St. Joseph's Mission and History


Our Mission:
Giving Children a Home

The mission of St. Joseph Children’s Home is “Giving Children a Home.” Since 1849, St. Joe’s 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, St. Joe’s has served over 75,000 children who have been denied their innocence and childhood years, and for many, the basic needs of life.

Throughout the years, St. Joe’s has adapted to meet the needs of children and families. What started as an orphanage has evolved into a multi-faceted, child caring facility with 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. St. Joe’s is licensed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky Cabinet for Human Services.

St. Joe’s continues to remain a top contender of Kentucky’s Private Child Care (PCC) Foster Care programs with the highest percentage of adoptions. St. Joe’s stays true to our mission of “Giving Children a Home” by being approximately 94% successful at placing children with their forever family.

Mission and History of St. Joseph's Children's Home

History of the
St. Joseph Children’s Home

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.

To learn more about the extensive history of St. Joe’s, order a copy of “Love’s Home: The works and wonders of St. Joseph Children’s Home, 1849-2002” here or receive a free copy by attending the next Eat & Greet!

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Annual Report

2016 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.


St. Joseph Children’s Home
2823 Frankfort Avenue
Louisville, KY 40206
(502) 893-0241
(877) 893-0241