About Children’s Service Center

As a behavioral health care system, Children's Service Center (CSC) is deeply committed to the wellness of young people in our community. Our services are designed to meet the individual needs of children, adolescents and their families. Children's Service Center's assessment, crisis, and referral services are staffed 24/7 by psychiatric professionals for initial assessment and referral. We accept Blue Cross/Blue Shield, most indemnity insurance plans, CHAMPUS, Medical Assistance, and are a preferred provider for several managed care organizations and HMO plans.

CSC is accredited by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).

Mission Statement

A community organization that provides and promotes quality services with care and compassion to enhance the emotional well-being and mental health of children, adolescents and families.

Brief History

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.