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An older woman and a young boy prepare a healthy snack.
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Having a snack together.

Family together

Family together


Relatives as Parents Program

For the past 15 years, Cornell Cooperative Extension has delivered the Relatives As Parent Program (RAPP) in Dutchess County. RAPP is designed to encourage and promote the provision of services for grandparents and other (kinship) relatives who have taken on the responsibility of surrogate parenting because the parents are unable or unavailable to parent their children. There are numerous reasons why grandparents and other relative caregivers are being called upon to rear children. But generally, they have one common thread: they are stepping in at the point of a family crisis. RAPP addresses the unique needs of kinship family households through comprehensive services including support groups, case management, referrals, education and family engagement and preservation in Dutchess County

Relatives as Parents Program is a free community-based program that works with families throughout Dutchess County providing educational workshops, peer support groups, respite events, inter-generational activities, referrals and resources for non-parent caregivers raising children. RAPP staff works with non-parent caregivers and their children to provide a fun, safe, welcoming space for them to connect with other families in situations similar to their own.

Adult Support Group & Youth Programming

Promotes group discussion and peer support through parenting and kinship education. Provides referrals to community resources and presentations from local organizations. Encourages leadership and empowerment through workshops and youth directed activities.

Twice a year, all of the support groups can join together for special events: the Winter Holiday Party and Summer Picnic. The purpose of these events is to provide encouragement and fun for kinship care families.

RAPP Monthly Schedule:

Monthly, we currently offer an evening in-person event that provides a family-style dinner, the parent discussion and peer support group and the children's activity and engagement group. This event takes place the first Wednesday of the month.

Our Zoom parent discussion and peer support group occurs the second Thursday of the month.

Each event starts at 6PM. Please reach out for additional information!

Talking RAPP: Spring 2023

2022 RAPP Family: Enchanted Fairy House Experience:

Interested in joining the RAPP Program?

Reach out to our team using the email or phone number below!


Heather Ohlson
Educator; Family & Consumer Education Program/ Marketing & Communication
845-677-8223 x156

Last updated April 25, 2024