Janine Fitzmaurice

Coordinator of Children with Special Needs Services

Ages birth through 5 years old

(845) 486-3518

jfitzmaurice@dutchessny.gov

Linda Monkman

Coordinator of Children’s and Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Services

Ages 5 years through adulthood

(845) 486-2766

lmonkman@dutchessny.gov

Toni-Marie Ciarfella

Deputy Commissioner for Special Needs

(845) 486-3434

tciarfella@dutchessny.gov

If this is an emergency and you need immediate assistance please contact 911

Crisis Counseling, Support, Information & Referrals

Dutchess County HELPLINE 

Toll free: (877) 485-9700

Stabilization Center

(845) 485-9700

NY State Central Register for Child Abuse 

(800-342-3720)

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ZT Foundation

ZT Foundation (officially “ZTF Inc.,”) is a not-for-profit organization that was created by Colleen Tkazyik, a woman who is passionate about the creation of therapeutic day classrooms and/or schools in Dutchess County, New York, for kids with different needs…so that they may become proud, confident and inspirational members of their communities.

Currently there are approximately 210 children being bused out of Dutchess County for schooling.  Many of these children have needs which cannot and are not being met within their home school districts.  As a society we must find a way to help these children integrate back into their home districts.  It is imperative to the mental health and well-being of these children to go to school where they live in order to foster peer-to-peer relationships within their neighborhoods.

The goal of becoming a non-profit is to help raise funds otherwise not appropriated by the school districts, county or state to help facilitate the creation of these much-needed classrooms or facilities through working directly with the districts, Dutchess County Department of Mental Health and community leaders in order to achieve this.  There is a contact us link in the website.

We’re passionate about these three key points: 

ONE:  There’s an uptick in children on the spectrum (and this includes co-morbid diagnoses—OCD, anxiety, depression, cognitive delays, and other behavioral issues);

TWO:  therapy needs to be interwove in the schools for these children so that they can be educated and thrive the same as any general education student would; and

THREE:  with 1 in 59 on the spectrum, we as a society need to ensure that there is a classroom for every child of every demographic, which includes therapeutic environments for our most vulnerable youth.