Keith Batman, Cayuga County Legislative Chair, tours Cayuga Centers

Jun 15, 2016

Cayuga County Legislative Chair Keith Batman, and Barbara Post, Head of School at Peachtown Elementary School toured the Cayuga Centers campus June 14, 2016 and learned about agency programs. 

Edward Myers Hayes, President & CEO described the agency’s five program areas – Residential Treatment, Treatment Family Foster Care, Community-Based Interventions, Services for People with Developmental Disabilities, and Transitional Foster Care for Unaccompanied Children. Hayes praised the agency’s partnership with Cayuga County to utilize Family Resiliency programs, Respite stays, and Alternative to Detention to reduce the need for placements. These programs can support youth and their families and help them stabilize, while saving county dollars on costly placements or detention.

The agency has expanded to seven upstate counties, NYC, Delaware and Palm Beach County, Florida.  Headquarters remain in Auburn; due to recent program growth, with numerous jobs have been added in Finance, HR, IT, CQI and other support areas. 

Mike Slomski led a tour through a Residential Treatment Center cottage and classrooms in the on-grounds school.  Slomski, who is the Unit Manager for Cowen Cottage, described the individualized, trauma-focused care given to each youth. This approach focuses on healing from traumatic experiences and teaches new skills and responses.

Jessica Whitwood, Coordinator of Cayuga Family Resiliency Programs, explained the agency’s home and community-based interventions that work to prevent out-of-home placements or which can work effectively with youth and families before, during and after discharge from a facility to ease the transition back home.  She described the support given by staff to help the parents “find their voice” in parenting and disciplining the youth, particularly once they have returned from placement.

Keith_Batman_Diane_Schenck.jpgThe group visited the Respite Program space, where consumers with developmental disabilities who are still living at home, engage in a program which gives a break for caregivers while engaging the individuals in social activities. Respite can play an important role in helping families care for their loved one at home.

The group also walked through the gymnasium and rec center, which are used by youth in the residential program and consumers in the respite program.  They concluded by visiting the agency’s health department.

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