About Us

We’re all about providing quality care to children and families.

The mission of Tanager Place is to successfully serve children and families challenged by social and psychological needs.

Tanager Place creates a positive impact on thousands of children and families who cope with mental and behavioral health challenges each year. Every aspect of our mission incorporates the desire to advocate for children. From our humble beginnings in 1879 as Iowa’s first children’s human services agency, we’ve evolved to serve the needs of our community’s children every day.

Programs focused on prevention, treatment and research

Children from birth to age 18 benefit from the variety of programs offered at Tanager Place, including:

  • Outpatient Clinic
  • Community-Based Services
  • Camp Tanager
  • Expressive Arts Therapy
  • Intermediate Care Facility for Intellectually Disabled (ICF/ID)
  • Pediatric Integrated Health
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • School Based Therapy
  • Psychiatric Inpatient Programs
  • Research Center
  • Tanager Place School
  • YouthPort

To learn more about this year’s impact, we invite you to read the 2016 Annual Report.

Located in the heart of Iowa

Our location in the heart of the Cedar Rapids places us in the middle of Iowa’s premier medical district. That means you and your family benefit from access to renowned medical professionals and groundbreaking research studies. We support over 5,500 kids per year—primarily in Linn and Johnson counties in southeast Iowa—but all families are welcome at Tanager Place.

A name representing our organization’s uniqueness

Scarlet tanagers, among the most gorgeous of birds, sport blood-red bodies with jet black wings and tail. They’re also one of the most frustratingly hard to find as they stay high in the trees.

But one day, a scarlet tanager flew high above our main campus—right in front of an observer who equated the rarity of that sighting with the uniqueness of our organization.

As Henry David Thoreau once said, “The scarlet tanager flies through the green foliage as if it would ignite the leaves.” Like our name, this comment is a perfect metaphor for our beliefs.

Legacy of providing education and support

  • 1879 – Industrial School, founded to provide education to disadvantaged children, grew to include children in need of adoption
  • 1926 – Camp Good Health, established to offer camp experience for disadvantaged children, continues today as Camp Tanager
  • 1940 – Renamed The Children’s Home of Cedar Rapids
  • 1961 – The Children’s Home of Cedar Rapids becomes licensed as Cedar Rapids’ first and only residential treatment facility
  • 1975 – The Children’s Home introduces the Expressive Arts Therapy program to help children confront mental and emotional obstacles through visual arts, creative writing and music
  • 1986 – The Children’s Home founds the State of Iowa Psychiatric Medical Institution for Children (PMIC Program) to offer intensive treatment to 400 children across the state. Tanager Place retains a state contract for 60 of those 400 beds.
  • 1986 – The Children’s Home introduces Hemophilia Camp, the only camp of its kind in the Midwest, where children with hemophilia and their siblings participate in individual and group activities designed for fun and fitness
  • 1987 – Diabetes Camp launches to give children and adolescents with diabetes a safe and healthy environment under direct supervision of trained medical staff
  • 1990 – The Children’s Home of Cedar Rapids changes its name to Tanager Place
  • 2003 – Tanager Place establishes the Tanager Place Mental Health Clinic, Iowa’s only child-centered, comprehensive behavioral health outpatient clinic
  • 2004 – Intermediate Care Facility for the Intellectual Disabled—ICF/ID—begins with legislative approval for eight beds at Tanager Place
  • 2012 – Tanager Place launches the Tanager Place Research Center, which works to impact policy with new research from five partnering institutions
  • 2012 – Tanager Place’s Clinic establishes the Autism Spectrum Therapy Program
  • 2012 – Tanager Place, Boys and Girls Club and Young Parents Network come together to create YouthPort
  • 2013 – Tanager Place’s Pediatric Integrated Health (PIH) is founded to alleviate barriers facing many families
  • 2015 – Estle Center is established with the expansion of the Outpatient Clinic.  The new building, located in the MedQuarter – 1030 5th Ave SE, will also house the Community Based Programs
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