Our Story and Mission

In 1920, the non-profit, Detroit Orthopedic Clinic was founded by a group of young women in response to the effects of polio and tuberculosis on the children of the Detroit metro area. Two profound principles guided the clinic and the care it provided: service to the disabled community, regardless of the patients’ ability to pay, and concentration on treating not just the disability, but the whole child. As medical care became more advanced and the clinic grew, it became apparent that Detroit’s children needed more than just orthopedic care, and the clinic was re-christened the Detroit Institute for Children. The focus shifted to providing care for children with physical, neurological, developmental, emotional and/or behavioral special needs.

Currently, the agency serves over 5,000 children with special needs in schools, Head Start, and Early Intervention programs throughout Detroit and Southeast Michigan. Services provided include speech language pathology, occupational and physical therapies, social work, psychological services and special education consulting.

While the agency has evolved, the founding principles remain at the cornerstone of the organization today.

Our Mission

The Detroit Institute for Children provides a passionate, integrated approach to services for Michigan’s children with special needs and their families.

Our Vision

Children with special needs and their families are thriving members of the community.

Our Values

Impact: Where others see limits or disabilities, we see potential and possibilities.

Collaboration: Working as a team with families, caregivers, and our partners to create an environment that supports and nurtures development and independent functioning for children with special needs.

Growth: Continuous learning and innovation in order to be a voice of knowledge and influence within our communities.

Integrity: Uncompromising honesty and accountability to our employees, donors, partners and the children and families we serve.

Community: Improving the lives and experiences of children with special needs and all those we interact with through open communication, inclusion, and passion for our mission.

Service: Providing Michigan’s children with special needs and their families with accessibility to the best possible programs and services.

Your generous support helps us ensure all our children and their families reach their individual goals

"Working with the Detroit Institute for Children has been a true blessing to our students. The services provided are top notch and their employees are a true part of the Bradford Academy Family. With the DIC we know our students are in good hands!"

 — Cheryl Paull, Lead Principal
Bradford Academy