The History of Hoffman Homes

Located in South Central Pennsylvania, Hoffman Homes for Youth has been a part of Adams County history for nearly one hundred years. Hoffman Homes for Youth is a psychiatric residential treatment program for children, accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation for Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) with licensure by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, Department of Health and certification from the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

Always loyal to the needs of children, Hoffman Homes for Youth has had three distinct missions since its beginning in 1910.

1910-1960 Orphans

The entire history of Hoffman Homes for Youth is marked by a spirit of love and service to children. It was in this spirit, in 1910, that George and Agnes Hoffman donated 193 acres of prime Pennsylvania farm land to the United Church of Christ (UCC), to be used as an orphanage. The couple had no children of their own, but they felt moved by the plight of homeless children.

Many children came to the orphanage and stayed there with their siblings until they were 18 years old. The children worked on the dairy farm and helped with harvesting the fields.


1960-1990 Court Adjudicated Youth

The need for orphanages declined dramatically after the Social Security Act passed in 1935.   Following a study and recommendations from the Child Welfare League, the Hoffman Homes for Youth Board of Directors decided that it was time to serve a new population of children. At this time, Hoffman Homes for Youth began admitting court-adjudicated children and appointed an Executive Director with professional training in social work (previous directors had been UCC ministers).

The children were sent to local schools and worshipped with local UCC congregations. On campus they were instructed in life skills such as carpentry and auto body.

1990-PRESENT Emotionally and Behaviorally Troubled Youth

Eventually the needs changed again and Hoffman Homes for Youth struggled to help two distinct populations including children with mental illness and adjudicated delinquent youth. The Board of Directors decided that Hoffman Homes for Youth could best serve children with severe emotional disturbances. Since 1990, our primary mission has been to provide comprehensive psychiatric care, treatment, and education to emotionally and behaviorally troubled children and their families.  Hoffman Homes for Youth is committed to providing services that are cost effective and responsive to the unique needs of each child.

Hoffman Homes for Youth treats the needs of boys and girls ages 6 to 17 who have a major mental health diagnosis. The residential treatment program is licensed to provide behavioral and cognitive therapy, physical health care services, and a safe and comfortable home to 141 children on our campus. Educational services are provided on campus through the Lincoln Intermediate Unit # 12.

Hoffman Homes for Youth serves a unique population of abused and neglected children:

Of the 116 children admitted in 2013:

  • The average age at admission was 13 years.
  • The average length of stay was 9.4 months.
  • 93% of the children were patients in a psychiatric hospital at least once.
  • 55% of the children made at least one major suicide attempt prior to admission.
  • 42% of the children had a history of physical abuse.
  • 38% of the children had a history of sexual abuse.
  • 93% of the children had a history of aggression.

We are very proud that 84% of the children treated in 2013 were discharged from our program having met their treatment goals.

At Hoffman Homes it is "Kids First" despite the challenges and types of children we treat. At Hoffman Homes for Youth, the spirit of love and service to children has remained constant since 1910.

Please consider volunteering or donating to help our children!



Accredited by the joint commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations

Hoffman Homes for Youth • 815 Orphanage Road • Littlestown, PA 17340
Phone: (717) 359-7148 • Fax: (717) 359-2600