Thursday, February 21, 2013

February 21, 1913: Children's Aid Society Begins

{image: CAS}

In the early 1900's, a group of prominent Birmingham citizens concerned about the welfare of children in our community met to discuss the need for an organization to care for dependent and neglected children in Jefferson County. With their leadership, Children’s Aid Society was incorporated on February 21, 1913.

Surviving and thriving…..how do we address basic needs, tend to crises and immediate challenges, and not lose sight of the greater purpose that brings us together to work for common good? These are issues with which we struggle as we have dealt with the realities of Alabama’s complexities these past few years. Hope has seemed elusive at times. Yet as an agency reaching out to those in the midst of life’s worst moments, we must continue to shed light in the darkest of times and not lose faith in the ability to face adversity again and again. The gift of longevity in leaders and in agencies like ours is having experienced the ebb and flow of all life forces; times of good fortune; times of mother nature’s amazing beauty and cruel destruction; times of deep mourning and loss; times of hopelessness; times of marvelous joy and celebration; times of fear; times of dread; and times of taking a leap of faith in the midst of it all.

Surviving and thriving…..how does an agency like Children’s Aid Society exist for 100 years? CAS survived through the great Depression, and saved the lives of many orphaned children in desperate need. Children’s Aid Society was actively serving families before the Department of Pensions and Security was created and later named the Department of Human Resources. CAS was a founding member of the Community Chest in the mid 1920’s, which eventually became United Way of Central Alabama. Children’s Aid Society was a founding member of the Child Welfare League of America, a nationwide membership organization that has become a leader in advancing the care and treatment of children, youth, and families. In the 1920’s, the social workers at CAS were concerned about not having enough milk from the agency’s cow for the orphaned children. Today, the staff at Children’s Aid are concerned about all of the children and teens in need of life-giving and loving families. Children’s Aid Society has witnessed and participated in the advancement of knowledge and of society, yet some common threads concerning basic human needs are still as prevalent today as they were in 1913.

Surviving and thriving….we hope you will continue to be a part of this journey in shaping Children's Aid Society for the next 100 years and helping us to do the best work we can in making a lasting difference in the lives of those young ones who need us the most.

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