Since 1882

William Thurston founds The Thurston Home for Children.

Thurston Home

1886

The orphanage is incorporated as The Children’s Home of South Bethlehem.

1895

Captain James Wiley donates enough money to build a new, larger home on Broadway in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The new home is dedicated The Annie Wiley Children’s Home in honor of the captain’s late wife – but is commonly referred to as The Children’s Home of South Bethlehem.

James Wiley

1910

Forty children between the ages of 2 and 14 receive care and support at The Children’s Home.

Beds 1910

1926

The name is changed to The Children’s Home of Bethlehem and Allentown.

1930

In the midst of the Great Depression, growing numbers of children in need compel the organization to shift focus from orphanage to foster care services.

Auxiliary 1940s

1940s Board

1943

The Children’s Home of Bethlehem and Allentown becomes known as Wiley House.

1948

The Wiley House Ladies’ Auxiliary is formed.

1958

Inspired by a children’s rights conference in Washington, D.C., Wiley House staff hire a case worker and revise intake policies, laying the foundation for today’s treatment programs.

1961

Children’s mental health services become the primary focus.

1974

The deteriorating, 79-year-old Wiley House structure is demolished, clearing the way for the new Child Development Center and several residential “cottages.”

1977

As an alternative to institutionalization, Wiley House offers its first day-treatment programs.

1978

Washington School in Allentown, Pa., is purchased to house the expanding education program.

1979

Wiley House adds therapeutic foster care services to its list of programs as the Intensive Treatment Family (ITF) program opens its first offices in Bethlehem, Pa.

CDTRC 1980s

1982

Wiley House celebrates 100 years of service to children in the Lehigh Valley and receives a letter of commendation from President Ronald Reagan. Wiley House hosts its inaugural National Conference, an event designed to provide timely, practical information to those who work with children.

1984

Construction of the new, structurally innovative Child Development Therapeutic Recreation Center (CDTRC) begins at the Broadway Campus. New ITF site opens in Pennsylvania.

1986

ITF opens two new offices in Pennsylvania.

1987

William Penn School in Allentown, Pa., is added to the educational program. Wiley House schools are accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

1988

Two new campuses are added to the Wiley House continuum: the Blue Ridge Campus, a diagnostic center in Saylorsburg, Pa., and the Berks County Advances Program, a day treatment program and school in Reading, Pa. A new foster care (ITF) site opens in Pennsylvania.

1990

A new foster care (ITF) site opens in Pennsylvania.

1991

Wiley House opens a residential treatment campus on the shores of Graham Lake in Ellsworth, Maine. Wiley House unveils a plan for a new, state-of-the-art campus nestled on more than 255 acres of apple orchards in the rolling hills of Orefield, Pa. Foster care (ITF) opens its first Indiana site.

1992

To clearly convey the mission of the growing organization, the name is officially changed to KidsPeace®. Renowned psychologist and author Lee Salk, Ph.D., becomes KidsPeace’s first National Advisor for Prevention Services. Trusty the Goldfish® appears for the first time in a nationally televised public service announcement. The National Referral Network and the Affiliates Network are initiated. A new foster care (ITF) site opens in Pennsylvania. KidsPeace National Entertainment Council® and KidsPeace International Advisory Panel for Prevention Services are formed.

1993

KidsPeace Hospital® opens its doors in Orefield, Pa., offering acute inpatient services for children who require a deeper level of care. KidsPeace announces at its Washington, D.C., press conference the results of the organization’s National Survey of Kids in Crisis and Parenting, and the inauguration of The Lee Salk Center® at KidsPeace. The “24 Ways to Stop Child Abuse” campaign is launched; “Seven Standards for Effective Parenting” brochure is released. Foster care (ITF) opens its first New York office, as well as new sites in Georgia and Pennsylvania.

1994

KidsPeace founds National KidsDay®, a national holiday to celebrate and honor kids, and hosts the inaugural bike rodeo on the Orchard Hills Campus. Two new foster care (ITF) offices are opened in Pennsylvania and Indiana.

Leeza Gibbons 1995

1995

KidsPeace announces at its Washington, D.C., press conference the results of the organization’s National Preteen Survey. Survey results reach 300 million people in 68 countries through media coverage. The KidsPeace National Sports Council® is formed. A new foster care (ITF) site opens in Pennsylvania.

1996

KidsPeace opens a dual diagnosis program in Saylorsburg, Pa. A new public service campaign, “15 Ways to Help Your Child Through Crisis,” launches nationwide. Three new foster care (ITF) offices open in Georgia, Indiana and New Jersey. KidsPeace and Family Fun magazine successfully host the Family Fun Run on Father’s Day in Central Park (New York) as a way to celebrate KidsPeace’s National Family Month™.

1997

Four new foster care (ITF) offices open in New York and Indiana.

1998

KidsPeace® Mesabi Academy, a juvenile justice facility with a clinical component, opens in Buhl, Minn. TeenCentral®.Net, an innovative, interactive website for teens, is launched. Congressional legislation recognizing National KidsDay and National Family Month is passed with House Concurrent Resolution #302 of the 105th Congress. The KidsPeace Auxiliary commemorates 50 years of service to KidsPeace.

1999

Nine new foster care (ITF) offices open in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Indiana and Maine.

2000

KidsPeace extends its residential and educational services into the New York area with the Seneca Wood Campus in Romulus, N.Y. Four new foster care (ITF) offices open in Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia and Maryland.

2001

Two new foster care (ITF) offices open in North Carolina. KidsPeace hosts its inaugural fundraising gala. In order to deliver the highest quality of service and treatment to kids in crisis, KidsPeace founds the KidsPeace Institute™. Its mission: to provide research, education and training opportunities for those who work with our nation’s kids.

2002

KidsPeace opens KidsPeace Prairie Academy™ in Worthington, Minn. Intensive Treatment Family (ITF) program officially changes its name to Foster Care and Family Services (FCFS). Today, 120 years since its inception, KidsPeace offers the largest continuum of children’s mental health care services in the country, helping, treating and giving peace to thousands of kids in 50 locations in 10 states across the United States and millions more through prevention and educational efforts.

2003

KidsPeace Heritage Museum celebrates its grand opening.

2004

KidsPeace opens a new, state-of-the-art residential facility in Bowdon, Ga. To help address the rising epidemic of childhood obesity, KidsPeace, in partnership with consumer concept group Mass Connections, launches the innovative media campaign “Join the Fight to Help Kids Eat Right.”

2005

After Hurricane Katrina devastates New Orleans, La., and much of the surrounding area, KidsPeace kids and staff from all locations organize several fundraisers to help those in need.

2006

KidsPeace Community Programs of Florida opens.

2007

KidsPeace celebrates 125 years of providing hope, help and healing to children facing crisis.

2008

The Sanctuary Model is implemented.

2010

The KidsPeace Family Center opens.

2011

ParentCentral.Net is launched. KidsPeace partners with Duke University and Penn State University to research and develop the Together Facing the Challenge training and treatment curriculum.