The mission of St. Joseph Children’s Home (SJCH) is “Giving Children a Home.” Since 1849, SJCH has provided a loving home to Louisville’s most vulnerable children – first orphans, and in later years those children removed from their homes due to neglect, abuse, domestic violence or substance abuse. Throughout our history, SJCH has served over 70,000 children who have been denied their innocence and childhood years, and for many, the basic needs of life.
Through the years, SJCH has adapted to meet the needs of children and families. What started as an orphanage has evolved into three core services: A Residential Treatment Program for abused and neglected children; A Therapeutic Foster Care and Adoption Program for children birth to 21; and a Child Development Center for children six weeks through pre-K. SJCH is licensed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky Cabinet for Human Services.
The Louisville cholera epidemic of 1832 took many lives and left many children as orphans. During that time, a handful of German Catholics, recognizing the grave need to care for these children, formed the St. Joseph Catholic Orphan Society, in 1849.
The Society built its first home in 1850, but increasing numbers of children needing care prompted several locations before settling at the present site in Crescent Hill in 1885.
Notre Dame Sisters from Milwaukee administered the Home from 1865 – 1897. The Ursuline Sisters of Louisville became administrators and staffed the home from 1897 until 1972. Since then, St. Joe’s continues to serve children, but under individual administrators hired by the Society’s Board of Trustees.
2015 was a milestone year for St. Joseph Children’s Home
St. Joe’s is continuously seeking to provide quality care and maintain excellence. St. Joe’s will continue to evolve and adapt to the ever shifting climate of state funding and the needs of Kentucky’s children and families. However, St. Joe’s will continue to stay focused on the things we do well which is giving children a home and creating families for Kentucky. Thank you for continuing to be a part of our success.