*Press Release from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orange County
The Relatives as Parents Program (RAPP) support group coordinated by Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County was honored on May 12 with “The Family Is the Most Important Thing Award”. The award was presented by the Adoptive and Foster Family Coalition of New York at the Coalition’s 28th Annual New York State Foster Care and Adoption Conference in Albany, New York. The award was made possible with funding provided by the Redlich Horwitz Foundation in order to recognize New York foster, adoptive and kinship parent support groups whose stories of exceptional dedication, commitment and passion align with the Coalition’s mission. The award includes a $1,000 scholarship which will be used to further expand the programming for grandparents and relatives who are the primary caregivers and their families in Orange County. Though the exact use of funds has yet to be determined, the $1000 award will be used to enhance the support already offered to relative caregivers. With monthly support groups in Middletown, Port Jervis, New Windsor and Newburgh, RAPP seeks to reach as many of the approximately 2,376 kinship caregivers in Orange County as possible.
Emi DiSciullo, Interim RAPP Coordinator said, “We are so pleased that our long-standing support groups have been recognized and awarded. The many caregivers who come together each month to support one another will benefit not only from the award, but also the collaboration with the Adoptive and Foster Family Coalition of New York’s new AGAPE program.” Together, a new teen support group has just begun in Middletown to help meet the needs of youth ages 12 & up who will benefit from connecting with peers in similar circumstances.
For more information about the RAPP program and the many educational programs offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County, please contact Emi DiSciullo, (845) 344-1234 or visit our website www.cceorangecounty.org. To learn more about the Coalition’s new Adoption and Guardianship Assistance Program for Everyone please see www.affcny/agape.