Inwood House offers programs to support pregnant and parenting teens who are currently in foster care, homeless, runaway, or adjudicated. The continuum of care offered at Inwood House is aimed at promoting young parents’ self-worth and potential while improving the health and relationships of young families and their children, and increasing their independent skills. Inwood House also works to reduce the incidence of repeat early pregnancies, child abuse, and neglect.
Florence Crittenton Services (FCS) was established by Charlotte civic and religious leaders in 1903. After an article was published reporting the suicide of a 16-year-old who was single and pregnant, citizens joined forces to provide a safe place and understanding, rather than condemnation, for single, pregnant women. That same year, Charles Crittenton and Dr. Kate Waller Barrett made their way to Charlotte and incorporated the home into the Crittenton Family of Agencies. Since then, over 40,000 women, adolescents and babies have received support through Florence Crittenton Services.
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.”
The organization that later became Canopy Children’s Solutions (Canopy) opened its doors in 1912 with the mission of placing orphaned children into permanent, loving homes. In 1943, the Mississippi Children’s Home Society (as it was then called) amended its charter to permit the Society to extend its services to single mothers. This change, along with the challenge of protecting children from unregulated adoptions, ultimately led to the establishment of the Crestview Maternity Home in 1957. Services to single mothers continued expanding, and in 1965 Crestview became a member of National Crittenton, changing its name to Crestview-Crittenton Home.
Although the Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps has been around and thriving since 1969 in Boston, it only became a member of the Crittenton Family of Agencies recently. Its historic connection to National Crittenton lies with the Florence Crittenton agency in Lowell, Massachusetts. In 2011, RFK Children’s Action Corps’ Bright Futures Adoption Center decided to take on the care and protection of the adoption records from the Florence Crittenton League of Lowell. RFK became a member of the Crittenton Family of Agencies the following year in 2012.
The Crittenton agency currently known as Economic Mobility Pathways (EMPath) got its start back in 1896 as the Florence Crittenton League of Compassion, Inc. Throughout its history it has undergone multiple mergers, including one in 1908, 1926, and 1949. Most recently in 2006, the Crittenton agency in Boston merged with the Women’s Union to become the Crittenton Women’s Union. As of 2016, it announced its future as EMPath.
Had it not been for the tireless efforts and interest of one woman–Anna G. Lord–Florence Crittenton Services of Topeka, Inc. may have never existed. After planning and discussing the idea for years, she finally contacted Dr. Kate Waller Barrett at the National Florence Crittenton Mission and on May 18, 1900 a Florence Crittenton Board was organized.
After operating under the auspices of the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) for nearly 30 years, a small group of executives from different Crittenton agencies including— Gwen Bailey, Kathy Szafran, and Joyce Capelle — went to the board of the National Florence Crittenton Mission with a singular request: “help us do more.”
Originally opened as the Home of Blessing in 1892, Crittenton Centers in Peoria, Illinois was started by a group of women who saw a great need among the young girls and women in their community. They carried their work out for ten years despite facing a great deal of opposition but were ready to give up on the home when Charles Crittenton convinced the community of its importance. In 1902, the Home of Blessing became an official Florence Crittenton Home and immediately admitted two girls into its residence.
The establishment of the Crittenton Center in Sioux City, Iowa cannot be discussed without mention of Dr. Agnes Eichelberger. As a skilled practicing physician, she was unlike many of the other founders of Crittenton Homes who shared in her passion to support girls and young women, but lacked formal scientific training. It is said that even as a young girl, Dr. Eichelberger had dreamt of serving humanity among medical lines. She first established the Women’s Home in 1894, which consolidated with the Babies’ Home in 1897 to become the Women’s and Babies’ Home Association. After soliciting Dr. Kate Waller Barrett and the National Florence Crittenton Mission, the home became the Crittenton Center in 1903.
We have a long history as advocates for young women and girls
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