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History of CSI

120 Years of Service

Child Saving Institute can trace its origins in the Omaha community to 1892 when Rev. A.W. Clark realized there was greater need among the neglected and abandoned children he encountered than the men and women he initially intended to reform. Due to the hazards of pioneer life, epidemics and poverty, many children were left in need of parental care. With the support of his wife, Sarah, Rev. Clark admitted the first child, a 7-year-old girl, to the Boys and Girls Aid Society which soon became Child Saving Institute. In 1911, with the help of a $25,000 pledge from George Joslyn, the entire Omaha community celebrated the agency’s move to a debt-free, state-of-the art orphanage. For the next 65 years the agency provided services from that facility, including a safe haven for abandoned children, adoption, and a home for unwed mothers.

While children remained the primary focus, as the decades passed the needs expanded and challenges loomed as orphanages across the country were closed. Services were added, including a hotline for parents, emergency short-term residential care for children whose families are in crisis, developmental childcare for low-income working parents, treatment childcare for children expelled from a typical childcare center, in-home services for families struggling to stay together, foster care, pregnancy counseling, adoption for infants and older children, and substance abuse treatment for adolescents.

The needs of today’s children and youth are as diverse and complex as the communities in the Omaha metro area. Today, Child Saving Institute operates more than 20 different services with over 100 employees. Child Saving Institute is committed to the mission begun by Rev. Clark over a century ago of “responding to the cry of a child.”


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