Mission Statement

“Partnering with the community to assist children, youth and families in their unique pursuit of health and wholeness through quality, professional, and faithful services.”


Every Child’s Hope (ECH) 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, where more than 300 orphans called ECH home. Renamed the Evangelical Children’s Home in 1945, services and programs were adapted to meet the ever-changing needs of St. Louis youth.

Today, ECH is no longer an orphanage, but caring for vulnerable children is still at the heart of each program. More than 180 staff members across Missouri are dedicated to preventing child abuse, treating emotional trauma and mental health issues, and providing aftercare, education, and follow-up services. Each year ECH helps more than 1,600 families and children find healing and hope for the future. We are committed to being a trauma-informed organization, building resiliency in youth, staff interacting with youth, and families so we may be responsive to the impact trauma has on the lives of individuals.  This commitment ensures ECH is fulfilling its mission by promoting healing and resiliency so that individuals, systems and communities can function at their full capacity and potential.

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 TreatmentSteppingstone Transitional LivingECH SchoolFamily Solutions for KidsOutpatient Psychiatric Services, and Foster Care Case Management.

Read more about our history.

Agency Quick Facts

  • Every Child’s Hope 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.
  • On September 18, 1945, the Board voted to rename the German Protestant Orphan’s Home to Evangelical Children’s Home following trouble during World War II.
  • In response to a 1978 study in the Kansas City area, it was decided to open a girls’ residential treatment program 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 2008 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. In 2015, the average age of young people in our Residential Treatment program was 14 years and nine months.
  • ECH celebrates 165 years of service to children and families in 2023.