Our story begins over a century ago when a group of women – who were dedicated to providing a safe home and hope for a good future to orphans and destitute women with children – founded what became known as All Church Home for Children. Today, that organization is called ACH Child and Family Services. While our programs and services have changed to meet the needs of our community, we remain true to our mission of protecting children and preserving families. We invite you to enjoy our story and join us as we continue our efforts to elevate children and families in need of help in our community for decades to come.
The Home Mission Societies of the Methodist churches of Fort Worth and suburbs meet to form an organization with the object being to bring about a closer fellowship, cooperation and better understanding between the Methodist churches of the district.
The Methodist Union resolves to invite all the missionary societies of the city to meet with them for the exchange of plans and discussion. Letters are sent to about 50 area churches.
A committee is appointed to draft a new constitution and bylaws. The organization is called the Church Women’s Federation.
On the first Thursday in October, fifteen Methodist churches answer the roll call and welcome delegates from Hemphill Presbyterian, College Avenue Baptist and Broadway Baptist, and First Christian and Magnolia Avenue Christian.
The Church Women’s Federation adopts the Women’s Cooperative Home as its special work.
The Church Women’s Federation pays $50.00 a month for Traveler’s Aid at the T&P Station. They discontinue this service because the YWCA is known for providing this service.
As the Church Women’s Federation is such a new organization, they vote to sponsor something they can call their own.
The Women's Cooperative Home is chartered in Fort Worth, Texas. The Home is located at First and Taylor streets and is established to provide care for destitute women and children.
In August, a constitution and bylaws are adopted for the Women’s Cooperative Home. “The object of the Home is to provide a Cooperative Christian Home for working girls and women, with or without children.” In September, the old John S. Andrews Home, at 1st and Taylor Streets, is rented. “The house was a perfect wreck, having no roof, nothing but the walls were intact, so the business of repairing it was no small task, but this Mr. Woodruff accomplished it, soliciting from Lumber Yards, Paint Shops, Painter’s Union, Painters and Carpenters to do the work, so that it was ready to furnish sometime in November.”
A Matron is selected to live in the Home. “She organized a Mutual Benefit Club among the girls which did good work. It met once a week, had a nice program, very small dues, which were used in many helpful ways – for curtains, paint for woodwork, paid $3.00 a week on a piano, $5.00 on a Liberty Bond. There were as few rules as possible and there was seldom any trouble with or among the members.”
The Finance Committee reports tha the Home's income is $50.60 a month, while the expenses are $235.00 a month, leaving a significant deficit each month.
The Home moves to 410 West 2nd Street and serves additional women and children who have relatives living in training at Camp Bowie in Fort Worth.
The Home has a wonderful opportunity to serve women and children because of World War I. The Home receives many applications from women who come to Fort Worth because of relatives who are in training at Camp Bowie. The Home is always crowded to capacity.
Financially, the Home struggles greatly, as there is no Community Chest, or any regular fund for help. All kinds of ways are used to supplement the voluntary contributions, including a speech by Helen Keller and “Tag Days” pencil sales.
Seven years after its first opening, the Home moves to its third location at the corner of Pecan and Bluff streets in Fort Worth.
A Benefit Tea is held to raise funds for the Home. These organized fund raising activities are later known as Silver Teas and are held twice a year – one before Easter and one before Thanksgiving
The name of the Home is changed from Women’s Cooperative Home to All Church Home for Children.
The Board passes the recommendation that “one wing in the Home be set aside to be used for mothers with small children. The rest of the Home is to be converted into an orphanage for helpless children, who are alone in the world.”
The Home has a “dire need” for basic necessities, as women and children are coming in daily with not even a change of clothing.
The Lions Club begins its annual Christmas party, giving each child a small gift and 50 cents spending money.
During this year, a total of 105 children and 25 women live in the Home. The cost to provide care to each child is 50 cents a day or $15.00 a month.
All Church Home for Children moves to the Samuel Burk Burnett mansion at 1424 Summit Avenue.
One Sunday afternoon, fire is discovered in the third floor and the Home is so badly damaged that another home has to be found.
A meeting of the Board is called the next morning that results in a search for a “fire-proof building.”
A Board member has many friends who have gardens and they let her bring the children to pick vegetables, fruit and berries. “I have taken 8 or 10 girls at daylight, picked three bushels of black-eyed peas, come home, all pitched in and shelled them and canned what we did not eat. We did the same with berries and peaches, sometimes I took girls and sometimes boys.” During the summer months, the staff and children can over 3,000 containers of fruit and vegetables.
One of the regular annual events for the children that is looked forward to with much joy, is the Fat Stock Show to which the management always give tickets, and the Natatorium Laundry furnishes transportation and gives each child 25 cents.
There is so much mistletoe on the trees at the Home, it is voted that the boys be permitted to gather and sell it, and divide the money among themselves.
During the war, the government pays for four, American-born German children to stay at the Home when their parents are deported to Germany.
The children hold their own Christmas Tree at the Home on Christmas Eve. “It was quite a tribute to the Home that several of the older children who had been invited to private homes for Christmas festivities elected to remain at 1424 Summit for Christmas.”
The average number of children living in the Home is 54.
“28 children went to camp during the summer. On account of the prevalence of polio, the children were given no picnics during the summer of 1950, but they were taken to the picture show each week. They were kept busy with sewing clubs, ceramic classes, and home parties.”
138 children are cared for in 1950.
Innovative thinking, a desire to best serve children, and strong support from the community lead to a change in program philosophy and expansion of services. Rather than housing all the children under one roof, the Home expands into four, more family-like residential group homes, each designed to house a smaller group of children. The four buildings are named Judge and Mrs. James C. Wilson Building, Mrs. B.S. (Alice) Walker Building, J. Garland Tillar Building and Eusebia S. Stonestreet Building.
The Women’s Auxiliary for All Church Home for Children is formed, giving young women the opportunity to volunteer and provide support for the children in care. The Auxiliary continues to work diligently on behalf of All Church Home for the next 40 years and is instrumental in developing many future leaders for the organization.
The Annie Richardson Bass Library is built to provide space for educational support, offices and meetings. The building provides space for study hall, arts and crafts, meetings and recreational activities.
To better address the changing needs of youth and families, support services are developed including case management, therapy and psychiatric support.
All Church Home begins to hire married couples as house parents, rather than Matrons or house mothers, to care for the children.
All Church Home opens a Boys Ranch near Stephenville, Texas. The ranch is made possible through a special lease agreement with the Texas Youth Development Corporation.
The Annie Richardson Bass Library is expanded into a Family Education Center. In addition to providing space for therapy, education and training, the stunning building quickly becomes a favorite meeting place for local organizations.
The Jonathan Y. Ballard Group Home is opened in the Wedgwood area of Fort Worth. The home provides a family-like and neighborhood atmosphere for eight girls.
All Church Home begins to focus on working with families.
The Wrigley Way foster home is established to expand ACH's presence in the Wedgwood area of Fort Worth.
To more effectively meet the needs of children, youth and families, In-Home Services, Campus Respite Care, Foster Care and After-Care programs are developed. In-Home Services bring intervention into the homes of families in an effort to prevent placement. Campus Respite Services provide short-term placement. The Foster Care Program provides safe and nurturing homes for children while they are either temporarily or permanently unable to live with their own families. After-Care Services help families to be more successful after placement is complete.
The Temporary Loving Care collaboration project is started to develop respite capacity for area foster parents.
The Board of Directors authorizes a facilities' analysis to determine if client needs could be met with our current program facilities.
All Church Home hires its first marketing and development Director.
ACH becomes nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation.
The Youth Care Professionals Training Institute is created, using ACH’s extensive experience in child and family services to develop excellence in the treatment and care of children and youth.
The Board of Directors authorizes a $4.7 million capital campaign to relocate the children of the Residential Group Care Program from the now urban environment of the Summit Campus to a more family-like and neighborhood setting on the Wedgwood Campus. Some renovations to the Summit Campus are also included in the scope of this project.
The Boys Ranch near Stephenville, Texas is transitioned into a foster home.
The Building Hope Campaign is launched.
In-Home Respite Care is developed to offer relief to caregivers of children with mental health challenges and to provide temporary supervision of the children in their own home.
The Families Together Program is started as a transitional living program that serves homeless single-parent families. This program operates out of the Jonathan Y. Ballard Group Home on the Wedgwood Campus.
In order to serve more clients, the Families Together Program is moved to the Garland J. Tillar Building on the Summit Campus.
The boards of both the All Church Home for Children and the Bridge Youth and Family Services vote to combine operations under the All Church Home for Children, Inc.
The first of three new family homes on the Wedgwood Campus is built and opened. The Amon G. Carter Family Home receives its first children on September 8, 2005.
Family Group Conferencing, a program designed to facilitate positive and lasting solutions between Child Protective Services and families involved with the system, begins.
ACH is accredited through 2008 by Praesidium Abuse Risk.
To honor ACH’s 90th year of service to children and families, friends of ACH host events featuring the American Family Drawings, an exhibition.
Sufficient funding in the Building Hope Campaign is obtained to begin the site work on the Wedgwood Campus in preparation for the construction of the Crystelle Waggoner Family Center, the Jack B. and Linda Morris Family Home, and the M.S. and Meek Lane Doss Family Home.
The Emergency Youth Shelter, the Bridge, is relocated from the Broadway Campus to the Summit Campus (pictured here).
The Jack B. and Linda Morris Family Home and the M.S. and Meek Lane Doss Family Home are completed and opened.
Carson Field, the children’s baseball field on the Wedgwood Campus, is unveiled and dedicated to Dr. Wayne K. Carson.
ACH is reaccredited through 2010 by the Council on Accreditation.
ACH becomes a United Way of Tarrant County community partner and receives funding to support its emergency shelter services for youth.
The Crystelle Waggoner Family Center is completed and opened on the Wedgwood Campus.
The playground and park area of the Wedgwood Campus is completed and opened.
The ACH Board of Directors unanimously approves new mission and vision statements for the organization.
Valerie and Michael Mallick donate 19.5 acres and nine buildings to ACH.
ACH is licensed to provide adoption services to children in the custody of Child Protective Services (CPS).
The Dub and Valerie Stocker Home, previously known as the Wrigley Way Family Home, is renovated and opened as a transitional living program for teenagers.
The Foster Care and Adoption Department completes its first adoption.
The groundbreaking ceremony is held for the Wichita Street Campus Project.
The Home Improvements Capital Campaign is launched.
ACH begins work to establish a Family Support Center (FSC) in Arlington, Texas.
The Foster Care and Adoption Department expands to include four staff members, 22 foster homes and 50 children formerly affiliated with the Lena Pope Home.
ACH receives Family Based Safety Services (FBSS) Contract Expansion Award.
The LIFE Project (Learning Independence from Experience), a housing program for homeless young adults ages 18-21, is opened.
All Church Home for Children begins a new era of service with the debut of its new agency name: ACH Child and Family Services.
Community Services staff members are relocated from the Broadway Campus to the Wichita Street Campus.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony is held to commemorate the completion of the Program Services Building, one of the first of the Wichita Street Campus renovations.
Belltower Chapel & Garden holds its first weddings and receptions.
ACH is again reaccredited by the Council on Accreditation.
The chapel on the Wichita Street Campus is named the Julie and Glenn Davidson Family Chapel and is the site of ACH's wedding and reception business, Belltower Chapel & Garden.
The Paul E. Andrews Family Welcome Center is completed and opened.
Foster Care and Adoption staff members are relocated from the Summit Campus to the Wichita Street Campus.
A dedication ceremony is held for the Julie and Glenn Davidson Family Chapel.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony is held to commemorate the dedication and opening of the Mallick Family Administration Building.
The Chief Executive Officer, Business Operations, Evaluation and Accreditation, and Finance staff are relocated from the Summit Campus to the Wichita Street Campus.
A dedication ceremony and housewarming are held to commemorate the opening of the Rees-Jones Family Residential Building.
The Families Together Program staff and clients are relocated from the Summit Campus to the Wichita Street Campus.
The Foster Care and Adoption Department completes its 75th adoption.
The Board of Directors honors Dr. Wayne K. Carson for his 25 years of service to ACH. The preschool play area on the Wichita Street Campus is named in his honor.
ACH celebrates the completion of the Wichita Street Campus renovations with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the dedication and opening of Chesapeake Energy Park and play areas in the heart of the new campus.
The Foster Care and Adoption Department completes its 100th adoption.
ACH signs a contract with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to be the Single Source Continuum Contractor for Region 3b Catchment Area (Tarrant, Palo Pinto, Parker, Johnson, Hood, Somervell, and Erath counties).
As part of a statewide foster care redesign effort, ACH was the second organization to be selected as a Single Source Continuum Contractor (SSCC) by the Texas Department of Family Protective Services.
ACH launches a Foster Care Redesign initiative with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Our Community Our Kids, a division of ACH Child and Family Services, manages the contract and oversees the foster care provider network.
ACH celebrates its 100th year of protecting children and preserving families.
ACH is reaccredited by the Council on Accreditation.
After the relocation of all programs, the ACH Summit Campus is sold. The Virginia and Meto Miteff Family Home is completed.
Primarily for the role OCOK played in Foster Care Redesign, helping to pass Senate Bill 11 and making Community-Based Care a reality for the entire state, ACH wins the CNM (Center for Nonprofit Management) Nonprofit of the Year Award. A grant from the Rees-Jones Foundation, the largest grant in ACH history, will be used to help fund a breakthrough project, Innovations in Foster Care: A Plan for Transformation. ACH celebrates foster families with the first Super Hero Family Fun Fest in May.
Renovation of the nearly 100-year old dining hall is completed and named The Jo and Holt Hickman Center and is home to The Rees-Jones Center for Excellence in Child Welfare, office space and conference rooms. Ford, the NFL, and the Dallas Cowboys donated vans and enhanced the Wedgwood Playground, promoting the donation in a 90-second nationally televised commercial during halftime of the Thanksgiving Cowboys game.
ACH opens an innovative Residential Treatment Center, the only one of its kind in Texas, to serve teenagers with more severe behavioral and mental health challenges. With a goal of less than one year, ACH will help these teens transition to successfully living with a family. Our Community Our Kids becomes the State’s first contractor to enter Stage II of Community-Based Care. Assuming conservator case management brings together both child and family service delivery in a new and innovative way.