G. A. Family Services was founded in 1886 as the G.A. Home for Children to serve the children of Swedish immigrants who lost their lives in the trek to America. As the years passed and the needs of the community changed, services available to youth with special needs changed as well.
Growth – All youth will be given the opportunity to reach their full potential.
Achievement – All youth will experience a positive environment in which they can enjoy success.
Family – We will work with the entire family moving all members towards permanence.
Safety – We will treat youth, families, and each other with dignity and respect, creating a safe environment for everyone.
Milestones of Our History
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G.A. Family Services Timeline
1883-1886 – The Beginning
Following the close of the Civil War in 1865, Swedish immigrants flooded to the United States. Many of the immigrants arriving from Sweden during the period 1868-78 remained in the eastern states due to lack of funds to continue their journey to the Midwest. During the trips over seas, the parents of young families passed away leaving their children alone in the new world. Orphan children became the great concern of the church fathers. They were being raised by strangers who did not teach them the Lutheran faith. The G.A. Children’s Home was built as the first united effort of the New York Conference of the Augustana Lutheran Church, with the support of 43 congregations in the conference. The Home was named after King Gustavus Adolphus who laid the foundation of modern Sweden.
1930 – Care for the Aged
In the 1920s and 30s it became apparent there was a need for a residential setting for the elderly who could still care for themselves. Family trends had changed and there were no longer three generations in the home to care for the aging population. Five Lutheran Churches of Jamestown and Falconer agreed to support the new endeavor.
1967 – A New Infirmary
Hultquist Infirmary is built. It was funded with a gift from Marguerite Hultquist as a memorial to her departed husband Earle O. Hultquist, to care for those who needed infirmed care as they aged.
1968-1978 – Transforming G.A.
The Gustavus Adolphus (G.A.) Children’s Home is rebuilt. The 1960’s were a transition period for the Children’s Home as the Home became a treatment center for youth with family and social challenges. A five section building was erected replacing the original structure. A stand-alone Gustavus Adolphus Learning Center is constructed. The construction of the Gustavus Adolphus Learning Center provided a means for a comprehensive program of remedial and special educational opportunities for the members of the Children’s Home program, for grades five through nine. (Presently the Learning Center provides academic opportunities throughout twelfth grade.)
2005 – Foster Care Begins Therapeutic Foster Care, West Seneca Office Opens
Community based services begin at G.A. Family Services, specifically the expansion of the Therapeutic Foster Care program.
2008 – Foster Care Expands
The Therapeutic Foster Care Program celebrated the expansion of 2 additional TFC offices located in Arcade, NY and Jamestown, NY broadening services to children and families in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua and surrounding counties. G.A’.s TFC Program now offers three convenient offices across Western New York.