Cayuga County Administrator Suzanne Sinclair Visits Cayuga Centers

Jun 03, 2016

Diane (Dee Dee) Schenck, Vice President of Community Partnerships, welcomed the County Administrator and gave an overview of the agency’s program areas: Residential Treatment, Treatment Family Foster Care, Community-Based Interventions, Services for People with Developmental Disabilities, and Transitional Foster Care for Unaccompanied Children.

She emphasized the agency’s recent growth which includes the expansion of foster care to Delaware and Florida, and the decision to maintain headquarters in Auburn, with the addition of jobs in HR and IT and other support areas.

As the group visited a cottage in the Residential Treatment Center, Kelly Ware, Director of Case Planning and After Care, described the individualized, trauma-focused care given to each youth.  Teens are asked, “What happened to you?” instead of “Why are you behaving this way?” This approach focuses on healing from traumatic experiences and teaches new skills and responses.

Sinclair recognized the value of the agency’s emphasis on providing all needed services, including therapy, recreation, primary health care, supervision by a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, and attendance in the on-campus school operated by the Auburn Enlarged City School District. “You’re offering a total package,” she said. “This helps me to know what’s in the community.”


Pictured at left:  Diane (Dee Dee) Schenck, Suzanne Sinclair and Kelly Ware

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.

Lexie Shutter, Director of Support Services for People with Developmental Disabilities, led the group through the agency’s Respite Program space, a program which gives a break for caregivers of those with developmental disabilities, while engaging the consumer in social activities. Respite can play an important role in helping families care for their loved one at home. She described Medicaid Service Coordination, which assists over 1,000 individuals in obtaining needed services. The group also walked through the gymnasium and rec center, and visited the agency’s health department.


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