History of Harborcreek Youth Services
In 1911, The Right Reverend Monsignor H. C. Wienker and the Sisters of St. Joseph founded the Catholic Boys Protectory to provide a safe haven for boys too old to remain at St. Joseph’s Children’s Home of Erie. Three years later, Monsignor Wienker began accepting youth from the Erie County Juvenile Court.
Over the next fifty years, the campus grew to include an administration building, school and recreation center, and home-like residential quarters with a chapel, garage, workshop, and swimming pool. The Catholic Boys Protectory was known at various times in its history as the Catholic Training School for Boys, the Harborcreek Home for Boys, and the Harborcreek School for Boys.
The 1970s brought a progressive change in the treatment of troubled juveniles. The new philosophy prompted the school to purchase several community living facilities or “group homes” throughout Erie County. These facilities gave small groups of clients the opportunity to live off campus with experienced counselors and guidance directors. With this radical departure from its traditional provision of childcare, the institution flourished.
The Harborcreek School for Boys underwent another transition in the late 1980s when a shift toward an intensive treatment concept spurred the addition of intensive treatment units throughout the community. In 1985, the Harborcreek School for Boys became Harborcreek Youth Services to more accurately reflect these changes in philosophy, programs and services, while emphasizing treatment and education.
In 1998, the main campus experienced its first major construction in more than thirty-five years. A residential treatment facility, a unit designed to house and treat young men with mental health problems, was constructed. Additionally, a residential wing was added to the main building.
In 2005, Harborcreek Youth Services implemented changes in its residential program to become a Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility. More recently, the agency developed a Community Programs division that currently consists of traditional foster parent recruiting in Erie and Crawford Counties, as well as Multisystemic Therapy (MST) and Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care (MTFC) in Erie County.
For nearly a century, Harborcreek Youth Services has had great success with children who require treatment and support. Today, the agency is a model comprehensive behavioral management system and methodology treatment center. Our goal is now, as it has been throughout our history, to establish routine, healthy behavior patterns in the lives of at-risk youth, and to encourage them to trust and respect themselves and others.