Short-Term Stabilization & Diagnostic Residences

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

For youth ages 4–12, Healy House in Albany and the Schaffer Children’s Shelter in Schenectady provide comprehensive diagnostic services and emergency respite, with an emphasis on creating a plan for success for the child and family.

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

Healy House, Albany
A short-term (20–30 days) crisis residence, Healy House serves children ages 5–12, with 6 beds licensed by the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) and an additional 2 beds available through the counties’ Department of Social Services (DSS). The program provides children in a situational crisis with customized supervision, clinical support, nursing care, and tutoring, focusing on helping children stabilize through a consistent, nurturing structure combined with behavior modification. The DSS beds also offer diagnostic services. Serving Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren, and Washington counties, it is funded by county DSSs and OMH

Schaffer Children's Shelter, Schenectady
The Schaffer Children’s Shelter is an 8-bed diagnostic facility that serves children ages 4–12 licensed by the New York State Office for Children and Family Services (OCFS).

Often children with histories of trauma exhibit behaviors that become unmanageable in their home. The children’s shelter offers a complete 30- to 45-day diagnostic that includes a comprehensive psychosocial and behavioral assessment, as well as psychiatric, individual psychological, and family psychological assessment. These assessments are conducted by three doctors, each of whom is licensed in his or her respective field. Using three doctors allows for a comprehensive overview of the child and family. The staff of the children’s shelter prides themselves in providing recommendations and a road map for success for each child and family.

Schaffer Children’s Shelter also provides brief emergency respite for children in crisis. These are children who are not in need of hospitalization, but who can benefit from a short stay away from their family home. Emergency respite can provide families with a much-needed break, while preventing out-of-home placement for their children.

Available Services

  • Behavior management
  • Comprehensive psychological assessment
    • Projective and IQ testing
    • Psychiatric assessment
    • Family assessment
    • Comprehensive write-up synthesizing doctors’ assessments and the behavioral observations of the youth in the facility
    • Comprehensive document provided at the conclusion of the assessment to the local district, which contains all reports and assessments


  • The child is stabilized
  • The child has improved daily functioning at home, in school, and in the community
  • Caregivers are more understanding of and better prepared to manage their child’s behaviors and emotional needs
  • Caregivers gain a better understanding of how the child’s and family’s background impacts their current functioning
  • The family receives a comprehensive document detailing the services provided, which can then offer guidance to future service providers
  • The family receives a comprehensive genogram of the family; this pictorial representation of a child’s family relationships and medical history helps highlight and analyze hereditary patterns and psychological factors affecting relationships.

How to Get Started
The diagnostic program is available to youth between the ages of 4 and 12 who are currently in the care and custody of their county’s Department of Social Services (DSS). Emergency respite is available to some private insurance companies and certain local county mental health offices

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

Emily Mehigan Barb Chaires
Intake Specialist Intake Specialist
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
518.426.2613, ext. 2613 518.346.4251, ext. 4302