previously placed in foster care and since reunited, will serve as a mentor and advocate for others whose children have been removed from their care due to substance abuse or other issues.

“Our Peer Outreach Coordinator has been in their shoes and will be the ambassador of hope helping them rebuild family support systems and get through the challenges of recovery to ultimately be reunited with their children,” said DCFS Commissioner Sabrina Marzouka.

The 2018 budget will include continued funding for the Boys & Girls Club and its programs targeting the academic, social and behavioral development of youth in the City of Poughkeepsie. The program, hosted at the New Hope Community Center serves as a hub of services for youth and families and employs evidence-based programming for at-risk youth including after-school programs, summer camps, and a teen drop-in center.

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