One hundred thirty two years ago, a group of local women were concerned for orphaned children who were without a safe and nurturing home. The Children's Aid Society of Somerset County was established to provide for the need. The concern and need grew leading to the purchase of a home in the early 1900's to serve more children. The home was purchased with money raised in the community by asking people to donate their pocket change.
Over the years, services for children evolved and new services developed as the challenges facing the children became more complex. The Children's Aid Home Programs along with other private non-profit providers continue to work toward meeting the needs of children.
The Children's Aid Home Programs, along with most private providers of child welfare services, is facing a challenging and changing future. A partial list of challenges and changes include:
• Diminishing public funding.
• National and Pennsylvania movement to reduce out-of-home placements.
• National and Pennsylvania movement toward increased community based and evidenced based services.
• Increasing mandates, regulations, and accountability measures – all with little or no funding to cover the increased costs.
• The push to help children and families make positive change in shorter service durations.
• Being held accountable for service outcomes.
This led to the development of the Children's Aid Society Foundation to insure that the services needed by children will be provided. The Foundation's primary role will be to build a significant and sophisticated development program to provide the resources and consultation for program innovation, collaboration, development, and operation. The Foundation will also be active in advocacy activities for children and children's services.
Your caring support and generosity over the years has allowed the Children's Aid Society Foundation to provide many valuable services and experiences for children. Artists in residency, baseball games, summer camps, special therapeutic services, reading programs, and college scholarships are just a few examples of the experiences your donations have helped provide. These experiences may have otherwise not been part of their lives.