Support Services

Support Services

Parker 22The Arc of Dutchess Support Services programs are available for individuals and families who seek help navigating the complex OPWDD systems. Whether this is a family’s first experience looking for assistance or an adult in need of advocacy, the Support Services programs can help guide the way to attaining the needed supports.

Service Coordination

Service Coordination plays a pivotal role by providing necessary linkage and referral for the people supported by The Arc of Dutchess.  The Service Coordinator works with the person and their natural supports to create their Individualized Service Plan. This approach fosters meaningful choices, ensures that the person’s aspirations, interests, preferences, strengths and capabilities are acknowledged, and provides the impetus for the selection of services and supports. The focus of Service Coordination is to assist each person in achieving their unique goals, desires and valued outcomes such as of having a job, a circle of friends, enjoyable leisure activities, access to medical and clinical services, and continued family contact as they transition to new opportunities.

For information about Service Coordination, contact Courtney Sahler at 845-635-8084 x 21145 or

Family Education and Training

Family Education and Training services assist families who are caring for a child under the age of 18 with a developmental disability. We provide information to those searching for options, support or guidance in their advocacy efforts. This service helps enhance the decision making capacity of the family by providing information on the nature and impact of developmental disabilities, while providing resources that are available to them in the community.

For information about Family Education and Training, contact Sharon Passes at 845-635-8084 x 21119 or

Family Support Services

Family Support Services assist families who are caring for a relative with a developmental disability. The Arc of Dutchess is here to provide referral and information to families searching for options, support and assistance in their advocacy efforts.  We are unique in our willingness and capacity to work with and on behalf of families to file for Medicaid, which is critically necessary to access many of the support options available.  The purpose of this service is to enhance the decision making capacity of the individual and their family by providing information about available resources and opportunities.

For information about Family Support Services, contact Renae Minckler at 845-635-8084 x 21114 or

Summer Program

The summer program supports young people between the ages of 14 and 21 who live at home with their families. The program operates Monday through Friday, 8am to 6pm for 10 weeks from mid-June to late August. The focus of the summer program is to provide teens and young adults with a safe, fun environment where they can socialize with peers, develop new friendships, enhance skills and engage in new experiences such as hiking, swimming and exploring museums to name a few!

For information about the Summer Program, contact Renae Minckler at 845-635-8084 x 21114 or


Our parent organization, NYSARC Inc., realizes the need to provide Guardianship services to individuals without family, who are in need of support and advocacy. The Arc of Dutchess is founded on the belief that the people we support will be treated with respect and dignity throughout their lives. The goal of Guardianship services is to ensure the security and welfare of the people we support; we work with them to achieve the highest degree of intellectual, social, and vocational growth, and to assist them in creating meaningful life experiences that enrich their self-esteem. We are available to answer questions about guardianship and assist families in applying for Corporate Guardianship, in anticipation of a smooth experience.

For information about Guardianship, contact Lyn Deslandes at 845-471-8879 x 21156 or

Fragile Families

Fragile Families is a support group established by parents that began meeting at The Arc of Dutchess administration building in September, 2011.  The group created by parents began as a support for parents of children generally under the age of 10 years who have significant medical challenges.  The group typically meets every eight weeks. The Arc of Dutchess via the Family Support Coordinator, assists the group by scheduling speakers and/or workshops as desired by the group.  New members are welcome.  If you are interested in joining the group please contact Lyn Deslandes at 845 635-8084, 21156 or