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Who We Are

Mission & History


Empower children to thrive, strengthen families, and enrich communities.


York County is a community where children and families have access to safety, stability, mental health care, and the resources they need.


For over 150 years, Children’s Home of York has offered a comprehensive range of programs and services designed to meet the complex needs of the children we serve and their families. Over the years, we have expanded our services to address the changing landscape of child welfare, incorporating innovative approaches to support children and families in our community.

Founded in 1865, a group of philanthropists recognized a growing need for care of orphans resulting from the Civil War. That orphanage served York County and the surrounding communities for almost 100 years. In the 1960s, the orphanage scaled back in operation, favoring the development of innovative programs that could better meet the changing needs of today’s children and adolescents. Across the United States, it became widely recognized that large-scale institutional living was not ideal for the care of children and adolescents in crisis. The shift in social service philosophy caused the creation of smaller, group care homes.

In 1969, Children’s Home opened its first group home. By the early 1970s, the orphanage was closed and the building, located on East Philadelphia and Pine in York City, was eventually demolished. Over time, a series of new residential programs and specialized services were opened to meet the specialized needs of the children and youth.

The original home, at the corner of East Philadelphia and Pine. A plaque has since been dedicated.

Today, Children’s Home of York is a multi-faceted social service organization that serves our most vulnerable children, youth, and families throughout Pennsylvania. Currently, three residential programs offer residents constant supervision and support while equipping them with the skills necessary to become functioning members of their community.

Our foster care and adoption services provide structured, supportive therapeutic family environments with the goal of helping children secure a permanent, loving, forever family as quickly as possible. This might mean providing services that enable reunification with the biological family, preparation, and support for the transition into foster care or adoption, or the support for transitioning into independent living for children approaching the age of 18.

Our BRIDGES™ Partial Hospitalization Program provides a unique school that fuses academic and behavioral health services. One of the frequent casualties in a child’s struggle with mental health issues is their education. In our attempt to assist children in managing their behavioral and emotional state, many of them fall behind their age group educationally. BRIDGES™ targets both the psychiatric needs of children as well as their educational needs.

Our growing portfolio of prevention services allows for dynamic programming of education and support for children and their families, ensuring that our community members have access to the support they need. We understand that healing is a collaborative effort, and we work closely with families, communities, and partner organizations to create a network of support for each child.

Children's Home of York understands that the journey to healing and growth is a collaborative effort. We actively engage with families, communities, and partner organizations to create a network of support. We believe that by working together, we can create lasting positive change in the lives of the children we serve. We expect our evolution to continue as we strive to keep pace with our changing environment. The future Children’s Home will continue to serve children, families, and their communities through unique programs and services and will continue to be flexible in adjusting its services to these changing times.

Thank you for visiting Children’s Home of York. We invite you to join us in our mission to strengthen families and enrich communities. Together, we can make a lasting impact and build a better world for children in need.

We expect our evolution to continue as we strive to keep pace with our changing environment.