Diane Dwire visits Cayuga Centers
Oct 20, 2016
Dee Dee (Diane) Schenck, Vice President of Community Partnerships 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, but emphasized that agency headquarters will remain in Auburn.
Dwire (pictured at left with Dee Schenck) admired the agency’s provision of respite care, which enables families of those with developmental disabilities to receive a break from constant care, while their loved one is involved in enjoyable social activities. The programs can play an important role in helping families continue to care for their loved one at home.
Chief Operating Officer of CNY, Ann Sheedy shared ways the agency is challenging itself to do quality work, noting the agency serves as a thermometer of quality.
Director of Residential Operations, Kelly Ware described the individualized care given to each youth placed by court order in the Residential Treatment Center. Teens are actively engaged in Individual and Group Therapy to help heal from trauma and manage mental health issues. At the same time, family members are involved in treatment planning and Family Therapy. Ware described the on-grounds school partnership with the Auburn Enlarged City School District; youth receive Regents credit for courses completed while at Cayuga Centers. Using an online credit recovery program, students also can regain lost credits and are often able to return to their home school at grade level after placement.
Vice President of Residential Treatment, Harlan Dunn, led a tour through the May Cottage, which houses young women who would otherwise be held in limited secure detention facilities. The agency actively partners with NYS Office of Children and Family Services to provide the enhanced program which has been successful in serving these youth.
Chris Schell, Home Finder for CNY TFFC, described the trauma-focused treatment foster care program; youth receive intensive therapy and counseling sessions while in the care of a highly trained and supported foster family. Schell said our program goes above and beyond other agencies, saying our job is to help the child be successful once they return home, not just while they are in our care.
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.
As the group visited the agency’s respite program space, Shannon Abate, Vice President of Services for People with Developmental Disabilities described proposed expansion that will increase available space and enable the program to serve an additional 25 individuals. 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 the agency’s health department.