PCHAS traces its roots back to 1903 when the First Presbyterian Church of Dallas, Texas, opened a home for the orphaned children of tuberculosis victim Leontine Hector Blaney. Two years later, the Files family donated a large plot of land near Itasca, where PCHAS’ oldest continually operating campus remains today.
Another Texas organization, United Presbyterian Homes, established an orphanage and school in 1916. By 1960 it became Presbyterian Children’s Services (PCS). These two agencies merged in 2002 with the name Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services (PCHAS). Since then, we’ve added many programs, including a program to help keep families from breaking apart and a Single Parent Family program to help struggling single mothers and their children. Read more about our programs in Texas.
Meanwhile, Presbyterian pastors in rural Missouri founded an orphanage in 1914. It grew to include numerous homes and a farm. In the mid-1960s, society’s approach to caring for children in state custody shifted away from institutions and toward foster families. Presbyterian Home for Children began working with children who had severe emotional and mental health issues and it became a residential treatment center.
Eventually, the Missouri agency expanded its services to manage the needs of foster families and teenagers aging out of foster care. Its preventative programs, such as in-home counseling and therapeutic mentoring for children, have proved very effective for families, schools and the community. Read more about our programs in Missouri.