History of Children’s Friend and Family Services

1837: “Ladies of Salem” meet to discuss ways “to support and educate indigent children who are in a suffering and dangerous condition.”

1839: Children’s Friend Society is officially formed. The Rev. Michael Carlton of Tabernacle Church opens his home on Briggs Street to orphan children.

1844: The ladies receive a bequest, to open a home on Carpenter Street, on the condition “Seaman’s Orphan” be added to its name. Name is changed to “Seaman’s Orphan and Children’s Friend Society.”


1949: Name changed to North Shore Children’s Friend Society.

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1963: After a merger, name changed to Children Friend and Family Service Society of the North Shore.

1996: Merger with Children’s Aid Society of Haverhill.

1999: Name changed to Children’s Friend and Family Services.

2012: The agency celebrates its 175th anniversary, with a staff of 150 serving 3,000 youths in Essex County.


Source: Bonnie Hurd Smith research, prepared for Children’s Friends and Family Services.