1955 – A grassroots effort to establish a safe place for Albuquerque’s “misplaced and mistreated” children began after Mrs. Frederick O’Hara and Mrs. Jack Stromberg learned that children who were removed from their homes were being housed in the Juvenile Detention Center. Eight women of different religious beliefs and backgrounds came together to create a committee that was committed to opening a home for the abused, abandoned and traumatized children of the Albuquerque community. The idea of All Faiths Receiving Home was born. Agreements were made between All Faiths, the Child Welfare Department and the Albuquerque Police Department outlining the roles that each agency would play. All Faiths would provide shelter care for children including food, clothing and emotional support for non-delinquent children. A child could remain in All Faiths’ care for up to 30 days.
In December of 1955 the Child Welfare Department recommended Mr. and Mrs. K. E. York to serve as All Faiths’ house parents. Their home in the south valley would serve as the first location were All Faiths operated.
April 4, 1956 All Faiths Receiving Home officially opened its doors to serve the traumatized children of Albuquerque. Unofficially, All Faiths received its first child the day before, “I received a call from the welfare people asking if we were opened yet? I responded, as far as I’m concerned we are,” said Mrs. York. That same afternoon a small child was brought to the home in need of someone to care for her while her mother recovered from an automobile accident.
138 children were served during All Faiths’ first year of operation.
In December 1960 All Faiths’ Board of Directors launched their first large scale fundraising campaign. Looking to raise $50,000 to build a new facility in order to meet the growing demand of abandoned children.
In December 1961, Hugh Woodward donated an acre of land in the north valley in memory of his sister, Dr. Dorothy W. Woodward. This would become the home to All Faiths’ new facility.
On December 18, 1961, the new Home opened on Trellis Dr. in northwest Albuquerque. All Faiths Receiving Home’s doors remained open around the clock for days from its inception on April 4, 1956 to the closure of the Home in April of 2006. In the Fall of 1964 All Faiths’ Auxiliary hosted the first Apple Festival, which would go on to become a well-known Albuquerque event for over 43 years, raising over $700,000 for the agency.
With the increase in abuse cases in the community and the rise in societal tension due to inflation, the 1980’s brought a new set of programs to All Faiths that focused on community outreach and child abuse prevention. All Faiths’ programs expanded to serve the behavioral health needs of parents and families in crisis.
1984 – All Faiths established an Endowment Foundation to help support the long range goals of the agency. Interest earned from investments would be used to provide a permanent source of income for the Home. By 1986, interest income from the Foundation covered approximately 10% of the agency’s annual operating budget which was $600,000.
1989 – In response to the growing child sexual abuse problem in Bernalillo County, a multi-disciplinary team was created. The team was comprised of the NM Human services Department, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department, the District Attorney’s Office, University of New Mexico’s Pediatric Clinic and the Albuquerque Police Department. Their goal was to centralize the intervention efforts of all of these agencies. Through this process the All Faiths’ Children’s Safehouse forensic program was born.
1989 – The Active 20/30 Club of Albuquerque held their first Annual Equestrian Cup Food and Wine Tasting to benefit the building of All Faiths’ Children’s Safehouse. The Equestrian Cup would go on to become a signature event among Albuquerque’s elite, running for 23 years and raising over 1 million dollars to support the Safehouse.
September 24, 1990 All Faiths’ Children’s Safehouse began handling interviews of children who were alleged victims of physical/ sexual abuse or witnesses to violent crimes. 90 children were served in the first year of operation.
1990 – 2000: By the early 90’s All Faiths service provision had grown from shelter services through the “Home” to encompass Family Services, Forensic Interviewing Services, In-home Services and Treatment Foster Care.
2006 – By the end of 2006 All Faiths served more than 1,000 children through outpatient behavioral health services and over 600 through forensic interviews in the Children’s Safehouse. 2006- After the passing of the Federal Adoption and Safe Families Act, which required that children be placed with biological or foster families instead of in congregate care facilities, All Faiths was forced to close the doors of the “Home”. With this closure, All Faiths placed even more focus on out-patient and child abuse prevention services.
2008 – The sounds of children’s laughter once again graced the halls of the Trellis facility. The location that once housed the “Home” was converted to a school setting and the doors to the La Solana del Valle Daycare opened. The mission of the daycare is to provide a safe and therapeutic environment open to all children ages 6 weeks to 5 years of age.
2009 – All Faiths received its Core Service Agency designation, which is given to agencies that provide complete wrap-around services to families. All Faiths is currently one of only four children’s core service agencies in Bernalillo County.
2013 – All Faiths’ Board of Directors makes the difficult decision to close the daycare program, La Solana del Valle, in order to better focus on programs that align with the agency’s core mission. 2013- All Faiths undergoes a strategic planning process to define the agency’s path for the future. Decision is made to close the daycare and put resources toward expansion of wrap around family services. The agency enters a branding project during which the name changes from All Faiths Receiving Home to All Faiths, a new logo and a website are rolled out.
2014 – All Faiths receives a $99,000 grant from the United Way of Central New Mexico to launch the Family Wellness program, which focuses on working with “at-risk” parents providing the skills and support necessary to reduce the likelihood of their children experiencing trauma.
2015 – All Faiths’ Children’s Safehouse provides a record breaking number of forensic interviews, serving over 1,100 abuse victims during the 2014 – 2015 fiscal year.
November 2015, All Faiths is named a Children’s Advocacy Center. What does that mean? At its core, the model is about teamwork – bringing the agency professionals involved in child abuse cases together on the front end – and about putting the needs of the child victim first. So rather than having a child taken from agency to agency throughout the law enforcement and child protection systems, and having to endure multiple, sequential interviews, the CAC model brings the system to the child, and brings the agency professionals together to work in a collaborative approach that results in effective, efficient and child-centered casework.
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