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Group Homes

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

Northern Rivers operates three group homes in residential neighborhoods, two in Albany and one in Schenectady, all licensed by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (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.

A full range of therapeutic programming and supports are available to each group home resident and a multidisciplinary treatment team develops an individualized treatment plan using information from a variety of individualized strength-based assessments they complete.

Northern Rivers provides programming and support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. 


  • Housing located in safe residential neighborhoods conveniently located near public transportation with routine and emergency medical care provided onsite and 24-hour supervision and support
  • Weekly individual, group, and family therapy provided in a supportive and confidential environment
  • Weekly independent living groups in which the youth practice skills such as navigating public transportation, cooking, and managing a budget
  • Opportunities to improve and practice social skills in the group home and in the community
  • Comprehensive interdisciplinary clinical treatment team provides psychiatric and psychological assessments, clinical evaluations, medication reviews, and assessments for behavioral interventions
  • Completion of Transition Plan, Parts I and II, as required by OCFS regulations


  • Youth are able to participate in community educational, vocational and recreational opportunities.
  • Prepared for success in a supportive environment whether returning home or moving into an independent or supportive apartment program
  • Improved daily functioning at home, in school, and in the community
  • If applicable, staff support in transitioning youth to adult services to ensure continuity and continued progress.
  • Clinical approaches using evidence-based treatment models such as cognitive behavior therapy, functional behavior assessment, motivational interviewing, ARC trauma treatment, and dialectical behavior therapy address clinical needs of youth and help sustain the youth in the community

How to Get Started

Youth ages 14–21 are referred through the county’s Department of Social Services (DSS), Department of Probation, Family Court, or the local school district’s Committee on Special Education (CSE). Services are provided to youth with a history of disruptive behavior, such as truancy, running away from home, and misdemeanor criminal activity, as well as some mental health needs. Services are also provided to responsible youth from foster homes or residences who would benefit from a different community-based setting.

For more information on these services or to arrange for a tour of any residence, contact:

Lisa Cassella-Thiele
OCFS Residential Intake Coordinator
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