In 1987, Lydia Allen and Stefanie Held, with the support of friends and family, responded to the HIV/AIDS social and medical crisis. Open Arms Inc., dba Bryan's House was created to operate a pediatric residential hospice and child care center for children with AIDS and to support families in which at least one family member had been diagnosed with HIV. At the time, there was no comprehensive pediatric AIDS childcare center in the country. Lydia and other volunteers provided compassionate care for children in their own homes while working to establish a child care center that could accommodate the specialized needs of these young victims of the disease.
The program continued to grow, requiring expansion of the current facility. A modern facility was opened in 2001 in the Southwest Medical Center area, providing 18,600 square feet of space. Bryan's House continues to be the only specialized care facility in Dallas that provides comprehensive services to children, youth, and families who are impacted by HIV/AIDS. Parents can go to medical appointments, attend therapy sessions, go to work, and function close to normal, despite the fact that many of them have been diagnosed with HIV and AIDS. Bryan's House cares for many infants during the first months of their lives, working closely with parents and doctors to ensure their infant receives the medications and medical care that will prevent HIV.
After many special requests from a variety of sources in 2006, the Board of Directors responded to another unmet need in the community -- medically managed childcare services for children with other serious medical problems. Placement for these children in foster homes and in most Dallas County daycare centers was impossible. Children with catheters or feeding tubes, who require injections, or who have serious physical limitations that require nursing care on site did not have a place to go until Bryan's House began to serve them. In 2006, Bryan's House formally expanded its mission to meet the needs of this growing population while remaining true to its original and founding purpose -- to care for children others cannot or will not care for. The medically managed childcare model is still unique today, and as more children survive illnesses and injuries in early childhood that once were fatal, the need for a safe place for these children is just as great as it was for Bryan Allen and the other babies who suffered from AIDS.
Bryan's House is licensed by the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) as a Special Care Facility and Hospice for children and by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (TDFPS) as a 24-hour Day Child Care Facility. Bryan's House operations exceed licensing standards and two years ago the program achieved accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Only 3% of all local childcare centers meet the high NAEYC standards for accreditation as a quality provider of early childhood education, and most NAEYC-accredited centers are in relatively affluent neighborhoods.
|Address||Physical: 5940 Forest Park RoadMailing: PO Box 35868