Stronger Children. Stronger Families. Stronger Communities.

Tanager Place Sign Outside

Our History

Since our humble beginnings as Linn County’s First Children’s Human Service agency (we’ve been around since 1879), we’ve evolved to serve the ever-evolving needs of our community. Our programs focus on prevention, treatment and outreach, and serve children and teens of all ages.

We support more than 3,000 kids per year—primarily in Linn and Johnson counties in southeast Iowa—but all families are welcome at Tanager Place.

At Tanager Place, our mission is simple:

To provide services to children and families that inspire, empower and heal.


  • Industrial School, founded to provide education to disadvantaged children, grew to include children in need of adoption.
  • Camp Good Health, established to offer camp experience for disadvantaged children, continues today as Camp Tanager.
  • Renamed The Children’s Home of Cedar Rapids.
  • The Children’s Home of Cedar Rapids becomes licensed as Cedar Rapids’ first and only residential treatment facility.
  • 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.

Learn more about Expressive Arts therapy.

  • 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.
  • 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.

Learn more about the Hemophilia Camp.

  • Diabetes Camp launches to give children and adolescents with diabetes a safe and healthy environment under direct supervision of trained medical staff.

Learn more about the Diabetes Camp.

  • The Children’s Home of Cedar Rapids changes its name to Tanager Place.
  • Tanager Place establishes the Tanager Place Mental Health Clinic, the region’s only child-centered, comprehensive behavioral health outpatient clinic.
  • Intermediate Care Facility for the Intellectual Disabled—ICF/ID—begins with legislative approval for eight beds at Tanager Place.
  • Tanager Place launches the Tanager Place Research Center, which works to impact policy with new research from five partnering institutions.
  • Tanager Place’s Clinic establishes the Autism Spectrum Therapy Program.
  • Tanager Place, Boys and Girls Club and Young Parents Network come together to create YouthPort.

Learn more about YouthPort.

  • Tanager Place’s Pediatric Integrated Health (PIH) is founded to alleviate barriers facing many families.
  • Opened New Estle Center to provide outpatient services to community
  • Long-time CEO, George Estle retires
  • School-Based Program expands to serve 9 schools
  • First Suicide Symposium was offered
  • Awarded Best Non-Profit in the Corridor by the Cedar Rapids Gazette Business Awards
  • School-Based Program expands to 11 schools
  • Accreditation by Council on Accreditation Renewed until 2021
  • Implemented Telehealth program to meet children’s psychiatric needs
  • Successfully advocated with state legislature to pass insurance coverage for Iowa children living with autism
  • Trained over 1,300 community members through the Tanager Place Training & Education Center
  • Completed the $6.5 Million Soaring Beyond Capital Campaign
  • Implemented Autism Spectrum Disorder Social Skills Program
  • Increased the number of ICF/ID beds by 55%
  • First Resiliency and Trauma-Informed Care Symposium providing training for 345 community members