Safe Space's rich history spans nearly a century of comprehensive and innovative services for children and families. After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1874 that all children should be protected, the Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children were formed. Safe Space was founded in 1919 as the Queensboro SPCC with a mission to rescue vulnerable children from abusive situations.
A decade after QSPCC's founding, a group of committed volunteers opened the agency's first children's shelter. Safe Space led the way in children's services with endeavors such as the establishment of an on-site school.
By the late 1970s, the organization focused primarily on child abuse prevention. With a license to run mental health services, we became the first child protective agency in the state to include this essential component. Over time, Safe Space designed programs to address the needs of entire families in order to prevent abuse and neglect. Safe Space was -- and still is -- at the forefront of providing family-centered services. Throughout the 1980s and '90s, Safe Space expanded its programs throughout Queens and went into Manhattan to include educational outreach, HIV/AIDS prevention and case management services, group homes for foster youth, home-visiting programs for young pregnant and parenting mothers and the first ever residential program for HIV-positive homeless youth in New York State. Additionally, Safe Space began partnering with schools to provide services ranging from after-school programs to supportive care for youth and families with mental health issues.
Over the last several years, Safe Space has seen considerable change in the child welfare system in general and internally in our programs and services. Today, Safe Space continues to offer an integrated system of progressive services in the following core areas: Mental Health, Community Health, At-Risk Youth, Family Support and School Partnerships. The agency continues to be a leader in youth and family services with innovative programs that reflect our mission since 1919: to protect kids, keep them safe, and help them grow.