Circare was founded in 1989 as Onondaga Case Management Services in response to the New York State Office of Mental Health’s initiative to provide intensive case management services to individuals diagnosed with mental illnesses. Over the years, clinical, vocational, peer-based, forensic and crisis-intervention services for youth and their families were added, including Circare’s Behavioral Health Clinic that provides outpatient individual, family and group therapy as well as psychiatric evaluations and medication treatment.

Among its many programs, Circare houses county, state and federally sponsored initiatives including the multidisciplinary Assertive Community Treatment team. The ACT team provides 24-hour outreach and services within community settings, such as a person's own home and neighborhood, local restaurants, and parks. In addition, the organization is an Employment Network designated by the Federal Social Security Administration which, through the Ticket to Work program, provides employment services and support to beneficiaries of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Social Security Income (SSI).

In 2013, Circare received designation from the New York State Department of Health as a Health Home. As a “Lead Health Home”, Circare is one area agency that processes referrals to link Medicaid beneficiaries to care management services. Individuals are then connected with care managers located at Circare or other community non-profits. Circare contracts with organizations in Onondaga, Oswego, Cayuga, Cortland, Chemung, Madison, Tompkins, Broome, and Tioga Counties to provide Health Home care management. Circare is a member of Health Homes of Upstate New York (HHUNY) which is a consortium of four Health Homes collaborating together.

In 2016, the organization carried out an effort to develop a brand reflective of the organization’s growth, service expansion, and the expansion of the areas it serves in the Central New York region. Onondaga Case Management Services was rebranded and reintroduced as Circare on September 12, 2016.