KidsPeace History

1882 William Thurston founds The Thurston Home for Children in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

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, (PA). The new home is dedicated The Annie Wiley Children’s Home in honor of the captain’s late wife.

1926 The name is changed to The Children’s Home of Bethlehem and Allentown.

1930 The organization shifts focus from orphanage to foster care services, to deal with growing numbers of children in need during the Great Depression.

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, DC, Wiley House moves to 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 of Wiley House services.

1974 The 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.

1979 Wiley House adds therapeutic foster care services as the Intensive Treatment Family (ITF) program opens its first offices in Bethlehem, (PA).

1982 Wiley House celebrates 100 years of service to children in the Lehigh Valley.

1984 Construction of the new, structurally innovative Child Development Therapeutic Recreation Center (CDTRC) begins at the Broadway Campus.

1987 Wiley House schools are accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

1988 The Berks County Advances Program, a day treatment program and school in Reading, Pennsylvania, is added to the Wiley House continuum.

1991 Wiley House opens a residential treatment campus on 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, Pennsylvania. Residential treatment services come to the new Orchard Hills Campus when Patriot Center opens. 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®. Inventor Center added to Orchard Hills Campus residential treatment.

1993 KidsPeace Hospital® opens on the Orchard Hills Campus, offering acute inpatient services for children who require a deeper level of care. Pioneer Center added to Orchard Hills Campus residential treatment. Foster care (ITF) opens its first New York office.

1998 KidsPeace enters the field of clinical treatment within a juvenile justice setting as Mesabi Academy opens in Buhl, Minnesota. TeenCentral®.Net, an innovative, interactive Web site for teens, is launched. The KidsPeace Auxiliary commemorates 50 years of service to KidsPeace.

1999-2001 KidsPeace opens additional foster care (ITF) offices in Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and Maine.

2001 KidsPeace founds the KidsPeace InstituteTM. Its mission: to provide research, education, and training opportunities for those who work with our nation’s kids. The Donley Therapeutic Education Center opens on the Orchard Hills Campus.

2002 Intensive Treatment Family (ITF) program officially changes its name to Foster Care and Family Services (FCFS).

2004 KidsPeace opens a new, state-of-the-art residential treatment facility in Bowdon, GA.

2006  KidsPeace begins programming for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Bethlehem (PA) and at the Graham Lake Campus (ME).

2008 Sanctuary Model implemented FCFS changes its name to Foster Care and Community Programs (FCCP).

2010 The KidsPeace Family Center opens at the Broadway Campus in Bethlehem.

2011 ParentCentral.Net website is launched. KidsPeace partners with Duke University and Penn State University to research and develop the Together Facing the Challenge training and treatment curriculum.

2012 KidsPeace Hospital expands to 96 beds.

2013 Outpatient Services o ices open in Allentown and Tobyhanna, PA, and include free walk-in assessments among services. Orchard Behavioral Health (programming for adult clients) begins.

2014 East Millinocket (ME) day treatment/special purpose school opens.

2015 KidsPeace Hospital expanded to 120 beds. Outpatient services begin at Sacred Heart Hospital in Allentown (PA). KidsPeace MileStones day treatment/special purpose school opens on Graham Lake Campus in Maine

2016 Greenbush (ME) day treatment/special purpose school opens.

2017 TeenCentral redesigned and relaunched with expanded content and support tools. KidsPeace celebrates its 135th Anniversary, and adopts a new mission statement: “To bring hope, help and healing to children, adults and those who love them.”