About Us


To meet the changing needs of children and families, the services and programs of Holy Family Institute are constantly evolving.

Our agency was founded in 1900, when three orphaned children were brought to the Sister’s summer home in Emsworth. From there, the organization accepted many more children who needed care, and in 1931 the organization’s name changed from “Orphan Asylum of the Holy Family” to “Holy Family Institute”. The name change occurred to reflect HFI’s shift from being a true orphanage to a small-group living facility serving both orphans and other children in need.

Through the years, Holy Family Institute has developed a wide range of programs to help children and families in their communities. Today, the majority of our services include educating behaviorally challenged children, counseling and helping families to function as a healthy unit in their homes, preparing youth and young adults for their future through workforce development, offering drug and alcohol addiction counseling to children and youth, and making outpatient mental health counseling available to families and children who are functioning in the community but need specialized help.


1898: The original ‘Emsworth house’ is purchased as a summer retreat for the Sisters of Holy Family of Nazareth.