Cayuga Centers History At A Glance

Women of Influence – we celebrate women who've shaped our story of service During Women's history month 2017.



Mrs. Frances Seward, wife of William H Seward, took a particular interest in the orphans cared for by what was then the Cayuga Asylum for Destitute Children. A member of the Board of Managers, she encouraged others in the community to provide for a proper burial for a child who died in the first year of the institution’s operation.  



Imagine our astonishment and delight when we discovered a Harriet Tubman connection with a child at what was then Cayuga Asylum for Destitute Children!  CNYCentral NBC3 shared a story about our discovery.  Read the rest of the story. 


Cayuga_Centers_Jane_Rogers_cemetery.jpgLisa Chase, Artistic Director of the Merry-Go-Round Youth Theatre, portrayed Jane Rogers during our 160th anniversary in 2012. Rogers, a much beloved Superintendent of the Cayuga Asylum for Destitute Children from 1860 until her death in 1892, is memorialized in Auburn NY’s Fort Hill Cemetery where 59 orphans are buried.

Words Mrs. Rogers may have spoken: “As we come together to remember these young ones, we must take time to thank the wonderful women of Auburn who, in 1852, had the vision to organize an asylum for children. We were and will remain privileged to serve our young charges. We remain committed to offering children such opportunities that would most certainly be beyond their reach. And we recognize how blessed we are by the ongoing gifts from this community. Yes, we are blessed.”  

Watch this video tribute to the special women who play an important role each day at Cayuga Centers.

Our History


Established as The Cayuga Asylum for Destitute Children; first location James Street in Auburn.


The Board of Trustees erected a building on Owasco Street in Auburn "to accommodate the destitute children who are now and who may at all times hereafter be committed to our care."


First reference to name Cayuga Home For Children.


The Board of Trustees decided to refocus the mission to serving youth in the Family Court System, and adopt the then new "cottage model" of treatment.


May Cottage Opened.


Intensive Family Preservation Program began, initiating other programs leading to Family Resiliency.


Weekend Respite for persons with development disabilities opened.


Seneca County Prevention and Reunification Program begins.


Functional Family Therapy begins leading to Cayuga Home becoming the first certified FFT site in NYS.


FFT expands to Monroe and Ontario Counties. Multi-Dimensional Treatment Foster Care (MTFC) begins;


Multisystemic Therapy (MST) begins, making Cayuga Home the only institution in the nation offering three evidence based treatment programs.

2005 - 2010

Programs and services expand into Ontario, Oswego, Rome/Utica, Oneida and Onondaga locations.


Changed name to Cayuga Centers.

Opened Monroe Youth and Family Center.

Expanded services and opened new facility in Bronx County.

Received recertification for Multi-Dimensional Treatment Foster Care.

Began Early Intervention Services for children with developmental delays or disabilities.

Started the Residential Treatment Intensification Program.


Celebrated 160 years of serving children, families and individuals.

Opened MST and FFT programs in Oneida County.


Named the Non-Profit of the Year by Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce.

In partnership with New York University Child Center, using Trauma Systems Therapy as another research-informed treatment model.

Expanded Medicaid Service Coordination in Onondaga County, and opened new satellite offices in Oswego and Utica.

Completed renovations of the Annex building in Auburn, NY.


Awarded $15 million federal grant to open 300 foster care beds in the Bronx and New York City metro area for unaccompanied immigrant children.

Developed a Residential Enrichment Program in May Cottage to provide an alternative for young women being sent to limited security facilities.

Expanded both Emerson and Cowen Cottages from 12 to 15 residents.


Again doubled the Medicaid Service Coordination (MSC) program; now serving over 1,000 consumers.

Opened two additional sites in Harlem to serve the unaccompanied children program.

Awarded a contract by ChildNet, Inc. to develop 48 enhanced foster care beds in Palm Beach County, Florida.


Awarded a contract to develop 12 Treatment Foster Care beds in Delaware.

Restructured Executive Team to provide additional resources and support agency growth.

Awarded a federal grant to add 96 transitional foster care beds to the unaccompanied children program, bringing it to 396.

Initiated Capital Campaign to purchase two buildings, increasing operating space and expanding capacity of the Weekday Respite Program.

Honored President & CEO Edward Myers Hayes and the late Frederick N. Richardson, Board of Trustees Chairperson, in a celebration dinner kicking off the Capital Campaign.

Dedicated the Edward Myers Hayes Administration Building, and the Frederick N. Richardson Center to recognize their combined 50 years of leadership.