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About Abbott House


Over 60 Years of Safety, Healing, and Hope

On November 1, 1963, Abbott House opened our doors in Irvington, New York, as a community-based agency at the forefront of child welfare—a haven where all children, regardless of race, religion, background, or circumstance, could find an anchor to their place in the world. Two years later, Dr. King attended our inaugural dinner. He gave an invocation sounding themes of community, identity, and family while praising Abbott House for being “at the forefront of family life.”

Over the past six decades, we have expanded our programs and geographical footprint, extending compassionate care in a variety of settings to a diverse range of individuals and families throughout the New York metropolitan area and surrounding Hudson Valley counties. 

  • Our Roots: Irvington House
    Our Roots: Irvington House

    During the late 1950s and early 1960s, a home for convalescent care called Irvington House had been caring for children with rheumatic fever on the peaceful and beautiful grounds overlooking the Hudson River in Irvington, NY. Once a cure was discovered, Irvington House began to move away from a model of convalescent care and began to focus on child welfare and child protection. In a letter sent to the Mayor of Irvington on August 8, 1963, Irvington House announced that it would be closing its program in Irvington and that a new organization called Abbott House would take over the facility to provide a home for “abandoned and dependent children under 11 years of age.”

  • 1960s: Incorporation and Inaugural Dinner with Dr. King
    1960s: Incorporation and Inaugural Dinner with Dr. King

    In 1963 Abbott House is incorporated as a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit child welfare agency named after Edith and Grace Abbott, sisters who were legendary social justice advocates and leaders of the social services movement of the early 20th Century. In 1965, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. attends Abbott House’s inaugural dinner and gives a speech titled The Dignity of Family Life: An Address at Abbott House, Westchester County, NY.

  • 1970s: The Formative Years
    1970s: The Formative Years

    Abbott House is granted a Special Act School District named Abbott School. During this decade, the organization pioneers and develops group homes for foster care children. These family-like settings of up to 12 children would go on to become the industry standard for congregate care. Dr. Betty Shabazz (widow of Malcolm X) joins the board of directors.

  • 1980s: The Revolution from Institution to Extended Family Settings
    1980s: The Revolution from Institution to Extended Family Settings

    Group homes are expanded to the Bronx and now include homes for specialized populations such as older adolescents, children needing additional clinical intervention, and youth whose behaviors require additional staff monitoring. The Campus Diagnostic Reception Center opens in Irvington, and an Independent Living Program is established for adolescents in foster care to assist with preparing youth to age out of care.

  • 1990s: Extending and Deepening our Expertise in Developmental Disability
    1990s: Extending and Deepening our Expertise in Developmental Disability

    Program sites and services are expanded to include all of New York City and the lower Hudson Valley counties. New programs include the Mentoring Program, Kinship Foster Boarding Home Program, Therapeutic Foster Homes, Services for People with Developmental Disabilities, Bronx Family Services, and Group Homes for children with serious mental health problems and adolescents previously placed out of state. The Governor of New York tours Abbott House’s Irvington Campus in 1990.

  • 2000s: Holistic & Comprehensive Care
    2000s: Holistic & Comprehensive Care

    New programs opened this decade include Post-Adoption, the Bridge Family Program, and the Foster Care Reunification Program. In 2008, Abbott House is selected to help launch New York State’s Bridges to Health (B2H) Program, which provides support to NYC foster children both in their communities and in their homes. The year also marks the end of institutional programs and services, phasing out the residential program at the Irvington Campus and closing the Abbott Special Act School District. This completes the transition to becoming a true community-based agency.

  • 2010s: The Watershed of 2008
    2010s: The Watershed of 2008

    The focus of care shifts towards preventive and “wrap around” services and includes two NonSecure Detention Programs, the Article-31 Mental Health Clinic, the Community Schools Resource Program, the FACE (Family Assessment and Community Enhancement) Program, expansion of the Post-Adoption Program, and the launch of the Permanency Resource Program and the Training Institute. The Transitional Resources for Children (TRC) Program opens in 2014 and cares for unaccompanied minors awaiting family reunification. The B2H program begins its multi-year transition to Health Homes

  • 2020s: Present Day
    2020s: Present Day

    Today, Abbott House’s programs and services focus on providing trauma-informed care. Health Homes have expanded to include Children and Family Treatment and Support Services (CFTSS) and Home and Community Based Services (HCBS). A new Day Habilitation Program for adults has opened in Rockland County. Our Group Homes have become Qualified Residential Treatment Programs (QRTP), allowing us to provide additional clinical services to youth in care. In 2021, the agency received CARF International Accreditation for outstanding quality services in Residential and Group Home Services for children and adolescents.