Charles Loring Brace

  • Male
  • Society Builder
  • Musketeer ("One for all . . ." )
Charles Loring Brace

Charles Loring Brace (1826-1890) saw a social problem and did something about it: he is considered the father of modern foster care for orphans. In 1853 he established the Children's Aid Society to help poor children in New York. Later, Brace saw the plight of orphaned children whose immigrant parents had died on their journey to America. At the time, New York had an estimated 10,000 to 34,000 homeless children. Some slept on the streets, and some survived by forming gangs. Charles Loring Brace then started the Orphan Train to place these children in loving homes in the expanding West. Between 1853 and 1929, the Children's Aid Society and The Orphan Train placed 150,000 children with new families and gave them a second chance at life.

The folk song Orphan Train can be heard here and contains the lyrics:

The farmers and their families they came from miles around
We lined up on the platform of the station in each town
And one by one we parted like some living lost-and-found
And one by one we all were taken in

Learn more about Charles Loring Brace on the Childrens Aid Society page and Brace’s Wikipedia page.

This role model was suggested by Maria Miller, author of The Dandelion Project, a novel that begins with the main character Josef riding to a new life on the Orphan Train.

Suggested by: 

Maria Miller