Delaware Guidance Services celebrates 60 years

Gathering as Delaware Guidance Services marks its 60th year are (l-r) DGS board members Doug Brown; Bruce Kelsey, LCSW, DGS executive director; Brook Bashore; Trey Kraus; Maria Lehman and Kay Wilke. SOURCE SUBMITTED
December 17, 2013

As of this fall, Delaware Guidance Services for Children and Youth Inc. has been serving Delaware families for 60 years.

Carla Markell, first lady of Delaware, is the organization’s 60th anniversary honorary chair and recently sponsored a reception in the organization’s honor at the Governor’s Mansion, Woodburn, in Dover.

“Delaware Guidance Services has served as a leader in our community for over 60 years,” said Markell. “The critical services provided by DGS are instrumental to the well-being and health of our children.”

“We are so honored to have the support of Mrs. Markell. She understands the importance or our mission and is passionate about improving the lives of children,” said DGS Executive Director Bruce Kelsey.

The organization began making a difference in the lives of Delaware’s children and families in fall 1953. With the help of the Junior League of Wilmington and pediatrician Dr. Robert O.Y. Warren, the Wilmington Child Guidance Center opened its doors, aiming to promote mental health by offering psychiatric diagnosis and treatment for children with emotional and behavioral issues. The service was provided in rent-free quarters in Trinity Episcopal Church. The initial staff included a psychiatrist, a social worker, a part-time psychologist, and a secretary-bookkeeper, and 151 cases were treated that year.

Today, DGS is Delaware’s largest single not-for-profit provider of nonresidential psychiatric services for children and their families.

DGS strives to provide the right help at the right time, typically treatment in programs available in homes, schools, and communities; trauma services; crisis services; and a therapeutic day school, with outpatient counseling remaining as the foundation.

“As we reflect back on our history and 60 years of service, we are extremely grateful to all of our partners who have helped to give every child in Delaware a chance for a bright future," said Kelsey.

For more information about DGS or to make a contribution toward the 60th Anniversary Annual Fund go to


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