Founded in 1896, Florence Crittenton of Helena, Montana was officially incorporated into the Crittenton Family of Agencies in June of 1900. Prior to the establishment of Florence Crittenton, there was no rescue home of any kind in Montana. Although the first home was in a beautiful location and was well maintained, there was almost no furniture for the sixteen rooms, no carpets, no lighting fixtures except kerosene lamps, and no plumbing or other conveniences. Despite this, the need was so great that the first girl, Finn, went to the home before furniture donations could be gathered, and her baby was born two weeks later. She named her baby “Florence.”

Original Helena home (top) and new Helena facility (bottom)

Florence Crittenton is a trauma responsive, relationship-based organization that provides family-centered support during critical times for families struggling with multiple challenges, including substance abuse, homelessness, poverty, and the generational cycles of abuse and neglect. Utilizing the ARC trauma responsive framework, FCHS programs serve at-risk parents, young children, and young families effectively providing a continuum of care depending on the intensity of needs and support of each family. FCHS maintains a philosophy and standard of care that every family deserves to be treated as a whole family, with dignity, compassion and respect.

Residential programs include Women and Children’s Recovery, a program geared for women aged 18-24 and their children up to age four. This program aids recovery for women and children struggling with multigenerational trauma, a mental health diagnosis, and substance use disorder. The Homeless, Pregnant and Parenting Youth program is for women aged 16-21 and their children up to age four. Shelter and supportive services are provided to youth and their children in a trauma-responsive, family-centered environment. Program outcomes focus on gaining and maintaining safe, permanent housing, as well as education, job attainment, and parenting skills. Maternity services are also available to young women aged 12-16 and their infant and toddler children. This program provides intensive residential therapeutic care to young mothers that are facing multiple challenges. Clients will have full access to Florence Crittenton’s Clinical Services where needed.

Along with residential services, FCHS also provides outpatient services to for up to 20 clients per week; parents up to age 30 who are struggling with mental health challenges and/or substance use disorder. Additionally, FCHS offers community-based programs available to families in the Helena community. These include: family-centered mental health interventions, co-occurring substance abuse/mental diagnosis therapy, home visitation for parenting education, and parenting classes to Riverside Correctional Facility.

High quality early childcare and education programs are also available at FCHS. The licensed childcare center is for children aged 0-2 years old and provides nurturing care for infants and toddlers. It was recently voted number one in the Independent Record “Best of Helena” survey. Early Childhood Preschool is also available for children aged 2-3 years-old. Florence Crittenton’s Preschool is a licensed early intervention program that serves children in a structured, inclusive, and nurturing environment.

Barbara Burton, MNA was appointed Executive Director of FCHS in July of 2006. She holds a Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Administration and over 12 years of experience in development, management and leadership in the nonprofit sector as well as specialized certifications in Nonprofit Finance and Fundraising. Barbara’s passion for young women and their children has helped her create a vision for Florence Crittenton that is based on attachment, personal growth, achievement and independence. A Montana native, Barbara is a graduate of the University Of Montana School Of Business and North Park University’s School of Business and Nonprofit Administration. Prior to working in the nonprofit sector, Barbara was a Financial Planner.