100th Anniversary: David & Margaret Youth and Family Services

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Founded: In 1910, as an orphanage called David & Margaret Home for Children.

By: Women’s Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. and Mrs. Henry Kuns of La Verne, Calif., donated an old hotel on 17½ acres of land there, to the missionary society for use as an orphanage. David & Margaret is named in memory of the Kunses’ son and Mr. Kuns’ parents. In 1925, Mr. Kuns donated more land and funds to build a larger and safer facility for the children. This all-concrete building located at the main campus, now known as the Whitney Building, was named after former Executive Director Henry “Bud” Whitney and today houses administration and program offices. For many years, much of the land was used as a working farm, which helped to feed the children and to support the agency’s expenses.

Original Mission: To provide care for orphans. The home also cared for what were called “half orphans,” children of single parents who could not care for their children on their own.

Notable Moments:

• 1964 – A specialized on-grounds school opened, and the first residential cottage was built, serving the majority of residents and providing a home-like environment.

• 1967 – The board decided to phase out care for boys and to focus on serving as a residential treatment center for girls.

• 1975 – The Women’s Division of the Methodist Episcopal Church deeded the property to the David & Margaret Home Inc., with the provision that they would continue to use the land and facilities to care for children and families.

• 1986 – The Foster Family Agency was started as a way to serve residents who were ready for a family setting. The agency now places boys and girls from infants to age 17 with caring foster families.

• 1989 – The Joan Macy School, a specialized on-grounds school, was opened; it now serves many of the organization’s residents, as well as students from surrounding school districts.

• 1990 – The Learning Enhancement Center opened, providing neuro-developmental therapy to residents and foster children, as well as private clients with learning difficulties.

• 1998 – David & Margaret contracted with Los Angeles County to teach vocational skills to area foster youth ages 16 to 21.

• 1990-2000 – Community-based education programs were added, including Parent Project, Alcohol and Drug Intervention/Anger Management and Bullying and Harassment Awareness.

• 2004 – A mental health contract was signed with Los Angeles County to provide counseling and related services to youth and families in the surrounding community.

• 2005 – A community-based program called Family Preservation was added, serving at-risk families to prevent separation.

• 2006 – Transitional Living and Care Program was launched to provide housing and support services for young adults who had aged out of foster care.

• 2008 – The agency added adoption assistance and a self-injury program.

Changes in name: 2006 – The agency changed its name to David & Margaret Youth and Family Services to better reflect its client population.

Today:

Mission: David & Margaret Youth and Family Services seeks to empower children, youth and families through culturally diverse services that foster emotional, educational, spiritual and identity development.

Location: La Verne, Calif.

Number of Employees: 178.

Number of Volunteers: 40.

Youth Served: Over 1,400 annually through a comprehensive range of services.

Yearly Budget: $8,124,472.

Anniversary Celebrations: To be announced.

Top official: Executive Director Charles C. Rich.

Contact: (909) 596-5921, http://www.thehealinghousela.com/.