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Our History

HistoryANDRUS has nurtured hope in children since 1928.  We were founded as an orphanage by John Emory Andrus in memory of his wife, Julia Bourne Dyckman, who was orphaned and then adopted by the Dyckman family in Yonkers, New York.  Over our 85 years of service, ANDRUS has refined our expanded mission to promote bright futures for children from birth throughout childhood by strengthening their families, offering enriching early childhood and after-school programs, intervening with community-based mental health services, providing special education for emotionally fragile children and protecting children who need residential care.  From a small campus-based center on the grounds of Julia Dyckman Andrus’ childhood home, we have established multiple sites around Westchester County to reach annually 2500 children and families from the New York Metropolitan region who need our help.  We are proud to be known as a premier nationally-recognized treatment, training and research center, but we remain, at heart, a family-centered organization.

All of our programs respect the strengths and acknowledge the struggles that are a part of life for every family.  A single theme runs through all our diverse efforts: to reinforce the health and resilience of children and families by expanding the skills and resources on which they can draw.  Nurture Hope in a Child and the World Thrives.

Since the days of the orphanage, our Campus-Based programs on the former Dyckman Farm have offered children who have known loss, stress and serious emotional disturbance a safe environment where they can learn to manage their emotions while building a strong foundation of academic and life skills.  Our Community-Based initiatives and highly regarded Mental Health Services enhance families’ capacities and child-raising strategies within the context of their own cultures, neighborhoods and homes, and provide children and families with the necessary support and education to prevent emotional distress, address mental health issues, and promote well-being.  We have been providing services in the community for 17 years and continue to expand to new communities every year.

ANDRUS is committed to promoting knowledge and fostering change to improve the lives of children and families beyond the borders of our campus and community.  Through dedicated research and evaluation, we have developed and refined new models of care, and we seek to share these advances with other professionals in our field through teaching, training, and collaboration at the Andrus Center for Learning and Innovation (ACLI).

Since the 1990’s, we have been shaping the trauma-focused foundation of the current foundation of our treatment philosophy, the Sanctuary Model®, a trauma-informed method for strengthening  organizational culture which has proven effective across a broad range of organizations serving children and adults with a wide spectrum of diagnoses.  Sanctuary is full system approach to creating an empathetic culture of non-violence and open communication to help children and families recover from interpersonal trauma and chronic stress.

Effective implementation of the Sanctuary Model requires extensive involvement from leadership, staff, and clients at every level of the process.  In 2005 we launched the Sanctuary Institute to present the model to the leadership of other service agencies.  To date, the Sanctuary Institute has engaged over 200 organizations across the world in practicing Sanctuary and leveraging the strengths of their organization to foster change and reclaim a culture of hopefulness and innovation.

From the original founding of John Andrus’ orphanage, all of us at ANDRUS have been dedicated to creating a vibrant, innovative, widespread community of safety, support and hope for the future.