On June 21, 1847, a group of Poughkeepsie women called the Female Guardian Society met to form the Poughkeepsie Orphan House and Home of the Friendless to care for the poor, abandoned and neglected in their communities, most especially the children. Their belief was that all children deserve a nurturing and caring environment. More than 170 years later, their work continues.
Today, the Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie provides a range of services to children, youth and their families in one or more of the seven programs that comprise our continuum of care: Agency Boarding Homes, Campus Residential, Care Management Services, Group Emergency Foster Care, Safe Harbour, Supervised Independent Living/Transitional Living and Young Mothers.
Children placed at the Home, mostly through county family courts, live in cottages on our campus or houses in the community, which give them the most home like setting possible. Unlike most residential foster care agencies, the children attend public schools, which allows them to participate in after-school activities, join clubs, and have experiences similar to their peers. Donations of dollars and goods help the Home to provide the highest level of care possible toward the primary goal of return to family.
At the helm of this 171 year old agency sits Walter J. Joseph, a 43-year veteran of the child welfare system, who leads a staff of nearly 225. Under his leadership, Clinical Director Dr. David Crenshaw works with a team of social workers, case workers, nurses, child care workers and program staff to provide therapeutic services to children and their families. Three facility service dogs, named Ace, Marshall and Elvis, complete the treatment team.
In 2016, the Children’s Home earned re-accreditation from the Council on Accreditation for its exemplary adherence to human welfare agency guidelines. The assessment team declared the Home a stellar agency and a model for others in the field.
In fiscal year 2017, 314 children and youth ranging in age from newborn to twenty years old, together with their families, received services from the Children’s Home.