The Children’s Center was founded in 1871, in Erie, Pennsylvania, by a group of women interested in helping orphaned and homeless children. Sarah Reed was an original member of this group who founded "The Association for Improving the Conditions of the Poor, and a Home for the Friendless”. Miss Reed served as President for 45 years from 1889 to her death in 1934. Her contributions to the agency’s early development were so substantial that in 1935 the Center was renamed in her honor.
Over a period of thirty years the organization evolved. In 1961 Sarah A. Reed Children's Center opened its main campus in Millcreek Township. BY 1978, all children referred to the Sarah Reed Residential Program required specialized mental health treatment, thus ushering in a new era of services designed for children. In 1986, two independent non-profit corporations formed as Sarah Reed Children's Center and Sarah Reed Retirement Center. Today, Sarah Reed Children's Center is a multi-service agency focusing on prevention, early identification, care and treatment of children and families struggling with life traumas.
The Children's Center serves a geographic area to include all counties in Pennsylvania and the Southern Tier of New York State. The agency serves over 900 children and adolescents per day at our 7 program facilities, area school districts and community-based services.