History

Our commitment to caring for children has lasted generations. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Kelso Home for Girls, Strawbridge Home for Boys, and Swartzell Methodist Home for Children provided a safe and caring place for vulnerable children to live. The operations of these homes eventually merged under one organization structure, called the Board of Child Care, in 1960.

The children who grew up at Kelso, Strawbridge and Swartzell thrived through the decades, and our youth are following this same legacy today. They are leaving the Board of Child Care prepared to meet the world and live healthy, productive lives. Through patience, love and care, we are continuing to help future generations transform themselves and become productive citizens.

1874

Baltimore businessman Thomas Kelso founds the Kelso Home for Girls in Baltimore at the age of 93. The son of an immigrant himself, he felt it important to give back to children. The Kelso home later moves to Towson, MD. Much later the property is purchased by the YMCA for its new Towson location. The home was demolished in 2014 during the YMCA’s renovations. Many artifacts from the home were salvaged, however, and are viewable in BCC’s archive display on the Baltimore campus.

1912

The Women’s Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church opens the Swartzell Methodist Home for Children in Washington, DC. A Board of Trustees incorporates the home in 1921.

1924

The Strawbridge Home for Boys is dedicated in Eldersburg, MD and begins operations.

1943

The Baltimore Annual Conference of the Methodist Church creates the Board of Child Care to supervise the Kelso, Strawbridge and Swartzell homes.

1953

The Board of Child Care Auxiliary volunteer organization is established.

1960

A permanent home is established for the Board of Child Care in Baltimore. Bishop John Wesley Lord dedicates eight new buildings and 20 acres of land "for the loving care of children."

1976

The DC Foster Care Program is established.

1981-82

The Baltimore campus emergency shelters open.

1997

The Strawbridge School opens as a private special education school on the Baltimore campus. The Adoption Services Program is reborn.

1998

The Semi-Independent Living Program opens on the Baltimore campus.

1999

The Outpatient Mental Health Clinic opens in Pasadena, MD.

The Maryland Treatment Foster Care Program is established.

2001

The Tide Point Early Learning Center opens to serve children in southern Baltimore City. It continues operations until 2009.

2002

The Falling Waters residential campus opens in West Virginia.

2003

The Washington, DC, office opens to house BCC’s new Early Childhood Education Center (1st floor) and to expand its foster care program to the District of Columbia (2nd floor).

2008

The Ways to Work car loan program opens in Baltimore City.

2010

BCC acquires Alternatives for Youth and Families, a 30-year-old agency in Southern Maryland, adding independent living and therapeutic group homes to BCC's program offering, and expanding the Treatment Foster Care Program.

2012

The Campolina Way group homes are opened in Martinsburg, West Virginia. The three new buildings serve youth who have co-existing mental health and developmental/cognitive disabilities.

2012

BCC expands to the Eastern Shore of Maryland by opening a new residential campus for boys in Denton, MD.

2014

In May, 2014, BCC partnered with the federal government to provide shelter care to children that have come to the United States without a guardian. The US government refers to these youth as Unaccompanied Children (UC). BCC provides the youth with a safe place to live on its Baltimore campus while aiding in the effort to reunite them with sponsors living in the United States. While at BCC, youth attend school, receive counseling and medical care, and are acclimated to life in the United States.

2014

Laurie Anne Spagnola takes over as President effective July 1.

2015

The success of the Campolina Way group homes in Martinsburg drove the need to expand capacity. A third group home is approved to be built on the property. Construction begins in early 2015 and is completed by the fall of the same year.

2015

The program to shepherd unaccompanied children (UAC) closes Sept. 30, 2015. A groundbreaking endeavor titled Caminos to honor the Spanish translation for journey, the program placed 279 kids into homes in 32 states and the District of Columbia in just 504 calendar days.

2015

BCC partnered with Chaddock, a human services organization in Quincy, Illinois, to re-open cottages to serve adolescent girls on the Baltimore campus. Trainers and staff from Chaddock spent several days with BCC staff sharing best practices they have learned from their own programs - with a focus on how to create a therapeutic living space and program. The Martinsburg, WV, residential program will open cottages for girls in 2016.

2016

The Board of Child Care is selected by the State of Maryland to offer respite Treatment Foster Care services on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. A grant of $25,000 is awarded to start the respite program in late 2016.

2016

The original gatepost from the Strawbridge Home for Boys is carefully relocated from its position on the side of MD rt. 32 to the property of St. Paul's UMC in downtown Sykesville, MD. The landmark is dedicated on October 9, 2016.