For over 160 years, DCCH Center for Children and Families has served the needs of more than 3000 children in Northern Kentucky. Each of these children has become part of our family tree.
June 4, 1848
First meeting of the group destined to organize a home for Catholic orphans in Kenton County. The St. John’s Orphan Society selected Frank Derhaber as Chairman and started with $62.56 capital.
January 28, 1868
Building and property off Lexington Pike (now Dixie Highway) were purchased for about $17,000. Property formerly housed St. Aloysius Seminary. New orphanage dedicated in spring of 1871, housing nine girls. Benedictine nuns were in charge of the facility.
St. John’s began accepting boys as well as girls, creating the need for additional buildings. By 1892, a three-story facility with classrooms, playroom, dormitories and living quarters was completed.
St. John’s Orphans Society celebrated its 75th anniversary. Approximately 50 children lived at the facility. An estimated 1,200 people attended a special mass held at Mother of God Church in Covington.
February 10, 1926
A major fire consumed the school building. The fire’s origin was traced to a furnace. Fortunately, no one was injured in the blaze. Four months later lightning struck, causing a fire in another one of the buildings. In July, the Society announced plans to build a new school and rectory.
Almost $100,000 was raised for the project and construction began. By Labor Day 1928, the financing was completed. By 1929, 104 children lived in the new facility.
March 5, 1935
Fire again claimed a place in the history of the home. The Chapel, dining room, and the kitchen were consumed by the blaze. By Thanksgiving 1935, the damages of the buildings were repaired.
St. John’s celebrated its 100th anniversary. Records show 118 children lived here at that time.
Orphanage name changed to St. John’s Children’s Home. Sisters of Notre Dame assumed charge of the residence.
July 11, 1961
The Diocese of Covington announced the merging of St. John’s Orphanage and St. Joseph’s Orphanage in Cold Spring into one facility in Fort Mitchell. The name was changed to Diocesan Catholic Children’s Home.
June 30, 1963
The current residential building was dedicated with room for 48 children in four famil- style apartments, central kitchen, chapel, and convent.
The program was changed to meet the needs of children with serious emotional disabilities. Guardian Angel School began holding classes on campus.
Renovation of the Residential Building was completed from dormitory to individual bedrooms for the children.
July 1, 1998
Assessment/Crisis Stabilization/Treatment (ACT) Unit opened as a short-term placement for children with emotional and behavioral needs.
Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC) Program launched to assist the needs of children in a home based environment.
DCCH becomes a state-licensed adoption agency for our TFC Children.
ACT Unit converts six beds to residential treatment beds.
The Therapy Center at DCCH officially opens, providing quality mental health services to children, adults, couples and families.
The new Sisters of Notre Dame Welcome Center and relocated Guardian Angel School are dedicated.
Construction begins in the Residential Building to expand the children’s living spaces. Six new beds are added, raising the total bed count to 40. These new beds allow DCCH to serve approximately ten more children per year.
Bob Wilson is named Executive Director.