Mission Statement

“Partnering with the community to assist children, youth and their families in their individual quest for health and wholeness through quality, faithful, professional services.”


ECH Every Child’s Hope was founded on January 20, 1858 by Rev. Louis Nollau, as an orphanage for children whose immigrant parents had died from cholera outbreaks. Originally, one orphan boy was taken in by a St. Louis church, but that quickly grew to include approximately 50 children. Then called the German Protestant Orphan’s Home, many of the children placed in the orphanage were found roaming the streets and sleeping in doorways.

By the mid-1860s, programs were moved to our current location on St. Charles Rock Road and more than 300 orphans called ECH home. Renamed Evangelical Children’s Home in 1945, as the needs of St. Louis youth evolved over the decades, services and programs adapted to meet those ever-changing needs.

Today Every Child’s Hope is no longer an orphanage, but caring for vulnerable children is still at the heart of each program. More than 200 staff members across St. Louis and Kansas City campuses are dedicated to preventing child abuse, treating emotional trauma and mental health issues, and providing aftercare and follow-up services. Each year ECH helps more than 1,400 youth and children find healing and hope for their futures.

Through our diverse programs, we strive to strengthen families and encourage all family members to reach their full potential by leading healthy, productive, and self-sufficient lives. Our programs include: Residential Treatment; Steppingstone Transitional Living; ECH School; Head Start Early Education Center; Family Solutions for Kids; OutPatient Psychiatric Services: and Foster Care Case Management

Read more about our history.

Agency Quick Facts

  • Evangelical Children’s Home was founded in 1858 by Reverend Louis Nollau as the German Protestant Orphan’s Home.
  • In the fall of 1866, 60 boys and girls moved to the “country,” the current location at 8240 St. Charles Rock Road. It was a half-day’s ride from the city by farm wagon.
  • September 18, 1945, The Board voted to rename the German Protestant Orphan’s Home to Evangelical Children’s Home. This came following trouble during World War II.
  • In 1978, following a study in the Kansas City area, it was decided to open a girls unit as a branch of Evangelical Children’s Home.
  • The St. Louis Campus began Steppingstone services for older youth in 1986.
  • In April 2009, Evangelical Children’s Home changed its name to ECH: Every Child’s Hope, to better reflect the work we do
  • In 2015, ECH served over 1,400 children, youth and families, providing quality care for those who need it.
  • In December of 2015, the Early Education Center at ECH offers Early Head Start and Head Start programs to further our mission of helping families in need.
  • ECH offers a Child Outpatient Psychiatric program with three doctors available to see children in need for families who could not otherwise afford this specialized medical care. More than 750 young people were seen in 2015
  • In 2015, the average age of young people in our Residential Treatment program is 14 years and 9 months.