We are nominating Washburn Child Guidance Center for recognition as one of the "Minnesota 150." For 124 years Washburn has been a leader in child welfare and mental-health services in Minnesota. It is also an example of the generous corporate and civic philanthropy that has helped define Minnesota's culture of socially responsible giving.
Washburn began in 1883 as the Washburn Memorial Orphan Asylum for "homeless children who needed a place to live." The orphanage was established through a bequest of Cadwallader Colden Washburn, founder of General Mills; his brother, William Drew Washburn, served as president of the Board of Trustees from 1883 to 1912. During its first 30 years of operation, 942 children lived and attended school at Washburn.
The orphanage was closed in 1924 and replaced by the Washburn Foster Home Placement Agency. Services included psychological examinations, consultations with local medical and social service agencies, and placement of children in foster homes.
In 1950 the agency, responding to the needs of the community for more mental health services, established the Washburn Memorial Clinic--later to be called Washburn Child Guidance Center--for children with learning and behavior disabilities. Today, Washburn operates three clinics in Hennepin County and provides assessment, therapeutic and consultation services for thousands of children and their families, regardless of ability to pay.
Washburn's long history of service in Minnesota, its focus on helping some of our most vulnerable children, and its dedication to finding and implementing the best ways to do that, make it a worthy candidate to be a "Minnesota 150."
~Marcy Tollefson, Minneapolis, MN, and Jean Wilhide, Minneapolis, MN