Our History

Over the past 153 years,
The Children’s Home has successfully
transformed the lives of thousands of
children at risk by constantly evolving to
meet changing needs.


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Our Organization › Our History

The Children’s Home of Cincinnati was founded in 1864 to provide day care and shelter for the poor and abandoned children of Cincinnati.

Our initial mission centered on saving children from the despair of neglect, abuse, and poverty.


Patrolmen escort 4 abandoned children to The Children’s Home in 1903

After leaving behind the traditional custodial care of orphanages, we began new programs to enable most children to remain in their own homes while receiving services.

Responding to Changing Needs

After World War II, The Children’s Home focused its efforts on adoption. By the 1950s, adoption became our fastest growing service and the agency had supervised the adoptions of more than 250 children by the middle of the century.

While continuing to provide adoption and other services, The Children’s Home responded to the need for more intensive, specialized treatment for children with emotional and behavioral challenges. In the 1970s, The Children’s Home converted its facilities from a home for dependent children to a residential treatment center. Cottages were reconstructed to reflect a smaller, more home-like atmosphere, conducive to the nature of residential treatment. Responding again to the needs of our community, The Children’s Home closed the residential treatment facility after 25 years of service. In its place, a less restrictive day program was designed to serve the same population of children. Complimentary services were put in place to provide families with additional support in home, school, and community settings.

Looking for adoption records?
Although The Children’s Home no longer places children for adoption, it is a rich part of our history. In order to preserve adoption records for the future, The Children’s Home officially transferred all adoption records to the Hamilton County Probate Court in July 2013. Anyone seeking adoption records should contact the Probate Court.

William Howard Taft Center
Hamilton County Probate Court

James C. Cassel, Judge
230 East 9th Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202-2145
Hours: 8 am to 4 pm, Monday through Friday

The adoption records for adoptions in Ohio that were finalized between 1/1/1964 and 9/18/1996 were sealed/closed. For adoptions before 1964, the records were open and for adoptions after 9/18/1996, the records are open unless closed. (Post 9/18/1996 records that contain an effective denial of release will remain closed. A birthparent may withdraw a denial at any time.)

The Children’s Home Today

Three Friends Today, The Children’s Home provides education and therapeutic treatment for children and their families facing social, behavioral and learning challenges. Through more than 20 campus and community-based programs and services, we transform young lives, helping children succeed in their homes, schools and communities.
We also provide consultation services for parents, and conduct training for caregivers and professionals.

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