History

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1907: In 1907, Mrs. Emma Chidester approached Rev. Philip Lamartine of Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church in Philadelphia and offered her Cheltenham residence as a home for destitute children. Rev. Lamartine accepted her visionary offer.

1908: On January 1, 1908, at the church’s annual congregational meeting, the Charter for Tabor Home was drawn. Rev. Philip Lamartine became the first president of the board of trustees.

1913: “The Women’s Board of Managers of the Tabor Home for Children” was organized in June 1913.  It was resolved that the business of the new organization would be transacted by a Board, consisting of a president, two vice-presidents, secretary, treasurer and ten directors. Their main objective was to assist the board of trustees in their management of the Home. Through their financial support and physical labor, they enhanced and improved Tabor Home. Their endless and unselfish contributions included everything and anything from cash, furniture, clothing, countless fund raisers, dinners, bake goods/sales, card parties, solicitation of donations and, last, but not least, visiting the children on a monthly basis.

1913: The Tabor Board of Trustees appraised the Fretz mansion estate, situated one mile south of Doylestown. Available from the heirs of a member of a prominent Doylestown family, the property spanned 96 wooded acres and included the mansion, two tenant houses, a roomy stone carriage house and a large frame barn. The architect was Thomas Cernea. The Doylestown property was purchased in May 1913 and the children came to their new home and new beginnings on June 6, 1913.  The trained Lutheran Deaconesses of the Mary J. Drexel Home of Philadelphia provided the care and stability the children needed to build character and self-respect, along with nourishing their mind and soul.

1913: The Dedication of the Tabor Home for Children took place on November 10, 1913.  The board of trustees agreed that the anniversary celebration would take place each year thereafter on the last Saturday in September.

1915: On May 29, 1915, the Women’s Auxiliary of the Tabor Home for Destitute and Needy Children was formed.  It consisted of representatives from the Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Philadelphia and vicinity.

1920: By April 1920, the Home was filled to capacity with a waiting list. Because new dormitories were needed, two women from the Philadelphia Auxiliary Board offered to contribute $10,000 if matching funds could be raised by July.

1922: In the beginning of 1922, with an enrollment of 61 children, the new dormitories were completed and being occupied by the boys. They were equipped with bathtubs and shower tubs to keep the children “healthy and sanitary.” Also, the dining room was enlarged to accommodate the occupants whose enrollment by the end of the year increased to 66 children.

1926: In October 1926, the Women’s Board of Managers of Tabor Home decided that they generously wanted to start an Endowment Fund. The Endowment Fund was created by Misses Sarah and Emma Kolb with their original contribution being matched by a like donation from members of the then acting Women’s Board of Managers. Their initial contribution was $5,000, and within one year they personally contributed $15,000.

1927: Dedication of the entrance and ornamental fence took place on May Day 1927 in memory of Eunice C. Ivins, one of the members of the Women’s Board of Managers.

1931: The swimming pool, built in 1931 at a cost of $1,800, was a gift from the Women’s Auxiliary Board of Philadelphia to the children of Tabor. The Auxiliary Board was a group of 20 women representing eleven churches surrounding the Philadelphia area.  A plate indicating such was placed at the pool.

1932: In memory of Ellwood Ivins, the “Little Cottage” was named “El-Wood” and a portrait of Mrs. Eunice Ivins was placed above the fireplace with a plaque reading: “Renovated 1932 in Memory of Mrs. Eunice C. Ivins.”

1934: On June 6, 1934, the Women’s Board of Managers paid off the mortgage.

1941: For some time, the children lived in the mansion and a cottage until the carriage house (now Miller Hagan Hall) was renovated into a boys dormitory. A bequest by C. Henry Strecker enabled Tabor to build Strecker Hall in 1941 as a dormitory for girls. After the dormitory was completed, the mansion’s use became the administration building and the infirmary.

1942: During Sister Lena’s illness, Sister Wilma Loehrig served as Matron of the Home.  Eventually, she would be appointed to succeed Sister Lena.

1942: Dedication of the Strecker Memorial took place on September 20. Placed in the cornerstone were copies of the 1941 and 1942 annual booklets; a brief history of Mr. C. Henry Strecker, a donor; and a list of the Tabor Home boys serving their country in the military forces of our nation.

1945: Two of Tabor’s boys were killed in action, Lloyd Renninger and First Lieutenant Herbert J. Wohlfarth, Armored Infantry, who was awarded the Bronze Star Metal and died in action on the Belgian front.

1947: A Memorial Tablet commemorating our boys from Tabor who served in World War II was delivered and placed.

1947: At this year’s May Day Festival, the boys’ dormitory was dedicated and named “Hagan Hall” to express recognition and appreciation to Dr. & Mrs. Peter P. Hagan for their numerous contributions and accomplishments in the repairs, improvements and decorations of the boys’ dormitory.

1948: Sister Lena celebrated her 50th year of Consecration on September 26, 1948.

1948: Dr. Peter P. Hagan resigned as president of the board of trustees. In order to remain involved with Tabor, Dr. Hagan became chairman of the building committee. Dr. Walter B. McKinney was appointed president, and Joseph W. Henderson was elected treasurer.

1950: The board of trustees received notification that Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Lutheran Ministerium of Pennsylvania divorced itself from any control of Tabor Home, a situation that should have been handled to conclusion in 1915 by the Congregation of German Evangelical Lutheran Church.

1957: Tabor celebrated its Golden Anniversary.

1957: Because the current policy of welfare workers from the Capitol down to county level was a preference toward foster care placement for the youngsters rather than institutional care, the population at the Home was only 47; 85% of this number were placed through Bucks County agencies.

1959: Dr. Peter P. Hagan, former president of the board of trustees, died.

1960: With the many changes in the new policy of the Commonwealth Welfare Department, Tabor had to regroup, refocus and develop a more clearly defined policy as to the beneficial services for children placed at the Home by state, county and city children’s bureaus. The new services would require full-time, trained child guidance workers experienced in psychiatric study and care.

1960: A new pool was built with donated funds at a cost of $3,000.

1962: All private institutions lost state aid and it was determined that, beginning in 1963, these would have to be licensed.

1963: The El-Wood cottage was refurbished.

1963: At the expressed desire of the Women’s Board of Managers, the management and control of the Endowment Fund was transferred to the Men’s Board for future administration and distribution.

1963: The Memorial Plaque was installed to recognize bequests to Tabor.

1965: The barn was completely destroyed by fire which started about 10:00 p.m. on Friday, April 9.

1965: Bucks County Welfare Department was established May 1, 1965, and new standards were established to qualify as a child care institution and be licensed.

1967: Sister Wilma Loehrig celebrated her 25th year at Tabor.

1967: On October 29, the renovated boys’ dormitory was renamed “Miller-Hagan Hall.”  Harvey C. Miller was president of the board of trustees from 1921 to 1937.  Mr. Miller steered Tabor through the depression years and kept it solvent and in operation. Dr. Peter P. Hagan served as president of the board of trustees from 1941 to 1948. The new name honored the leadership given by both families.

1970: A former resident of the Home, Captain Wilbur Wright, who had been awarded a scholarship from Central Bucks and was a graduate of Annapolis, was killed in action. Captain Wright was the flight instructor on a plane that exploded. He was married and had one child.

To honor Capt. Wilbur Wright, the Wright family presented to Tabor a case of medals Capt. Wright received prior to his death, including the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Vietnamese Flying Cross for service in Vietnam, with a request that these be put on display to allow everyone to see that a former resident of the Home died for his country.  Also a Captain Wilbur Wright Memorial Fund was set up, which was directed for several years as a scholarship fund for children of Bucks County.

1970: A parcel of the front property and a portion of the rear property were forfeited to the state to construct the 611 Bypass and the 202 Bypass, which then required the driveway to be revamped.

1970: Sister Edith Prince retired at the age of 73.

1971: Sister Wilma Loehrig resigned after 29 years at Tabor, and Sister Gunnel Sterner became the new director of Tabor Home.

1972: The board of trustees was restructured into various committees: steering, operating, property, finance & legal, planning, child care & development and communication/public resource.

1973: Sister Dora retired from Tabor because of poor health, and Sister Gunnel Sterner resigned.

1973: Dr. Walter B. McKinney died in July. In addition to being a former president of the board of trustees, Dr. McKinney had served as the medical doctor, unselfishly responding to the calls for help to care for the children at the Home for many years.  A special fund was set up in memoriam through Love’s Garden.

1973: The year ended with a new executive director, William A. Haussmann.

1974: The first social worker was hired. Her responsibilities involved evaluating, planning, counseling and serving as liaison to the county welfare agencies on case situations.

1974: Structured music, crafts and carpentry programs were introduced to the children to develop their talents.

1975: The Women’s Auxiliary board disbanded.

1975: The farming operation was discontinued.

1975: The board of trustees gave their approval to the executive director to create a group home, whereby adolescents would develop the principles of self-reliance and self-direction and acquire skills for community living.

1976: A comprehensive tutoring program was developed in which a full-time tutor concentrated on basic skills such as reading and math, that were reinforced through cultural enrichment activities.

1976: A full-time recreation program was developed, using staff, volunteers and community resources. Recreation activities stressed cultural, educational and recreational pursuits.

1978: Tabor Home became non-sectarian in 1978 when an amicable separation was agreed to between the Tabor Board of Trustees and the Lutheran Church

1979: With a new growth plan, the name was changed  from “The Tabor Home for Children” to a name encompassing a broader vision: “Tabor Children’s Services.”

1979: A request for start-up funding to develop a foster care program and a supervised independent living program was approved by the Governor’s Justice Commission.

1979: The Women’s Board of Managers disbanded for lack of interested ladies to replace those who had been members and who had retired or died.

1980: In the newly developed foster care program, six youths had been placed in approved foster homes, with seven youths awaiting placement.  By March, 12 of the youths were in approved foster homes.

1980: A supervised independent living unit was developed in Doylestown, and two boys were approved and prepared for entry. By May, four youths and one adult advisor were residing in the house.

1980: Because referral agencies appeared to be seeking foster care services in lieu of the more expensive group and institutional facilities, the foster care program received approval and additional funding from the PA Commission on Crime & Delinquency to expand and establish 45 additional foster homes.

1980: The state approved and licensed Tabor as an adoption agency on November 28.

1981: Tabor re-established a Philadelphia presence in 1981 to be closer to the growing client population of children and families being served. A social worker was hired and worked from a desk in the Rebecca Gratz Club at 4050 Conshohocken Avenue in Philadelphia. As the demand for community-based services grew, so did the Tabor Philadelphia social work presence.

1981: The residential component of Tabor’s program on the Doylestown campus became primarily a diagnostic and evaluation service for dependent and delinquent youth.  Functioning improved with the addition of new staff and a restructuring of the psychological and psychiatric services.

1981: The implications of Pennsylvania Act 148 funding reductions included:

Residential program – The capacity of this program had been decreased to nine boys. The position of the program as related to the other services was to provide emergency shelter and reinforcement. The addition of a diagnostic/evaluation component increased the program’s versatility and created a demand for services by children and youth agencies. The services it provided included psychological, psychiatric, and educational evaluations, home studies, child care reports and health services.

Foster Family Care – The closing of the residential program led to an increase in foster care population. Foster care would become the primary service option for the future.

1981: Tabor received approval for the only federally-funded Runaway/Homeless Youth program in Bucks County, using the residential facility as the shelter component.  This program emphasized short-term residential care and crisis counseling for adolescents temporarily alienated from their family and referral to more permanent counseling services to enhance family functioning.

1981: Entry into the adoption field was in preparation for the permanency planning emphasis created as a result of the enactment of PL96-272 (Adoption Assistance & Child Welfare Act of 1980).  Agencies caring for children would be required to provide services that help families remain together.  Where that objective was not possible, permanent homes were sought.  Tabor’s adoption emphasis was on youngsters with special needs.

1983: In 1983 the agency opened an office on North 33rd Street in Philadelphia with a staff of three social workers to serve an increasing Philadelphia client base.

1985: The Doylestown campus mansion, because of its historical and architectural significance, was added to the Bucks County register of Historic Places on April 3, 1985, and placed on the national register on July 16, 1987. The national listing is based on the agency’s contribution in the field of human services over the past 80 years, as well as the architectural significance of the building.

1985: The Adoption Developmental Disabilities Project was designed to recruit and approve permanent homes for dependent youth with physical disabilities.

1985: The supervised independent living (SIL) program changed completely from a residential three-person home model to a community-based model. Young people were living in apartments throughout the community experiencing hands-on preparation for life.

1985: Lennox K. Black resigned as president of the board of trustees, and John H. Remer was named as his successor.

1986: By 1986, the agency began Philadelphia SIL & services to children in their own homes (SCOH) programs, and moved to an office suite located at 421 North 21st Street in Philadelphia.

1987: Tabor agreed to allow the Village Improvement Association, a civic organization in Doylestown, to use the mansion as the 1989 Bucks County Designer House.

1987: Tabor acted as the lead agency in developing the Special Medical Consortium in Philadelphia to recruit foster parents for children with special medical needs.

1988: Tabor Children’s Services ceased providing residential services for the first time since its inception in 1907. The essential components of the residential diagnostic and evaluation program were retained and re-integrated into a Community Based Diagnostic Service (CBDS) to treat many of the same youths served by Tabor in the past. The new approach was more efficient, effective and personal.

1988: The adolescent initiative project (AIP),was launched  under the auspices of the Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1985. Services included life skills education, foster parent training, counseling and care management activities. The goal of the program was geared toward adolescents between the ages of 16 to 18 to better prepare them for independent living.

1989: Tabor Children’s House was created by Tabor Children’s Services on the Doylestown campus to meet the growing needs of families living and working in Central Bucks County for quality child care. The state-licensed pre-school/child care facility opened on February 6.

1989: Approximately 13,000 people toured the Designer Open House from April 28 through May 26. In July, the administrative offices relocated to the mansion.

1990: Rededication of the administration building took place on May 16.

1990: The Runaway & Homeless Youth Shelter services ended on June 30.

1990: On September 13, Tabor’s Philadelphia office moved to the Germantown area of the city at 4700 Wissahickon Avenue. This was the former Atwater Kent Building, also on the national historic registry because of its significance as a radio factory during World War  I.

1990: On June 14, Service Centers of PA (SERV), formerly the Rebecca Gratz Club, became the mental health division of Tabor Children’s Services. Tabor gained the ability to address mental health needs of clients without depending on outside sources. Mental health services included: psychiatric outpatient, community residential rehabilitation services (CRR) for chronically mentally ill women with preschool age children, mental health foster homes and the host home project. The long term goal was to develop the program purely as a mental health service for child welfare eligible clients and their families.

1990: The family preservation program began, with Tabor designated as the primary provider in Bucks and Philadelphia counties for intensive services designed to prevent placement of children by strengthening the family unit.

1991: The family preservation (FPP) and adolescent initiative (AIP) programs were expanded. FPP gained more exposure and experience, and the number of referrals increased. Expansion efforts with AIP focused on involving older clients in the political arena where they would become future voters.

1991: The Tabor organization restructured to form four separate nonprofit corporations. Three were operational and one became a holding corporation. Tabor Services Inc. became the controlling organization for the three operating corporations: Tabor Children’s Services, Tabor Children’s House and Tabor Mental Health Services. The Tabor Services Inc. board would be called the Board of Trustees, and each of the other three boards would be a Board of Directors.

1992: A satellite outpatient clinic was licensed and established in Doylestown.  It addressed the psychiatric needs of clients residing in Bucks County.

1992: In an attempt to address social issues affecting the quality of life in a neighborhood near its Philadelphia office, Tabor began an after-school and summer program in the Abbottsford Homes. Called ACT Now, the program served children ages of 9 to 16 and their families.

1992: The second cornerstone ceremony in the history of Strecker Hall was held on October 5. In the board minutes from the early 1940’s the trustees had expressed their wish that the contents of the cornerstone be examined 50 years later. The original documents, first placed in the cornerstone box in September 1942, were removed in April 1992. Staff members, children and families contributed materials describing current programs. During the October ceremony these materials, along with the original mementos, were placed in the restored cornerstone box, with the instructions that the box be reopened in 2042.

1992: FPP services continued to demonstrate their worth as cost-effective intervention methods for stabilizing families and preventing placement of children in foster care. Funding was secured for a second program that would serve families with children ages 5 to 12 who had serious emotional and/or behavioral problems attributable to parental substance abuse. The goal was to coordinate the delivery of education, clinical and child welfare services to prevent placement in expensive residential treatment facilities.

1993: Tabor’s outpatient mental health clinic was approved as a Provider Type 50. This permitted Tabor to provide wrap-around services at actual cost to enable children with mental health needs to remain in their own homes or foster homes, rather than be admitted to expensive in-patient facilities.

1993: The drug and alcohol prevention program began in Bucks County.

1994: Tabor Children’s Services was one of five agencies selected for a community-based foster care project, the Annie E. Casey Initiative (Family to Family). Tabor served the 19144 zip code.

1994: Kinship care for children in the 19144 zip code (Germantown) was provided by Tabor.

1995: Sister Wilma Loehrig, head deaconess and administrator of Tabor Home from 1942 to 1971, died on January 4.

1995: The Positive Youth Development (PYD) program to enhance independent living services to youth throughout the country was awarded to Tabor by the Child Welfare League of America.

1995: Tabor Services received first prize in the small business category of the Bucks Beautiful Garden Competition held by the Bucks County Chamber of Commerce.  The special feature that won the award was the word TABOR spelled out in six-foot high evergreen bushes facing Route 611.

1996: A collaborative venture involving Tabor Children’s Services, Carson Valley School and Children’s Aid Society of Montgomery County, focused on merging certain management services through technology within the three agencies. The venture later incorporated as ServiceNet Inc.

1996: The Abbottsford  program, ACT Now, ended April 30.

1996: The Tabor Mental Health Services corporation was legally dissolved; mental health became a department within Tabor Children’s Services.

1996: Tabor Children’s Services, as a large provider with the capacity for comprehensive services, was approved as a service provider by Community Behavioral Health Services (CBHS), the managed care organization charged with managing all behavioral health services and medical assistance funds in Philadelphia.

1997: Full accreditation from the Council On Accreditation of Services for Families & Children Inc. was granted to Tabor.

1998: William A. Haussmann, executive director, celebrated his 25th year at Tabor.

1997: A project. began at the Queen Lane Apartments, near Tabor’s Germantown-area office in Philadelphia. Called Focus on the Young Child at Queen Lane, the purpose was to decrease abuse and neglect and increase interaction between parents and children through education and social services.

1997: AmeriCorp/Positive Youth Development program ended on June 30.  It was successful in developing a tutoring program for clients in foster care and encouraged participation in volunteer projects. Even though the formal program ended, the concept continued.

1999: Tabor was the recipient of the first child CWLA/National Organization on Disability (NOD) Award, which recognizes accredited agencies who serve children with physical, mental or emotional disabilities.

1999: The Chronic Family Support Services (CFSS) program began in Bucks County.

2001: Tabor began an affiliation with Southern Home Services, which began operating under the umbrella of Tabor Services Inc.

2001: In 2001, Tabor purchased a property at 57 East Armat Street in the heart of Germantown. The newly renovated space would become the new permanent home of Tabor Children’s Services Inc. in Philadelphia.

2001: The mental health program received full licensure from the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare.

2001: Tabor was awarded a grant from the Philadelphia Department of Human Services to expand its parenting education program, which was administered through the family preservation program.

2002: In concert with the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health/ Intellectual Disabilities Services (DBH/IDS), Tabor opened a small group facility in Mt. Airy for young adults with pervasive developmental disabilities.

2002: Southern Home Services’ board voted to continue as a corporation under the Tabor Services Inc. umbrella, and the Crisis to Competence program continued to serve the North Philadelphia area.

2003: Performance based contracting began in Philadelphia. The model focuses on foster care and the expected outcomes related to permanency for children (adoption, return home, kinship care).

2010: Baptist Children’s Services becomes a member of the Tabor Family of Services with the signing of the AFA agreement and subsequent partnership.

2012: Tabor expands the Community Living Arrangement Homes to include the Musgrave Street and Spring Garden Street locations

2012: William Haussmann, Executive Director, resigned after 39 years at Tabor leaving Dr. Robert Haussmann as acting Executive Director.

2013: Board elects Jonathan Solomons as President and CEO of Tabor Services, Inc.

2013: Tabor teams up with Northern Children’s Services to form Tabor Northern Community Partners (TNCP), a non-profit organization to serve as the Community Umbrella Agency (CUA) for the 5th and 14th Philadelphia police districts.

2013: Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS) names Tabor Northern Community Partners (TNCP) as Community Umbrella Agency (CUA) for the fourteenth and fifth police districts in the Northwest section of Philadelphia.

2014: In June 2014,  Tabor Services, Inc., enters into an affiliation agreement with Woods with Tabor functioning as an affiliated subsidiary of Woods. This partnership brings together organizations with a history dating over 100 years each of providing innovative and high-quality supports and services for individuals and their families. The tenet at the center of their missions is providing people with the supports they need for self-determination, independence and a fulfilling life.

2014: On October 28, a groundbreaking ceremony took place at Woods to mark the start of the construction for Tabor Children’s House- Langhorne, an early childhood education daycare center and extension of the current Doylestown location. The new center will be located on the Woods campus located at 40 Martin Gross Drive, Langhorne, PA 19047.

2015: On January 1,  Tabor contracts with Lehigh County to expand Mentoring and In-Home Services.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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