Astor News

Astor News

The latest Astor news and happenings.


Cardinal Dolan Visits Astor

May 10, 2018

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, came to Rhinebeck on Wednesday to tour the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and School at Astor Services for Children & Families, which provides treatment, counseling and support to families and children struggling with behavioral and emotional health problems.

The Cardinal was first greeted by eight Astor employees who have 30 or more years of service at the agency. “What happened, did you come here right after your First Communion?” joked the Archbishop of New York.

His tour included two RTC units that recently underwent a mini-renovation with the help of actors Hilarie Burton and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

The day’s program also included a conversation with state elected officials and mental health professionals about the challenges families face related to the opioid epidemic, bullying, and teen suicide and an Astor School Children’s Art Show, where the young artists talked about their work.

“When a parent tells him how he feels his child is safe here, how his child gets better here, that’s what I’m most proud of.”, said Astor CEO and Executive Director Jim McGuirk.

Sponsored by Catholic Charities of Archdiocese of New York, and in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, Cardinal Dolan’s visit demonstrates the Archdiocese’s support of Astor Services for Children & Families’ 65 years providing community based, non-profit children’s mental health services, child welfare services, and early childhood development programs in New York State’s Mid-Hudson Valley region and the Bronx. Astor currently serves 10,000 children each year through its prevention, early childhood, special education, community behavioral health and residential treatment programs.

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Notre Dame Club and Community Members Revitalize Gardens at Astor Services

May 4, 2018

As part of the 2018 Hesburgh Service Initiative, the Notre Dame Club of the Mid-Hudson Valley will participate in a volunteer effort to revitalize garden areas on the campus of Astor Services for Children & Families(Astor) in Rhinebeck on May 5.

The garden upgrade, which includes securing fencing and a composting station, honors the 16th president of the University of Notre Dame, the Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., for his commitment to the pursuit of peace and promotion of human dignity. The annual Hesburgh Month of Service began in 2007, in recognition of Father Hesburgh’s 90th birthday, with 90 Notre Dame clubs hosting volunteer projects in collaboration with the Alumni Association.

“We are extremely grateful to the local Notre Dame alumni, family, friends and Astor staff for volunteering their time to make the campus a more beautiful and nurturing place,” said James McGuirk, Ph. D., Astor’s executive director/CEO. “This allows us to put our best foot forward and highlight the services and benefits Astor provides.”

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Billie’s Medical Adventures helps teach pre-schoolers about common health screenings

April 30, 2018

Thank you to Catskill Hudson AHEC who created Billie’s Medical Adventures. The program, recently utilized at Astor’s Head Start in Beacon, uses puppets to familiarize students with a nurse prior to their required health screenings. It was a success! The puppets put the students at ease.

Billie’s Medical Adventures was created by Catskill Hudson Area Health Education Center (AHEC) in an effort to familiarize preschool and elementary age children with common health screenings to take the stigma out of a potential scary first-time medical experience for these young students.

Since its creation, Catskill Hudson AHEC conducted a contest to award complete “Billy’s Medical Adventures” programs to nonprofit organizations whose services benefits the education, health, or well-being of children who reside within the Catskill Hudson AHEC region. Astor Services for Children & Families, Head Start Program in Beacon, NY was one of the recipients of this award. Astor’s Head Start Program provides individualized, comprehensive child development programs that assist children from low-income families in Dutchess county with social, emotional, intellectual, and physical development through support that includes physical, dental, mental health, nutrition, and social services.

In turn, Billie’s Medical Adventures was recently utilized by a new school nurse at Astor Head Start who used the puppets and program script to familiarize the students with nurses prior to their required health screenings of height, weight, and hearing. Kathleen Flynn, Lead Head Start Teacher at the Beacon Head Start Center was pleased to report, “Normally, every year we have several students who are hesitant or fearful of the screening. However, that wasn’t the case this year.” She continued, “I attribute this positive outcome to their experience with Billie’s Medical Adventures, which the students enjoyed very much.”

Catskill Hudson AHEC has created a suite of health-related programs for a range of grade school students. For additional information on Billie’s Medical Adventures, other programs, or organization information, visit www.chahec.org or call 845-883-7260.

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Astor Services Offers Clinical Suicide Training Workshop with Expert M. David Rudd, Ph.D

April 11, 2018

Astor Services is offering a five-credit Continuing Education qualified training session on suicide prevention and intervention for community clinicians that work with at-risk children. The April 25 event, “Hope as a Skill: The Assessment, Clinical Management and Treatment of Suicidality”, will be presented by M. David Rudd, Ph.D. at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel, 40 Civic Center Plaza in Poughkeepsie, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A skills-based workshop, the program will center on suicide risk assessment, clinical management and brief cognitive behavioral therapy for suicidal behavior, including a review of applicable empirical work, clinical examples and targeted role playing that address interventions demonstrated to reduce risk. Ethical issues and recommendations for documentation will also be reviewed.

Rudd is president of the University of Memphis. A Distinguished University Professor of Psychology, he also continues funded research, along with his affiliation with the National Center for Veterans Studies at the University of Utah, as co-founder and scientific director. He has conducted research, written and presented extensively on suicide prevention and treatment of children and adolescents.

Cost for the workshop is $150, including continental breakfast, lunch, hotel parking and five Continuing Education hours for licensed social workers, mental health counselors, creative arts therapists and marriage and family therapists.

The registration deadline is April 18.

To register or for more information, contact Raven Maldonado-Brown; rmaldonadobrown@astorservices.org or (718) 231-3400, ext. 12245.

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Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Hilarie Burton Continue Mission at Astor Services

March 23, 2018

Noted actors and Rhinebeck residents, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Hilarie Burton have again teamed up with Astor Services for Children & Families in the renovation of the children’s units in the non-profit’s residential treatment center (RTC) in Rhinebeck.

Last year Morgan and Burton worked with dozens of volunteers to provide critical hands-on assistance in the project’s first phase. That work included the mini- renovation of 10 of RTC’s 44 beds and other areas, with the couple developing finish selections and designs, securing pro-bono contractors, and coordinating donated goods. Now the famed duo is back to continue that work on another wing of the RTC, including another 10 beds plus the wing’s kitchen common areas, with the project slated for this spring.

Funding for the second phase of the project was raised during Astor’s Ghost Stories event, which was headlined by Morgan and Dean and held late in 2017. The event raised enough to cover renovation costs for the RTC’s remaining three wings.
Hilarie Burton, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and new baby
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“Children living in Astor’s residential treatment center are benefitting tremendously from the support of Hilarie, Jeffrey and our community’s truly generous volunteers, donors and pro-bono workers,” said James McGuirk, Ph.D., Executive Director and CEO. “Their wonderful contributions not only make a tangible difference in the kids’ everyday lives, but also lets them know their community appreciates how much they matter.”

“Once these four existing wings are renovated, our endgame is to raise enough money to build an entirely new wing,” said Burton. “I’m proud that out of all of New York state, our community is where the Astor organization decided to bring these important kids.”

Astor provides behavioral and educational services for children and their families in the Hudson Valley and Bronx.

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Astor Services for Children & Families Advocates for New York’s Most Vulnerable Families

March 13, 2018

Astor Services for Children & Families was among the dozens of providers that shared concerns related to New York’s vulnerable children and families, social service providers, and program funding needs during recent Lobby Day events in Albany.

Astor Services for Children & Families, which provides behavioral and educational services for children and their families in the Hudson Valley and Bronx, was among the dozens of providers that shared concerns related to New York’s vulnerable children and families, social service providers, and program funding needs during recent Lobby Day events in Albany.

Throughout January’s Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies’ Advocacy Day, government officials met with various agencies, including a Bronx Delegation consisting of nine government representatives that convened with agency representatives.

“The focus of our meetings was to bring to light the need of not only supports for the children and families we serve, but also the for supports for our various social service staffs that often go without adequate pay and supports all the while providing crucial and life changing services to the city and state’s most vulnerable populations dealing with a plethora of traumas,” said participant Jeannine Mendez of Director: Development, Public and Government Relations for The Children’s Foundation of Astor.

A second Lobby Day in February that was sponsored by the New York State Coalition for Children’s Behavioral Health and Families concentrated on the need for immediate action from the legislature to bypass a proposed two-year waiting period to fund currently needed mental health and other Medicaid-mandated services.

“We focused on bringing to light how vital continuous care is in the treatment of trauma and behavioral and mental health deficiencies,” Mendez said.

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Reno Announcement 2018

February 28, 2018

Actors Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Hilarie Burton Return for Second Phase of Renovation Project at Astor Services for Children & Families

Noted actors and Rhinebeck residents, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Hilarie Burton have again teamed up with Astor Services for Children & Families in the renovation of the children’s units in the non-profit’s residential treatment center (RTC) in Rhinebeck. 

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Cabaret 2018

February 14, 2018

Cabaret Raises Funds to Support Lawrence F. Hickey Center for Childhood Development

Jim, Magee, StacyA fundraising tribute to Cole Porter helped Astor Services for Children and Families raise more than $18,000 on Feb. 3. The funds will benefit children and families at the Lawrence F. Hickey Center for Early Child Development which helps provides mental health services to young children with emotional and cognitive challenges, according to a press release.

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Astor Family Magazine Fall Issue 2017 Out Now

Fall 2017

This Fall issue will explore tele-psychiatry as a therapy tool, the club Blaqlist in the Bronx, a wave of Brooklynites opening hotels and inns in the Catskills, and much more.

The Bronx Blaqlist has set an ambitious agenda.

“We hope to eventually become a cultural institution on par with
the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, or even the New York Public Library,”

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Astor Family Magazine Spring 2017 Issue Is Out

Spring 2017

Read about Bronx Borough President, Mental Health Awareness Month, Hudson Valley Restaurant Rojo, and so much more.

This is important to remember since the majority of youth experiencing mental health symptoms go undiagnosed
and without proper treatment.

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Astor Family Magazine Fall 2016 Issue Is Out

October 7, 2016

Everything from an interview with Pixar animator Peter Sohn to the Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool Fest, and Morgans Cat Cafe in Red Hook is covered in this issue of Astor Family Magazine Fall 2016.

In our Astor Family Magazine Fall 2016 local fiber artist & felter Mickey O’Neill explains: “people like to know where things come from. They like to follow the full circle from washing it to making it into yarn and selling it here or at farmers’ markets.”

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Running For Astor Services

August 09, 2016

Marathon runner Laura Betros seeks to raise $3000 for Astor Services for Children & Families at NYC Marathon.

Marathon runner Laura Betros seeks to fundraise $3,000 to support the children at Astor Services for Children & Families. Laura is running under Team Catholic Charities in the 2016 (TCS) NEW YORK CITY MARATHON. Learn more about Laura’s efforts and how you can help her meet her goal.

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Astor Family Magazine - Fall 2015 Issue is Here

October 2015

Read our latest issue today!

Our Fall 2015 issue highlights Astor programs in the Bronx, our partnership with Bard College, fascinating articles about our community and much more! Community events, recipies, reviews, art and poetry.

“No family is completely immune to the potential need for the kind of help Astor gives children and families. An investment in Astor continues the process of binding this community resource to the people it serves in the Hudson Valley (which includes the Bronx).” writes Arthur Schiff in the new issue.

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A Visit From Our Friends at the Notre Dame Club

May 11, 2015

Thank you Notre Dame Club of the Mid-Hudson Valley for your continued support!

“We hope that this garden, in turn, will then help breathe a fresh life into the children of Astor who will get to enjoy it this growing season. We look forward to future endeavors with all our friends at Astor Services for Children & Families,”

said Les McCarthy, Notre Dame Club member.

Thank you Notre Dame Club of the Mid-Hudson Valley for your continued support during your Annual Hesburgh Month of Service! We know that our kids appreciate this garden!

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Astor Family Magazine - Spring 2015 Issue

April 2015

Read the latest issue of Astor Family Magazine

Our latest issue of Astor Family Magazine is overflowing with fun and helpful content. You can find this issue available throughout our area, or read the online version here »

“My first visit to Astor left such an indelible impression that I remember it like it was yesterday. The kids’ artwork showed a desire for the basic things that many of us take for granted: a room of their own, a family, a hug. I was drawn in by a strong desire to help…” writes Theresa Dryfoos, Donor / Consultant, Astor Services for Children & Families, in the new issue.

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Head Start Kids Get a Visit from a K-9

March 16, 2015

Hyde Park Head Start Kids meet Libby, a K-9 Labrador Retriever.

On March 11, Deputy O’Brien from the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office visited Ralph R. Smith in Hyde Park and brought along his partner, a Labrador Retriever, Libby. Libby is a specially trained K-9 that can sniff out accelerants (flammable liquids) that may have been used to cause a fire.

At the end of the presentation all children were able to meet Libby up close and even pet her.

“This was a great opportunity for our children to meet local law enforcement and learn about all the things police do, as well as give many children a chance to meet a friendly dog,” said Monica Lee, Hyde Park Head Start Head Teacher.

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