Our History

Robert and Isabel Carson, trolley magnates in Philadelphia, created a legacy in the early 1900’s to provide a safe-place for children on 100 picturesque acres in rural Flourtown, Pennsylvania, thereby creating the Carson College for Orphaned Girls in 1917.

Elsa Ueland was the organization's first Director and lead the agency from 1917-1958.  Her words continue to remain relevant as she said, "The age of adolescence is the most plastic period of life.  It is a time when new forces are born; when almost a new personality emerges...But adolescence is also a period of great vulnerability, when outside influences leave their mark most irretrievably...In truth the whole future of the child's life depends upon how these new powers of adolescence are husbanded and directed...If conditions are pointed out which are destructive of youth and the new forces of adolescence, they are outlined here because we believe that the school will be the organization to remedy these defects."

Our cottages, now on the National Register of Historic Places, officially welcomed their first residents on July 1, 1918 in homes of English Tudor Gothic motif, designed by nationally known architect Albert Kelsey. Each cottage bears the name of a flower or tree that adorns the landscape or has a tie to a Mother Goose rhyme. Our cottages are known as Thistle, Stork Hill, Red Gables, Mother Goose, Lower Beech and Upper Beech.

Over the years, Carson has created historic milestones in educating children while surviving the economic downturn of the Great Depression, being the first orphanage to embrace children of color, creating a safe-haven for neglected and abused children.

Children's Aid Society, founded in 1885 as a foster placement and adoption agency.  Children’s Aid Society served multiple counties in Pennsylvania, providing specialized family-focused social services to neglected and abused children through out-of-home and in-home services. 

Headquartered on DeKalb Street in Norristown, Pennsylvania, Children’s Aid Society grew into an organization that provided services in Montgomery County and Philadelphia County, including foster care, adoption services, and family support services.

On July 1, 2008 the organizations merged and created a single organization, Carson Valley Children's Aid, which provides a full continuum of quality services to children and families throughout our region.


Our Mission

Carson Valley Children's Aid is dedicated to delivering services to children, youth and families that ensure their safety, build on their strengths, honor their differences and empower them to achieve their goals for success in life.


Our vision

For children youth and families to realize their potential and thrive.


           Elsa Ueland 1917-1958


    Carson Valley Children's Aid



Carson Valley Children's Aid

1419 Bethlehem Pike, Flourtown, PA 19031
Phone: 215.233.1960 | Fax: 215.233.2386

Copyright 2014 Carson Valley Children's Aid