“There is a home in a good family for every homeless child and woe to me if I do not find it.”

Wife: Isabella Van Arsdale; Children: Adella Van Arsdale; Mabelle Van Arsdale; Charles Van Arsdale

Children’s Home + Aid

The Illinois Children’s Home and Aid Society was founded in 1883 to aid orphaned and abandoned children. Begun by Methodist minister Reverend Martin Van Buren Arsdale and originally called the American Educational Aid Association, the organization sought to place homeless children in private family homes instead of institutions. It established advisory boards throughout Illinois to handle placement and created receiving homes for children awaiting placement. Van Arsdale sought national expansion and eventually 36 societies were established in other states. With expansion, the name was changed to the National Children’s Home Society and in 1897, the Illinois Children’s Home and Aid Society (ICHAS). The ICHAS employed a staff of professional social workers and had a statewide board of directors. It was influential in setting standards for adoptions and in advocacy for adoption law. The organization continues to offer adoption, foster care, counseling, early childhood education, and family support services.

16 October, 1885 – The Daily Republican (Decatur, Illinois) – Friday Edition

17 June, 1886 – American Educational Aid Association Meeting

05 October, 1896 – The New York Times – Monday Edition