Hillsides has always created safe places for children; strengthened families, provided special education; and advocated for children’s rights.
From its inception in 1913 as an Episcopal Orphanage, The Church Home for Children, until its present-day status as a private, nonprofit foster care and treatment center, Hillsides has never wavered from its commitment to creating a safe place for children. Although it began as an orphanage, Hillsides now works to end the cycle of child abuse that destroys children and tears families apart. Loving care, therapeutic healing, special education, family crisis intervention and children's rights advocacy are at the heart of the agency's mission. These priorities were created by the vision of Deaconess Evelyn Wile. At Hillsides, children suffering from abuse and mental illness can still find a "safe place" to call home. Today, the children’s charity located in Pasadena is considered an official institution of the Los Angeles Diocese of the Episcopal Church.
Children in residence, who are in foster care or suffer from mental health needs, are referred to Hillsides by the Dependency Division of the Los Angeles Superior Court and the Department of Mental Health. Although they come from all over Southern California and encompass every ethnic and socioeconomic group, they share a common experience - the emotional scars that result from child abuse. With counseling and mental health treatment, children at Hillsides learn that they are not alone, that they are safe and cared for through. Six programs constitute the framework for Hillsides treatment services-Residential Treatment, the Education Center, the Family Center, and Advocacy.