Columbia County Profile

County Lead

Michael Cole, Mental Health Center Director, Columbia County Department of Human Services

SOC Team

Columbia County Departments of Human Services, Social Services, and Probation
City of Hudson Department of Youth
Columbia County Youth Bureau
Catholic Charities
Berkshire Farm Center Services
Columbia Memorial Hospital
Columbia County Public Defenders Office
7 school districts
Youth and family advocates
Other providers


Approximate population – 62,700, 93% White, 4% Black/African American, American; 2% Asian and 1% other, median Age – 46, 20% under age 18, 7% of individuals and older speak a language other than English at home, median income – $57,336 (9% of households earn less than $15,000 annually)


  • Establish a viable broad based stakeholder group (expand family, school, youth, medical, and faith-based stakeholder participation in SOC)
  • Establish Logic Model for SOC goals
  • Identify baseline statistics and monitoring mechanism for the following measurable data areas identified by SOC team:
    • School attendance rate
    • High School graduation rate
    • Placement / detention rate
    • Probation recidivism rate
    • College vocational training enrollment / employment rates for high school graduates
    • Number of Tier I, II, and III meetings held per year
  • Conduct training for SOC direct care staff on concrete methods of enhancing interagency case collaboration


Columbia County is one of 12 Upstate NY counties that volunteered in July 2011 to take part in a pilot project funded by NYS OMH. In October 2012 these same 12 counties became the first cohort to participate in the NYS Success System of Care (SOC) Learning Collaborative. Efforts to expand capacity within Columbia County’s System of Care framework have been underway for several years. Building on the advances made in the past, the System of Care collaborative decided to implement Restorative Justice by introducing the Power of Peace in the Hudson City School District where graduation rates were very low and suspensions very high. In 2012 only 58% of students graduated within 4 years and the suspension rate was 21% .Power of Peace focuses on incorporating differences in culture, language, and other socio-economic factors in relationship and community-building. Since implementing the Power of Peace program Hudson H.S. reports a decrease in bullying, fights, and suspensions and an increase in attendance and graduation rates. The implementation of this program was made possible in part through funding from NYS Success.

System of Care Expansion Planning and Implementation Activities

Training / Technical Assistance

  • 10 level 1 Power of Peace workshops conducted at Hudson High School for 150 students
  • 1 Power of Peace workshop conducted for 52 school staff / administrators