The Children’s Home of Easton – A Place To Call Home

By Jennifer LoConte

Since 1885, The Children’s Home of Easton has provided a safe and secure home for children who desperately need a helping hand from someone who cares. Many of these children have never experienced the love of a parent or the structure that a nurturing family provides. For some, The Children’s Home becomes a permanent childhood home, while for others, a temporary stay that offers counseling services and individual programs which reunites them with their families. The mission is to provide a caring, nurturing environment for children in need, as well as assistance for their families and to provide a continuum of services, including group care and family-like programs in a safe, compassionate atmosphere. Additionally, they provide long-term care through professional staff who guide, support and encourage children to believe in their own self-worth and reach their full potential.

Originally, The Children’s Home was established by local churches to assist children whose families could no longer financially care for them. After WWII and the development of government social service programs, the focus shifted to children who were neglected, abused or experiencing traumatic issues. Today, children are referred through the judicial system, mainly the Department of Human Services or the Department of Youth and Family Services. Children can be referred from any county in Pennsylvania and some have come as far away as Philadelphia and Harrisburg.

Located on a 52-acre campus in Easton, The Children’s Home includes a residential program consisting of four cottages (every child has his/her own room), two emergency shelter cottages, independent living quarters and a community service program for those children in foster care. There is a school with four on-campus classrooms complete with a computer lab. Residents can participate in various athletic activities in the gymnasium, swim in the in-ground pool, play billiards, or even join the basketball team (uniforms and duffle bags provided). Activities may include field trips to local museums, amusement parks and sporting events.

Steve Evans, Director of Development, has been with The Children’s Home for more than four years. Evans says, “I value the Home’s commitment to children, even those now classified as adults. If our students work hard in school, we find a way to cover college or trade school tuition.  Even after graduation and in times of need, our doors remain open for them. I believe this steadfast commitment helps our children to be successful in life.” Last year, the organization provided services to 284 children. Evans says the average length of stay is approximately nine months with 80 to 90 children living there at any given time. Each child is immediately assigned a caseworker with whom they meet daily. There are several therapy groups as well, including a grief group, siblings club and girls circle. Evans says, “The new twist in services is to help children get control of their lives, make good decisions and get on the right academic track while finding a way to reunite them with their families in order to have a safe and loving home.”

Fundraising events are a necessity for the organization’s continued success. Evans continues, “After a child turns 18 and legally becomes an adult, the government no longer provides services. If they are forced to be on their own, more often than not, that individual will return to the system in a negative way.” With the help of fundraising dollars, as well as scholarships, those who continue to need services are able to receive them. Since 2005, 76 children graduated from high school and in 2011, eight young adults were enrolled in college. One graduate, Lee Baker, has fond memories of growing up at The Children’s Home and often returns to work with residents. In 2009 and 2010, he ran a summer work program to teach carpentry and construction. The project was named “Project of the Year” by Teen Works at the United Way. In addition, two youth are now enrolled in trade school to become carpenters. Baker says, “Working directly with the kids is truly rewarding and I’m proud of all that they can accomplish here.”

There are several fundraising events held each year. The 6th Annual Wine Auction will be held on Friday, November 9, 2012, at Lehigh Country Club and Saturday, November 10, 2012, at the State Theatre of Easton. This year, Agustin Huneeus Jr., a top worldwide winemaker will serve as the Honorary Chair. Tickets are still available for the event and prices run $80/ticket. The 97th annual Pink Charity Ball, held by the Auxiliary of The Children’s Home, raises dollars towards birthday presents for every child. Next year’s Ball will be held in April. Lastly, the 25th annual Children’s Home Golf Tournament to benefit the Ruth Baumann College Scholarship Fund will be held in May at Northampton Country Club.

People and businesses can become involved with The Children’s Home in several ways. Direct monetary donations are always welcome and can be given online, in person or by mail. Additionally, wish lists items include anything that is needed for a home as well as for the children who live there. Evans says, “People can be creative – students can hold a book drive or a neighborhood yard sale. One girl organized an art gallery and a high school boy once gave all of his Christmas money towards presents for the children.” Businesses can also become sponsors or volunteer for various events. For additional information, visit

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