Our Mission
Our mission is to provide a quality continuum of caring that facilitates achievement of satisfying, supported and independent living opportunities for children, youth and families it serves.

Our History

    Foster children from the Old Galveston Orphanage

    Foster children from the Old Galveston Orphanage

The Children's Center dates back to 1878 when an Island resident, George Dealey, felt that compassionate adults must take responsibility for the sheltering and nurturing of parentless children. Mr. Dealey, an immigrant and father of nine children, saw how a simple man like himself could help.  He spearheaded the opening of the Island City Protestant Orphans Asylum in Galveston. In 1881 the home took on a new location at 1315 Moody Street and  was renamed, the Orphans Home.

The 1900 Storm caused serious damage to the home, and as a result Philanthropist William Randolph Hearst organized a fundraiser in New York City to support the repairs and renovations. One special guest was Samuel L. Clemons. Because the population of the Home had changed over the years from orphans to unwanted and neglected children, the board of directors, in 1976, approved another name change - The Galveston Children's Home.

Over the decades, the needs of the children changed and expanded. The Galveston community responded with the establishment of three additional children's programs: 

The Society of Friendless Children organized and established facilities for children in 1894. As with the Protestant Orphans's Asylum, the great storm of 1900 caused great damage to the home operated by the society. Philanthropist Albert Lasker supported the establishment of new facilities, which was subsequently dedicated as the Lasker Home for Children, in his honor.

Albertine Yeager, an outstanding Galveston citizen and child advocate, recognized that there continued to be many unwanted Galveston children requiring homes and quality care. Mrs. Yeager opened her own home to these children in 1925, establishing the Albertine Yeager Children's Home.   In the late sixties our society began to recognize that countless children and youth were running away from home and greatly at risk. Galveston children and youth advocates again responded to our own communities needs with the establishment of the Youth Shelter of Galveston, Inc., which in 1972 opened to serve abandoned, abused and homeless youth.

In 1983, The Moody Foundation of Galveston provided leadership in examining the needs and services for children in Galveston County by funding a comprehensive study. In 1984, based upon the recommendations of this study, these four pioneering Galveston child service agencies merged to become The Children's Center, a child welfare organization dedicated to meeting the ongoing and future needs of less fortunate Galveston area children, youth and their families. 

Corporate Purpose
To establish, maintain and operate a public charity to provide for the housing, care, control, instruction, education, maintenance, counseling and other assistance to needy and/or dependent children; and

To receive and maintain a fund or funds of real or personal property, or both, and to use such funds exclusively for the charitable and educational purposes of the corporation; and

In the event that some children lack sufficient family support, and may when they reach chronological adulthood, be so handicapped that they cannot be expected to look after themselves, The Children’s Center may continue to supply these needs for as long as may be necessary; and

To develop a comprehensive system of children's services which will encourage the diverting of children from long- term placements outside of a family unit; and

To perform an advocacy role for children, providing leadership support toward the funding and development of quality services to children on the national, state and local levels, and in particular, to work closely with private and public agencies who share concern for the welfare of these children, and meeting their needs.

Philosophy
To provide contemporary, research-driven programs, utilizing best practices of applied behavior analysis, positive youth development and trauma informed care within settings that promote non-violence, democracy, tolerance, caring, healing, resiliency and safety. 

Persons Served:

abused, abandoned and neglected | at risk and special needs
homeless and runaway | immigrants and refugees
low income and poverty level

Services:
Advocacy | Case Management | Counseling | Crisis Intervention | Education | Mentoring
Information and Referral | Outreach