Our History

Cayuga Counseling Services, Inc., has evolved from a series of organizational efforts by civic minded people to improve the quality of life for the people of the Auburn area.

In March, 1921, a certificate of incorporation was filed for a new agency, “Associated Charities of Auburn, New York,” whose purpose included serving as a center of inter-communication between public institutions, churches, charitable organizations and individuals for efficient application of relief from financial and other needs. Aid in finding employment, “friendly visitors to all in need of counsel and help,” and prevention of poverty were also listed in the purposes, which were summed up in the final item: “To promote the general welfare of the poor by social and sanitary reform, and by inculcating habits of providence and self-dependence.” Activities were confined to the City of Auburn.

The original Directors were:
Douglas Woodruff, Henry Traub, Jr., E. Donaldson Clapp, Alice M. Montgomery, Theodore W. Case, Nancy M. Hunt, Luke Lane, Frank J. Lattimore, Charles A. McCarthy, Dr. Louis F. O’Neill, A.L. Smith and Ella Hart Stewart.

The name of the organization was changed several times in succeeding decades, to reflect an evolving purpose:

  • 1928 – “Family Welfare Society of Auburn, New York, Inc.
  • 1945 – “Family Service of Auburn, New York, Inc.”

Overtures were made in 1957 by the Catholic Family Center for a merger with the Family Service Agency. No agreement was reached.

In 1966 these discussions were reopened at the suggestion of the United Way. The following year an informal relationship was formed. Both agencies were directed by the same Executive and operated cooperatively, with two separate Board of Directors. In 1970, a subsidiary corporation “The Cayuga Family Center,” was voted into existence. This was made into a legal partnership on January 1, 1971.

After extensive study by a joint committee from the two Boards, a proposal for merger was drawn up. The Catholic Family Center Board decided not to merge at that time.

However, thanks to the continued efforts of the presidents of the two Boards, both groups voted unanimously in April, 1975, to form one agency to function under one Board. As a result, the present agency, “Cayuga Counseling Services, Inc.” became incorporated.

The Certificate of Incorporation, in 1975, records the fact that the corporation operated as a non-profit organization and lists the current purposes: To care for destitute, delinquent, abandoned, neglected, abused or dependent children or persons in need of supervision, and to place out and board such children and persons in need of supervision; to provide such related services as care to unwed mothers and to provide counseling and related services to further families’ and individual’s psychological and physical well-being; to develop an educational program as a means of preventing and/or alleviating further family crisis; to cooperate with other existing agencies of a similar nature in furthering the above purposes; to do any other act or thing incidental to or connected with the foregoing purposes or in advancement thereof, but not for the pecuniary profit or financial gain of its directors or officers, except as permitted under Article 5 of the Not-for Profit Corporation Law.

At that time activities were expanded to include all of Cayuga County. Subsequently, the Certificate of Incorporation was amended to allow for the operation of community programs for the mentally ill.