Did you know? Today is our 149th birthday!

Per the minutes of that meeting: On the evening of May 11th 1872 several ladies & gentlemen met at the house of Miss Schuyler, 19 West 31st St., New York, for the purpose of organizing an association in aid of the State Charities of New York.

Schuyler’s plan was to organize county visiting committees of citizen volunteers, charged with visiting and inspecting services for children, “paupers,” and hospital patients and make recommendations for improvements to the proper authorities.

Using visiting committee reports and SCAA’s first annual report which stated that the removal of children from almshouses was one of the most urgently needed public reforms in New York State, Schuyler and SCAA secured passage of the Children’s Law of 1875. In 1881, under Schuyler’s leadership the “right of entrance law” was passed giving interested citizens the right to inspect, visit, and examine any state charitable institution. SCAA next successfully engaged in a four year legislative battle, pressing the State of New York to take responsibility for care of people with mental illness. In 1908, after reading a report with photos of children who were “unnecessarily blind” Schuyler organized the State Committee for the Prevention of Blindness, which eventually became the National Committee for the Prevention of Blindness.

We’re elated to start our 150th year! We’re fighting child poverty; strengthening supports for families; securing investment in the early years of life; and building stronger systems for child health and well-being.