The building atop North Broadway in the Village of Irvington, New York, that now serves as the administrative headquarters for all Abbott House operations, was initially created as a convalescent hospital. “Irvington House,” as it was called, focused on the care of children with chronic diseases, particularly rheumatic fever. Over time, the hospital began to shift its focus from a mission of purely medical treatment to embrace the cause of child welfare.
In 1963 Abbott House was officially incorporated as a child welfare agency and now provides services for children and families in foster care throughout the New York metropolitan area with offices and care centers in the Bronx as well as seven Hudson Valley counties.
Abbott House initiated the Therapeutic Foster Care program in 1991 through a grant written for the Westchester County Department of Social Services. Today, Therapeutic Foster Care provides services to Westchester, Rockland, Dutchess, and Sullivan County children who would otherwise be living in institutions, psychiatric hospitals, or out-of-state placements.
In 1992, Abbott House expanded its spectrum of services to include assistance to the developmentally disabled population. Through assisted living programs at 15 Individualized Residential Alternatives (IRAs) and one Intermediate Care Facility (ICF), developmentally disabled individuals are given the opportunity to live their lives with the dignity they deserve. Through employment and volunteer programs such as Meals on Wheels, the people served by this program are able to become positive contributors to society.
Bridges to Health (B2H) is a New York State initiative that began in 2008 as an intensive program to “wrap” special needs children in foster care with services to keep them in the community and out of institutions. B2H is specifically designed for kids with complex medical, developmental, or mental health issues. We offer support services that begin while a child is still in foster care, and continue that support after the child returns home. Our goal is to keep a child in the home and in the community by helping the parent(s) manage the child’s health conditions. Prospective children are referred through foster care agencies or hospitals.
In 2013, Abbott House was awarded a grant from the New York State Office of Children and Family Services to support the public/private partnership program known as the Family Assessment and Community Enhancement (FACE) program. Specifically, the FACE program is an enrichment of Abbott House services to families in the Poughkeepsie and Newburgh communities and operates from Abbott House’s existing offices there. The program aids in the on-going assessment and referral of services to children from infancy to sixteen and their families.
On June 3, 2014, Abbott House opened their “Transitional Resources for Children” program, as a result of being awarded a federal grant to provide emergency residential services to a growing population of needy children. The grant came from the Office of Refugee Resettlement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which provides care and placement for children who come into the United States from other countries without an adult guardian. During their short stay (average of 25 days), children received room and board, case management, individual counseling, medical and educational services, recreation/leisure activities, acculturation, legal services, transportation and access to religious services. The program ended in September 2015 having successfully assisted 312 children reach their goal of reunification with family or sponsors.
In September of 2015 Abbott House began a Community Schools Resource Program that offers a variety of resource activities to public elementary schools in the Mount Eden community of the Bronx. Abbott House’s goal for this program is to obtain academic success by engaging parents, families, and other members of the community as part of a school transformation process. A community school is a collaborative and holistic approach to supporting student success that includes components such as after school and summer programming, family engagement, social services, and physical and mental health services. The ultimate goal is to develop a school community in which the students and families evolve into productive adults who will continue to grow economically and academically.