Over a 150 years of hope, help, and healing
Children's Service Center is a diagnostic and treatment center for children and adolescents with emotional disturbance,
severe and persistent mental illness, and pervasive developmental disorders like autism. CSC also serves children
with developmental disabilities.
The center has deeply entrenched community roots in northeastern Pennsylvania dating back to the 1860s. Incorporated in
1862 as the Home for Friendless Children, the benevolent founders of this organization created a sanctuary
in order to provide shelter, food and instruction to a number of destitute children in the Wyoming Valley. With the Civil
War raging during the same time, a shelter for many soldier's orphans was gravely needed and the "Home" in Wilkes-Barre
graciously opened its doors providing warmth, safety and security for these children ravaged by war.
The "Home" continued to attract wide attention both locally and abroad. As its programs grew and developed, it became
a nationally renowned shelter and educational center for infants and children. By 1929, the Home for Friendless Children
had become the Children's Home, which continued to coordinate services for the children of the Wyoming Valley.
As time went on, it appeared that the children needed more than just "shelter," they needed a home. Some of them had
severe behavioral problems and needed psychiatric care. This resulted in two cottages being built, the Martha Bennet Home
and the Children's Home. Spearheaded by Dr. J. Franklin Robinson, the cottages became the first two open psychiatric
residential settings for children in North America. Not only were children from the local area treated, but also those
from other states and countries. It was at about the same time that the Martha Bennet Estate and Children's Home Foundation
requested that a newly formed organization – Children's Service Center – be established to manage and oversee the
residential program. The creation of Children's Service Center occurred in 1938.
Dr. Milford E. Barnes succeeded Dr. Frank Robinson as Director of CSC. He was particularly helpful in the CSC's response
to the Pennsylvania MH/MR Act of 1966, making it possible for the organization to become a comprehensive mental health
center for children and adolescents. Since this time, Children’s Service Center has undergone a major expansion of services,
particularly collaborating with schools, families and other community agencies. With the needs of children becoming
increasingly complicated in an environment of major change in health care and welfare reform, the CSC is faced with the
challenge of providing quality services to children in a timely manner. CSC currently serves more than 4,000 clients each year.
he issues facing children and their families have changed since CSC’s inception during the Civil War. However, our commitment
to our clients has not. CSC offers the most comprehensive array of services to children and families in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Joint Commission Accreditation
Children's Service Center's programs are accredited by the Joint Commission – the Gold Standard in physical and behavioral health.
We strive to provide safe and quality care to all we serve.