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Youth Villages Timeline

Founded in the merger of two residential treatment campuses in 1986, Youth Villages has grown to offer a complete continuum of programs and services and to become a nationally recognized leader in the field of children's mental health. Using our Evidentiary Family Restoration™ approach, today our counselors, teachers and staff provide services from office locations across the United States.


  • The Commercial Appeal recognizes Youth Villages as one of the top 20 large employers in Memphis, Tennessee, based solely on surveys completed by employees.
  • Youth Villages breaks ground on Bill’s Place, an expansion of intensive residential services on its Bartlett, Tennessee, campus designed to help children who have serious emotional and behavioral problems plus medical needs.


  • The Accelerator YMCA in Seattle becomes the first provider to partner with Youth Villages to provide our evidence- and research-based model YVLifeSet to help former foster youth become independent adults. Work there is supported by the Youth Villages clinical team and funded through a Blue Meridian match of local philanthropy. Our Strategic Partnership department seeks other high-performing service providers and public agencies to replicate YVLifeSet across the country.
  • MDRC releases the two-year results from its study of the Youth Villages YVLifeSet program — the largest rigorous random assignment controlled study of a program to help former foster youth every conducted. This third report uses administrative data to assess the program’s impacts in three of the original six domains — education; employment and earnings; and criminal involvement — during the second year after study enrollment. Taken together, the one- and two-year results show that participation in the program had positive impacts on a broad range of outcomes. Read about the full project at
  • Youth Villages adds Collaborative Problem Solving, developed by Think:Kids at Massachusetts General Hospital to the evidence-based interventions used in its programs and services. Eventually, the evidence-based treatment model will be used in all Youth Villages programs and services, and Youth Villages is partnering with Think:Kids for further research into CPS’ effectiveness.
  • In its first year of existence more than 3,000 supporters from 38 countries have contributed to Janie’s Fund, helping raise more than $2.1 million. Proceeds raised will directly provide 56,000 days of trauma informed care for more than 400 girls. In December, Steven Tyler received the 2016 Humanitarian Award at the United Nations Ambassadors Ball for his work at Janie’s Fund to both give voice and lend hope to those girls and woman around the world that have suffered the horrific trauma of abuse.


  • YVLifeSet becomes the new name of Youth Villages' program for young people aging out of state custody, previously called transitional living.
  • MDRC releases its study of YVLifeSet, showing the program boosted earnings, increased housing stability and economic well-being, and improved outcomes related to health and safety for a population of very disadvantaged young people. The largest random assignment evaluation of a program serving this population, the MDRC study shows YVLifeSet is one of the only programs that improves multiple outcomes for youth turning 18 and aging out of foster care and juvenile justice.
  • Musician Steven Tyler launches a signature philanthropic initiative to help girls who have been abused and neglected: Janie’s Fund. Janie’s Fund will raise money and awareness to help Youth Villages provide trauma-informed care and experiential therapies to girls who have histories of being abused and/or neglected. Tyler’s hit song “Janie’s Got a Gun,” originally released Nov. 8, 1989, was born out of a growing desire to speak up for victims of child abuse. Each year, one in five girls in the United States experiences sexual abuse.


  • The first results from a randomized study of Youth Villages’ transitional living program point toward a valid evaluation of the program, according to MDRC, the research agency conducting the study. MDRC published a 124-page report, Moving Into Adulthood. The first impact results from the study will be available in 2015.
  • The Center for the Study of Social Policy names the Youth Villages transitional living program as one of 15 local, state and national youth-and family-serving initiatives making a critical difference in the lives of youth in foster care.
  • Youth Villages begins offering intensive in-home services to children and families in Oklahoma through a partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and the George Kaiser Family Foundation. Funding for the start-up of the Tulsa office was provided by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.


  • Tennessee is first to expand comprehensive help to all former foster youth. Through a public-private partnership with Youth Villages, Tennessee’s Department of Children’s Services will offer intensive community-based services to the more than 1,000 young people who turn 18 in state custody each year without being reunited with their birth families or being adopted.
  • Youth Villages is highlighted as a model organization in a new book by charity expert Ken Stern "With Charity for All: Why Charities Are Failing and a Better Way to Give."
  • Youth Villages is selected to the Social Impact Exchange S&I 100, an index of “top nonprofits creating a social impact.” Social Impact Exchange is a national association dedicated to matching philanthropists with effective, innovative nonprofits that are poised for growth.
  • Youth Villages announces long-term commitment to Tennessee’s foster children at Clinton Global Initiative America.
  • Microsoft grants more than $7.4 million in software and technology to Youth Villages allowing improvements in both internal and external communication systems. The grant powers up Youth Villages’ latest electronic medical records system.


  • Youth Villages began offering intensive in-home services to children and families in Indiana through a pilot partnership with the Indiana Department of Child Services. Offices were opened in Madison, Jeffersonville, Bloomington, Columbus and Jasper to serve Southern Indiana.
  • Youth Villages merges with Germaine Lawrence, a residential treatment campus for girls located in Arlington, Massachusetts. The Youth Villages-Germaine Lawrence Campus will allow the organization to provide a continuum of care in the state, helping children with emotional and behavioral issues to transition smoothly between programs of different levels of treatment intensity, depending on the children's individual needs. 


  • The Day Foundation announces a $42 million legacy challenge grant to Youth Villages primarily to help expand the organization’s transitional living program that helps older foster children become successful adults.
  • Merged with ChristieCare to form Youth Villages-ChristieCare of Oregon on June 1, bringing intensive in-home services to families in the Portland area and continuing ChristieCare’s 150-year history of providing residential and other services to troubled children and youth.
  • The Georgia State Senate officially proclaims Feb. 15, 2011, as “Youth Villages Georgia Day” at the State Capitol through Senate Resolution 141 to commend Youth Villages on “their past, present and future work on behalf of children, youth, and their families in this state and throughout our nation.”


  • Youth Villages hosted an honored guest on May 4, 2010, as Sonal Shah, director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, visited our operations center in Memphis. Her visit was part of a “Community Solutions Tour” launched in 2009 when President Obama charged the Office of Social Innovation to travel across the country “to find the best community solutions, to learn more about them, and to help spread good ideas across the country.”
  • In June 2010, Casey Family Programs released the findings of a study conducted to share the examples of states and counties that have been successful in child welfare reform. The study outlines the way the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services has worked with Youth Villages, its largest private provider, to bring about reform, and cites a 34 percent reduction in the number of children in the state’s foster care system since 2000. Read the study’s full findings.
  • In April 2010, The NonProfit Times and Best Companies Group named Youth Villages as one of the 50 Best Nonprofit Organizations to Work For in the United States.
  • In a Nov. 22 blog post, Harvard Business School faculty members Robert S. Kaplan and Allen Grossman highlight Youth Villages as an effective source to give your charitable dollars. “The voluntary sector continually pleads for more funding to solve the nation’s long-standing social problems. Their case would be far stronger if the large sums of money already deployed to this sector year were better directed to organizations, such as Youth Villages, that consistently delivered the most value for the money.” They advise to focus your giving on organizations capable of delivering proven outcomes on a wide scale. Read the full post at the Harvard Business Review blog.
  • Youth Villages opens a 10th office in North Carolina: Fayetteville. 
  • Youth Villages opens its first office in New Hampshire: Manchester
  • Youth Villages opens a fourth office in Massachusetts: Holyoke.


  • Youth Villages opens new offices in Miami, Fla.; Asheville, N.C.; and Worcester,  Massachusetts.
  • The Youth Villages Girls Center for Intensive Residential Treatment celebrates its grand opening in Bartlett, Tenn.
  • Youth Villages launches the Anaya Partnership, providing services to children and families from a new office in Midtown Memphis.
  • Youth Villages opens locations in Charlotte, N.C., and Hernando, Miss.
  • Harvard Business School publishes case study on Youth Villages, holding it up as a national leader in the field of children's behavioral health.
  • Youth Villages earns praise from the White House, identified as being among "effective, innovative non-profits" that are "high-impact, result oriented" organizations.
  • Youth Villages agrees to a merger with Inner Harbour, a residential treatment center, in Douglasville, Ga.
  • Youth Villages begins providing intensive in-home services in New Hampshire.


  • Youth Villages opens its first offices in Florida, bringing Intensive In-Home Services to Tampa and Lakeland.
  • Youth Villages adds another office in Massachusetts: Woburn, to serve the Boston area.
  • Youth Villages expands to Georgia, offering Intensive In-Home Services to children and families in Atlanta.
  • Youth Villages opens another office in North Carolina, serving children and families in Pinehurst.
  • Youth Villages expands its services in Alabama, opening an office in Dothan.


  • The Youth Villages Transitional Living Program is awarded a $1.5-million grant by the state of Tennessee to help an extra 300 children on their way to independent adulthood. The state grant matches a $1.5-million grant issued by The Day Foundation.
  • Youth Villages expands to Massachusetts with In-Home Counseling.
  • North Carolina and Alabama operations expand with the addition of offices in Wilmington, Hickory and Mobile.
  • Youth Villages begins construction on the Girls Center for Intensive Residential Treatment, designed to meet the special needs of girls who have severe emotional and behavioral problems and must have help in a secure environment.


  • Youth Villages receives a second grant for $6 million from the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation to help the organization implement the plan.
  • Youth Villages opens four offices in North Carolina to deliver In-home Counseling.
  • Youth Villages opens its Operations Center, serving as headquarters that brings leadership, program support and key administrative staff together under one roof. The building of the Operations Center concludes the first phase of the Project 2010 Capital Campaign.
  • U.S. News & World Report features Youth Villages CEO Patrick W. Lawler as one of "America's Best Leaders," along with such notables as investment guru Warren Buffett, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and Proctor and Gamble chief A.G. Lafley. The project was undertaken in collaboration with the Center for Public Leadership (CPL) at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, whose mission is to further leadership for the common good through excellence in leadership research, education and development.


  • Washington, D.C., awards Youth Villages a contract to provide Multisystemic Therapy to foster children.
  • Youth Villages increased its presence in the state of Alabama with the expansion of our nationally recognized Treatment Foster Care program.
  • Youth Villages begins an In-home Counseling program in the state of  North Carolina.
  • Youth Villages helps more than 11,000 children and their families.
  • The New York City-based Edna McConnell Clark Foundation makes grants to help nonprofit organizations that work with youth from low-income backgrounds strengthen their operations and expand their programs to better serve a larger number of young people. Youth Villages was selected by EMFC to receive support for business planning after a comprehensive review of the organization, including the quality of its programs, depth of leadership, financial strength and commitment to using data to assess its programs and make ongoing improvements. The plan lays out how Youth Villages can effectively expand services and improve the quality of its programs.


  • The newly formed Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation chooses Youth Villages to receive its first gift -- a $500,000 grant -- and also partners with Youth Villages to promote mentoring and literacy.
  • The Multisystemic Therapy (MST), treatment model receives national recognition and approval from the prestigious National Institutes of Health.
  • Youth Villages serves more than 8,000 children and their families during 2004.
  • Youth Villages receives a $250,000-planning grant from the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation to work with the Bridgespan Group to develop a strategic business plan.


  • Offices in Dickson and Morristown,Tenn., open in order to enhance services in Middle and East Tennessee.
  • The state-of-the-art $7.5-million Center for Intensive Residential Treatment (right) opens at the Bartlett campus. The 44,000-square-foot building accommodates up to 62 boys with more serious mental health needs.
  • The Specialized Crisis Services program is launched statewide in Tennessee. Mobile crisis counselors serve children under 18 years of age who experience an acute psychiatric emergency.


  • The Youth Villages In-home Counseling program expands into Alabama with the opening of offices in Anniston and Huntsville.
  • The Treatment Foster Care program expands into East Tennessee in the existing locations in Knoxville, Chattanooga and Johnson City.
  • An additional Mississippi office opens in Hattiesburg, offering both In-home Counseling and Treatment Foster Care to the coastal region of the state.
  • Youth Villages launches a new program, CHOICES, to help children with severe developmental disabilities.
  • Based on extensive research with parents, the program offers two distinct services:
    • in-home support to families of children with developmental disabilities
    • professional support homes for children whose families are not able to care for them in their own homes.
  • The Adoption Program celebrates its 50th placement of a special-needs child in an adoptive home.
  • Construction is completed on the Paul Barret Jr. School, and the state-of-the-art learning and activities center on the Bartlett Campus opens its doors to Youth Villages students.
  • Youth Villages helps more children than ever before -- having served more than 3,000 children and their families during 2002.


  • The Youth Villages In-home Counseling program expands further into East Tennessee with the opening of additional offices in Chattanooga and Johnson City.
  • Youth Villages conducts its most successful fund-raising campaign -- raising more than $11 million for the construction of a new school and activities center and a Center for Intensive Residential Treatment on the Bartlett campus. Ground is broken for the two buildings. Highlights of the capital campaign include:
    •  Matching a challenge grant from the Plough Foundation, raising a total of $6 million.
    • The receipt of the at the time largest single contribution in Youth Villages' history -- a gift of $2.5 million from the Barret Trust.
  • The Middle Tennessee regional headquarters expands in Nashville.
  • Youth Villages is cited in a national report by the American Youth Policy Forum as one of eight "guiding light" models in the United States with programs that successfully reduce the incidence of juvenile crime.


  • Adoption services for children with special needs are initiated throughout Tennessee.
  • In recognition for its work with young people, Youth Villages receives the Bridges Salute to Youth Award.
  • In February, Youth Villages opens Binkley Home, a group home in Nashville, Tenn.
  • Services are expanded to East Tennessee with the opening of the Knoxville office.
  • Through a donation from the Knights of Columbus, Youth Villages opens a third group home in the Memphis area, Brunswick Home.
  • Youth Villages tops 2,000 children served annually.
  • The Franklin Covey Company names Youth Villages the recipient of its Humanitarian Service Award at its 7th Annual International Symposium.
  • Youth Villages is cited as a national model in a study commissioned by the American Youth Policy Forum in Washington, D.C.
  • The National Coalition for Juvenile Justice highlights Youth Villages as a national model in its annual report and calls for other states to implement similar programs.


  • The Tennessee Medical Association names Youth Villages recipient of its Community Service Award.
  • The Day Foundation funds a $2-million Transitional Living program to help children in aging out of foster care and state custody make a successful move to independence.
  • LHS, Inc. makes a $1.5-million four-year grant to fund a research study for a pilot Multisystemic Therapy-based service model designed to prevent at-risk youth from entering state custody.
  • Treatment Foster Care and Intensive In-Home Counseling are expanded statewide in Mississippi.


  • Nashville-based Serendipity House, founded in 1973, becomes a program of Youth Villages, doubling our capacity to care for children in Middle Tennessee. In addition to expanding the Treatment Foster Care and In-home Counseling programs, the partnership with Serendipity House brings new services to Youth Villages, including three group homes in the Nashville area.
  • Youth Villages offers foster care in Mississippi through a new office in Tupelo.
  • The Family Link Shelter moves into a newly renovated and more accessible 5,000-square-foot building.
  • Youth Villages opens Coteswood Home, a group home for boys with developmental disabilities and no viable family support.


  • The Family Link, an agency that operates the area's only emergency shelter for runaway and homeless teens, becomes a program of Youth Villages.
  • Office is opened in Jonesboro, Ark.
  • Youth Villages opens Paidia's Place, a group home for girls with developmental disabilities.
  • The 11,000-square-foot Mike Bruns Family Counseling Center (right) opens at the Bartlett Campus, the former Memphis Boys Town.
  • Administrator Patrick W. Lawler receives the Thomas Briggs Community Service Award.


  • Youth Villages receives the Greater Memphis Award for Quality.
  • Youth Villages expands Home-Based Counseling to Mississippi; opens offices in Jackson.
  • The United Way of America awards Youth Villages the Silver Excellence in Service Quality Award. Youth Villages is the first agency nationwide to receive this award, based on the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige criteria. 


  • The number of children served annually by Youth Villages tops 1,000.
  • Youth Villages executes a fully integrated Continuum of Care, which has since become a model for other mental health care providers nationwide.
  • A major expansion of the Morris-Wilson Campus School and Activities Center at the Dogwood Campus adds 5,000 square feet to the school.
  • Youth Villages receives the Tennessee Quality Achievement Award.


  • Through start-up funds provided by the Plough Foundation and other donors, Youth Villages initiates home-based counseling programs in collaboration with the Medical University of South Carolina. Youth Villages becomes the first agency to use Multisystemic Therapy (MST) on a large scale outside of clinical trials.
  • Additional offices are opened in Dyersburg, Clarksville, Paris and Columbia (Tennessee).


  • Youth Villages conducts a study of children's services needs in rural West Tennessee. More than 126 children's services officials are interviewed as part of the study. The study reveals that the region's greatest need is intensive in-home counseling for troubled families.


  • Treatment Foster Care Program is initiated. Offices are added in Nashville, Cookeville and Jackson, Tenn.


  • Youth Villages expands to Middle Tennessee with the addition of Deer Valley, a residential campus located on more than 1,000 beautiful wooded acres near the Tennessee River in Linden.


  • $1.6 million capital campaign results in the following construction at the Dogwood Village campus: 14,500-square-foot Morris-Wilson Campus School and Activities Center, the Judge Kenneth A. Turner Administration Building and two additional children's cottages.
  • Youth Villages is formed in Memphis, Tenn., when Dogwood Village (now the site of the Dogwood Campus) merges with another youth residential center, Memphis Boys Town (now the site of the Bartlett Campus), creating a new nonprofit organization that helps approximately 80 children.
  • Youth Villages achieves accreditation from Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).

Revised 08/26/2014

About Us
Youth Villages is a national leader in children’s mental and behavioral health bringing help and hope to more than 25,000 children, families and young people across the United States this year. The organization offers a continuum of evidence- and research-based programs, including its two national models: YVIntercept, which offers intensive in-home services, and YVLifeSet, which gives former foster youth a good start on a successful adulthood.
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