Residential Services

Northern Rivers’ Residential Services meet the qualifications for QRTP and Family First regulations.

When a youth is unable to safely be maintained home with family, residential programs may be the right solution. Our residential programs, administered by Northeast Parent & Child Society and Parsons Child & Family Center, have several locations in Albany and Schenectady. All of the facilities are certified by the Council on Accreditation (COA) and licensed by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) and/or the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH). We combine a specialized therapeutic environment with the right kind of atmosphere that will benefit clients regardless of their challenges and goals.

Northern Rivers Family of Services offers a continuum of residential treatment options that can help any youth find success.

Residential Treatment CenterThe Schenectady Residence serves youth ages 12–18 and is licensed by OCFS. The residential program provides:
• Diagnostic services for youth
• Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
• Services for sexual problem behavior and fire-setting histories
• Permanency and family finding work

Residential Treatment Facility.  The Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) is an intensive residential treatment option licensed by the OMH and serves youth ages 12–18 who have exhibited mental health symptoms with a pattern of psychiatric interventions and hospitalizations. Located on Northern Rivers’ Academy Road campus in Albany in a state-of-the-art facility, this program provides youth with high family engagement and wraparound treatment planning and services. Entry to this program is through the NYS Office of Mental Health Preadmission Certification Committee (PACC).

Crisis Stabilization and Diagnostic ServicesFor youth ages 4–12, Schaffer Children’s Shelter (OCFS) in Schenectady provides comprehensive crisis stabilization, diagnostic services, and emergency respite, with an emphasis on creating a plan for success for the child and family.

Hard-to-Place UnitThe Mohawk Dorm, located in the Schenectady Residence and licensed by OCFS, is an 8-bed residential treatment program for boys and young men ages 12–21 who require more intensive services than an average residential treatment center can provide.

Community Residences and Group HomesWe have community residences and group homes that provide a coeducational living environment for youth with a focus on life and vocational skills along with a transitional component for those looking to return home or move on to independent living.

Community Residences.  Northern Rivers’ community residences, Miriam House (ages 12–17; OMH) and Academy Place (ages 10–18; OCFS), are located on Northern Rivers’ Academy Road campus in Albany. Miriam House serves 8 youth ages 12–17 who have a diagnosed mental health disorder and require out-of-home care, but do not require placement in a Residential Treatment Facility.

Group Homes.  Northern Rivers operates three group homes in residential neighborhoods, two in Albany and one in Schenectady, all licensed by OCFS. Each of the residences serves 10–11 youth ages 14–21 in a coeducational setting. The treatment program in each home focuses on community integration and developing independent living skills. Youth residing in the group homes generally attend local public schools and are encouraged to participate in school and community activities. Those youth requiring special education programming attend the School at Northeast in Schenectady or the Neil Hellman School in Albany, both approved special education programs operated by Northern Rivers.

Foster CareThe Foster Family Program at Northern Rivers provides foster and pre-adoptive foster homes for children requiring out-of-home placement from birth through age 21. As members of a nationally accredited agency, Northern Rivers’ foster parents and staff are some of the most highly trained and talented caring adults in New York state.

Click here for printable overview of all the Residential services Northern Rivers offers.

The Northern Rivers Difference

We’re here to work with you to identify the right Northern Rivers residential environment

to help any youth find success. While each residence has a different focus, they’re all staffed by knowledgeable, caring professionals who specialize in trauma-informed

care and are invested in each youth’s journey. We believe that every youth in our care deserves a rich, full experience. That’s why we ensure that every one of our residents receives the following.

Clinical Services

  • Specialized clinical services for fire-setting and sexually aggressive behaviors
  • Comprehensive assessments, which can include both psychiatric and psychological
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Motivational Interviewing
  • Case management with a focus on permanency and family involvement
  • Trauma-informed clinical services based on the ARC (attachment, regulation, competency) trauma model
  • Individual, family, and group counseling provided by master’s level clinical staff both at the center and in the family’s home and community

Living Environment

  • Trauma informed daily living environment geared toward youth regulation and skills development
  • Therapeutic crisis intervention (TCI) trained staff
  • Therapeutic recreational activities
  • Transitional Independent Living program focusing on independent living skills and employment preparation services
  • Living units are all co-ed allowing for free gender identification and expression

Education: Whether one of our 853 special education schools, public school, vocational programs, or higher education is appropriate, each resident has a customized educational plan with wraparound support.

Medical Care: Many residential sites have on-site medical care, and all youth have access to psychological, nursing, medication management, and physical health services.

Recreation: We offer a full range of therapeutic recreational activities at our residences and in the community. From intramural clubs to trips to sporting events, museums, and concerts, we allow every youth to broaden their horizons and nurture their passions.

Community Involvement and Volunteerism: We reinforce the importance of citizenship, and we encourage our residents to get involved with a wide variety of community and charitable initiatives. From neighborhood cleanups to awareness campaigns, we encourage each resident to pursue what’s meaningful to them.

Aftercare: We work with the family to identify community resources and supports from the beginning of care for the youth. Discharge criteria is identified on the first day and staff and family meet to create and work on a plan. Clinical and case management services may follow youth home for 6–12 months.

Family Finding: A full-time family finder can help identify family resources for youth with no connections. This is a service that is included for all youth in Northern Rivers Care.

For more information contact:
Lisa Casella-Thiele
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