Our Story

//Our Story
Our Story2019-02-05T11:58:31-06:00

Our Story


Lucy Rider and Josiah S. Meyer are born, meet, marry and found the Chicago Training School (CTS), Chicago Deaconess Home and Wesley Hospital, collaborating with Jane Addams (Hull House) on settlement house strategies.


Under Lucy Rider Meyer’s guidance as a founding Trustee, Deaconess Abigail Simonds begins the Methodist Deaconess Orphanage in Lake Bluff, Illinois with six children.


The Orphanage’s benefactors, including Mr. N.W. Harris, founder of Harris Bank, Mr. James B. Hobbs, one-time President of the Chicago Board of Trade, and the Gustavas Swift Family, founders of the Chicago-based meat-packing empire, provide eight buildings and a beautiful campus for approximately 125 children.


After retiring in 1917, Lucy Rider Meyer dies.


The Orphanage is renamed the Lake Bluff Orphanage.


Lake Bluff Orphanage receives a new name, Lake Bluff Children’s Home.


Lake Bluff campus closes. The Agency is renamed Lake Bluff-Chicago Homes for Children (LBCHFC).


Operations shift to four neighborhoods in Chicago and Round Lake.


LBCHFC supports 27 foster homes and two multi-family group homes, and develops both school-focused and after-school programs.


Comprehensive services begin. Agency receives Council on Accreditation certification and is renamed ChildServ.


ChildServ celebrates 100 years of helping children and families build better lives.


38 different services are offered at 17 sites in Cook, DuPage and Lake counties.


ChildServ proudly launches the Military and Veterans Family Program to provide counseling, educational and housing support for children, former and current military personnel and their spouses, helping to ease their transition into civilian life.


Our Parent Empowerment Program, promoting early learning, brain development and resiliency for young children ages 0-3, expands into Kane County.


ChildServ’s kindergarten-readiness program for 3-5-year-olds, HIPPY, is offered to children and families in Chicago’s south suburbs.


Through a partnership with the Sheilah A. Doyle Foundation, counseling services are made available to youth whose family members have been victims of homicide.

Lake Bluff Children’s Home

From 1894 until 1979, the Lake Bluff Children’s Home in Lake Bluff, Illinois helped more than 100 children annually to build better lives. The residents lived, attended area schools and enjoyed the community as they grew into empowered young adults.

In 2011, “A Childhood Lost and Found: A Journey Back to the Lake Bluff Children’s Home,” a feature-length documentary created by Village of Lake Bluff resident Kraig Moreland, debuted, detailing the Home’s place in the community and profound impact on those who grew up there.

For more information about the Lake Bluff Children’s Home, visit the Lake Bluff History Museum’s website.

To connect with adoptees, former residents and staff of Lake Bluff Children’s Home, visit their Facebook page, administered by former residents.

ChildServ does not have information regarding former residents of the Lake Bluff Home for Children.

If you are interested in finding information, please visit the following resource page: https://www.findmyfamily.org/resources.htm or fill out the Illinois Adoption Registry and Medical Information and Exchange form, requesting a non-certified copy of an original birth certificate.


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