Seamen’s Society for Children and Families was founded in 1846 to care for the abandoned children of sailors from the Port of New York. Since our beginnings, the core of our mission has been to secure the safety and well-being of New York City’s most vulnerable children and families.
The founders determine that Staten Island is the best place to locate the Society. After renting homes in Stapleton and Port Richmond, the Society builds a home in New Brighton. Twenty-four children are cared for in the Society’s first year at a cost of $1,800. A building to accommodate approximately 100 children is completed by 1852.
The Psychological Services department is started to provide mental health services to foster children and their families.
The agency’s Board of Trustees initiates the Annual Luncheon to recognize individuals who have supported the agency’s mission, and to raise private funds in the community.
A new program called Community Services for Youth is initiated through a grant from the NYC Youth Bureau to provide career exploration and job preparation skills to youth.
The New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) approves the agency to operate a mother-child foster boarding home program.
The agency formally changes its name from The Society for Seamen’s Children to The Society for Children and Families.
The agency announces the formation of the Children’s Millennium Society, a campaign to increase the community’s support of the agency’s mission and services.
The agency is selected by the New York City Human Resources Administration to deliver a new program on Staten Island for victims of domestic violence. Through this, the agency provides case management, individual and group counseling, peer support and advocacy services.
The Board of Trustees adopts a Three-Year Strategic Plan to guide the agency’s growth and direction in the years ahead.
To celebrate and recognize the agency’s historical roots, the organization’s name is changed to Seamen’s Society for Children and Families.
The Emergency Foster Boarding Home program is started up again at the request of ACS to provide emergency placement for children.
The Education Bound program is initiated to recruit volunteers to provide tutorial assistance to school-age children.
A scholarship program is created to provide financial aid to youth to attend college or vocational school. Scholarships are funded through private donations. The first Scholarship Awards Dinner is held to present the scholarships.
The Board of Trustees approves the purchase of the 50 Bay Street office building to house the agency’s administrative offices and Staten Island programs.
A Capital Campaign plan is developed and approved by the Board of Trustees. Bob Fitzsimmons, President of Gateway Arms Realty and a long-time friend and supporter of the agency, agrees to serve as Chairman of the Campaign.
The Staten Island Bank & Trust Foundation approves a three-year, $225,000 grant for the Capital Campaign.
The 50 Bay Street office building is chosen as a model project by the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation and is highlighted at a conference in Rochester.
Seamen’s Society holds a reunion of its first scholarship recipients, who received their awards in 1998.
Seamen’s Society establishes a Facebook page.
During the heart of the pandemic, Seamen’s Society serves as the only provider of Emergency Child Care services on Staten Island, caring for the children of essential workers as they do their jobs to help the city and its residents recover from COVID-19.