Finger Lakes Residential Center

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Finger Lakes Residential Center (FLRC) is located seven miles north of the city of Ithaca. Youth are in a one-story building with eight units. Individual units contain a large multi-purpose area and connect to a classroom that can be used as program space evenings and weekends.

Each unit opens to the main area that contains additional classrooms, vocational shops, a kitchen area and central dining.

The campus was designed utilizing the latest technical security and open spacious areas optimizing supervision of the youth.

The youth served at FLRC are male, adjudicated juvenile delinquents, generally between the ages of 13 and 18, placed with OCFS by the Family Court.

This facility is accredited by the American Correctional Association.



Group counseling is conducted at least five days a week, using a variety of approaches, including:

  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
  • Sanctuary Psycho-Educational groups
  • Substance Abuse/Innervisions
  • The "Seven Challenges" substance abuse pullout group

The facility provides educational programming for youth according to New York State Education Department requirements. The Committee on Special Education (CSE) addresses special education needs for classified students and Individual Education Programs (IEPs) are developed for students with disabilities. State assessments including Regents examinations and competency tests are also provided to eligible students. Qualifying youth may also enroll in the Alternative High School Education Programs and pursue a Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC). Speech therapy is also available. Academic and vocational courses are offered so students can earn credits that can be applied toward a high school diploma upon a student’s return to a community school. Students also complete a “portfolio” that provides a summary of relevant documentation and outlines work history, any certifications earned, and experiences gained.

Vocational Opportunities
  • On-the-job Training is a job-readiness program that allows designated youth the opportunity to practice the skills learned in their vocational classes. The program provides mentoring and job training, enabling youth to gain valuable work experience while earning a small stipend. Youth earn a certificate for their portfolio. The Summer Youth Employment Program offers opportunities in the facility, along with work in the community at Kings Cemetery and at Cayuga Medical Center.
  • National Work Readiness Credentials is a job-readiness class offered periodically throughout the year. Students are taught how to read business memos, inventory receipts, letters and correspondence. They learn business math, including basic math computations and how to do mark-ups, mark-downs and percentages. Situational judgement is a component of the course that puts youth in various scenarios where they are expected to respond appropriately and utilize active listening skills.
  • The culinary program trains youth to work in an entry-level position in a restaurant chain. Students earn their SERV Safe Certificate. They leave with a beginner’s skills in cooking for themselves and/or to continue on to advanced cooking classes.
  • The FLRC Horticulture Program prepares students for a “farm-to-table experience,” during the summer and a landscaping and green house experience throughout the year. Students learn the basics of horticulture science in the propagation and cultivation of various vegetable and fruit plants as well as popular house plants. The horticulture shop will be offering “Management of Cool Seasons Lawns,” as a nationally recognized certificate.
  • The Building Trades Program, run by a certified and highly skilled construction woodshop teacher, instructs students in the use of various tools and safety practices as they complete wood projects including bird houses, Adirondack chairs, and tables.
  • Auto Repair Shop offers students training in the skills necessary for entry-level employment in the auto repair industry. Training includes an opportunity to earn the nationally recognized “Certified Alldata Information Specialist” certificate. The certified auto repair instructor focuses class activities primarily around routine and scheduled maintenance procedures. Students also have an opportunity to learn basic welding skills on a state-of-the-art virtual reality welding simulator.
  • The Cleaning Management Institute (CMI) presents students with study and hands-on practice in the chemistry of cleaning. Youth learn to clean various floor surfaces and restrooms. Youth who pass the course earn a nationally recognized certificate as an CMI custodial technician.
  • The Energy Warriors/Green Pathways program is a collaborative offering with the Cornell Cooperative Extension and is offered through the building trades shop. It prepares students to work in the energy conservation industry. Students leave with multiple certificates. Older students are offered a liaison working on their behalf between the skills learned in the program and actual employment in the community. Students have an opportunity to attend a bi-annual weatherization “boot camp,” held each spring and fall.
  • Careers & Financial Management is a course offered to help youth learn to write resumes and cover letters, practice interviewing, and learn budgeting and the basics of finance. Portfolio development is part of this course, which involves the use of computer skills and programs. Included in the portfolio are essential documents such as working papers, birth certificate and social security card, when possible. Students are offered the opportunity, biannually, to earn certificates through American Red Cross First Aid/CPR and AED training and )SHA 10 training.
  • A computer skills curriculum is being developed to include basic computer skills and coding.
Health Services

Medical care is provided seven days a week by a team of health practitioners. On-site dental services are offered by a dentist and dental hygienist.

Mental Health Services

These are provided through the combined services of a psychologist, social workers and a psychiatrist. Services include individual and group therapy, staff consultation and training, mediation therapy, and referrals for community follow-up and care upon release.


Recreational: The recreation program is managed by recreation specialists and includes indoor and outdoor activities. Activities such as rock wall-climbing are also available on the grounds.

Religious Services

A group of community volunteers and the regional OCFS chaplain offer religious services. Participation by youth is voluntary.

Special Programs and Community Involvement

A community reintegration program is offered at the facility. This program provides care for youth who have had problems on aftercare and need special programming during a brief stay at the facility.

FLRC has many collaborative projects supported by connections through the center's Community Advisory Board, local businesses, colleges, universities and volunteers.

Permanency Planning

Permanency planning begins upon admission. Facility staff, in conjunction with the youth, the youth’s family and Community Service Team workers, develop a release plan and identify community-based services to assist youth with their return to the community. Family engagement is actively pursued through video conferences, participation in support team meetings as well as facility sponsored visits to the center.