Morrison Child and Family Services was founded in 1947 by a group of concerned citizens and physicians  who were committed to providing mental health services for children in our community. Dr. Carl Morrison, one of Oregon's first child psychiatrists, served as Morrison's Executive Director for 25 years. In its first year, the Portland Community Child Guidance Clinic, as it was then called, served 216 cases from a modest house on SW 17th and Salmon Streets in downtown Portland.

In 1961 the Clinic moved into a new expanded facility at SE Powell Boulevard in Portland, Oregon, which was built with considerable donated labor and materials from Downtown Portland Rotary and Unit Masonry Association. Dr. Julian Taplan took over as Executive Director in 1972, and the name of the organization was changed to Morrison Center in honor of Dr. Morrison’s many years of dedicated
service. Under Dr. Taplan’s leadership, Morrison Center began offering programs for children in the juvenile justice system and became a major provider of and advocate for children's services in the state. Program Evaluation services were introduced, along with a nationally accredited training program for
clinical psychologists. Staff increased twelve-fold to meet the growing demand for services, and a second clinic in Gresham was established to work with East County children and families.

In the 1980s Morrison Center experienced significant growth as a result of the organization's focus on innovative program design. The organization created alternatives to traditional, and more expensive, institutional care, such as the Hand in Hand Day Treatment program, which serves the needs of severely
abused and neglected young children, and the Counterpoint and Breakthrough programs, which reach out to delinquent youth and adolescents with severe emotional problems. In 1987 Dr. Orin Bolstad became Executive Director of Morrison Center.

In 1993, Jay C. Bloom joined the organization as President/CEO, with a strong commitment to building community partnerships. In the 1990s, Morrison Center took a leadership role in establishing collaborative partnerships with other providers in an effort to provide the most effective and efficient treatment for the increasingly troubled and abused children and families in our community. Morrison Center, Janus Youth Programs and Edgefield Children’s Center formed the Federation for Children and Youth in 1995 and were later joined by Rosemont School.

In April 2003 Morrison Center Child and Family Services dropped the “Center” from their name. The change reflects the fact that Morrison has many locations, not one “center,” as well as the organization’s growth in size, scope and capacity to serve Oregon's children and families.

In 2006, Tia Gray Stecher, LCSW joined Morrison as CEO and made it an organizational priority to retire the deficit and to increase organizational accountability. In 2007 Morrison received the Federal SAMHSA
Science to Service Award
for implementation of evidence-based practices. In 2010 Parent Mentor Leah Hall was awarded the Skidmore Prize for her work at Morrison.

In 2013, after fourteen years of dedicated service to Morrison, Drew McWilliams, M.S. Ed. stepped up to the role of CEO.

Morrison Child and Family Services currently serves approximately 6,000 children and families annually with a staff of 420 employees and an annual operating budget of $19 million.

Morrison Child and Family Services looks forward to expanding training for staff and sharing their knowledge and expertise with other clinicians. Morrison remains committed to its mission to partner with families and communities to provide effective and responsive services for children and youth coping with
adversity and trauma.

Download our history here.
For information on specific services or eligibility, or to schedule an appointment, call Central Intake at 
(503) 258-4381

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