Child Study Center

For more than thirty years the Child Study Center has been supported by the Ella C. McFadden Endowment Fund at the Community Foundation of North Texas. Operations of the Center have continuously evolved to meet the ever changing needs of the community. While Child Study Center remains as dedicated to the health and well-being of children with developmental and behavioral disabilities as it was when it was established in 1962, the methods employed to serve their clients have grown considerably with the times.

On June 10, 1985 Larry Eason, who then served as the Executive Director of the Child Study Center, wrote a letter of thanks to the director of the Ella C. McFadden Endowment Fund.  This letter was written just after the fund had been transferred to the “Community Trust of Metropolitan Tarrant County” and expressed sincere gratitude for the crucial ongoing support of the Child Study Center.  In the letter, he promised that as long as the Center was supported by the Ella C. McFadden Endowment Fund, it would continue to find the most efficient and effective ways to spend the funds to treat children with developmental disabilities.  That promise has stood the test of time and today the funds provided by the fund contribute to the well-being of the children of today and the future.

Since 1985, funds provided by the Community Foundation of North Texas through the Ella C. McFadden Endowment Fund have supported the Children’s Care Fund at the Child Study Center. The Center focused then, much as it does now, on eChildren on playground - Child Study Centernsuring that children from low-income households receive the same high-quality treatment as any other child seen at the Center.  This was made possible through the support of partners like the Community Foundation. The Children’s Care Fund is used to offset the cost of care for families from low- to moderate-income households.  In 1988, the Ella C. McFadden Endowment Fund was made a permanent part of the Center when its name was etched into the marble walls of the main lobby.

In the mid-90s, expenditure of funds spread to include the Robert W. Decker Developmental Pediatric Department where children with developmental and behavioral disabilities could be seen for a variety of medical needs.  By 1999, referrals to the Child Study Center had grown by 50% from the previous year, ushering in a new era in the care of children with developmental disabilities in Tarrant County.

In 2000, the Center performed an extensive review of its programs and staff to evaluate the quality of care provided as well as the needs of the community it was serving. Throughout the early 2000s, money directed to the Children’s Care Fund from the Ella C. McFadden Endowment Fund was used to provide services to hundreds of children a year for a variety of services. As the geographic reach of the Center grew to include patients from over 50 Texas counties and multiple states, the consistent support of partners like the Community Foundation became increasingly critical to their mission. As the Center plans its expansion to meet the growing needs of its community, this support is appreciated now more than ever.

Recently, 12 year old Henry visited the Psychology Department at the Child Study Center.  He first came to the Center at age 3, when his grandparents recognized that he was developing differently than his peers. A highly specialized psychologist was able to diagnose Henry with ADHD and recommended that he receive supplemental tutoring. The Center’s Office of Social Work connected Henry’s grandparents with a list of community resources and tutors who would be able to assist. Henry’s grandparents proudly report that, although Henry is not able to mainstream into a traditional classroom setting, he regularly performs at the top of his group. An updated assessment revealed that Henry has some trouble with short term memory and struggles with anxiety in his new environment. He was referred to a therapist who will be able to help Henry open up about his feelings and mitigate feelings of anxiety.

Even before it was part of the Community Foundation of North Texas, the Ella C. McFadden Endowment Fund supported psychology services at the Center. “The constant support of the Community Foundation allows thousands of children each year to receive critical diagnoses to be connected with community resources, as well as treatment and education services offered at the Center,” said Tyler Maryak, Grants Manager at the Center.

“We are extremely pleased to be regularly supported by the Ella C. McFadden Endowment Fund as are the thousands of families whose lives have been changed for the better as a result of the support. We hope that the difference we make in the North Texas region will leave an impact as strong as the lasting legacy of Ella C. McFadden,” Maryak said.

To celebrate 30 years of giving from the Ella C. McFadden Endowment Fund, Community Foundation of North Texas is hosting a series called 13 Days of Giving. Each weekday through December 17, we’ll share a story highlighting how one of the nonprofits benefitting from the fund has impacted this region. Be sure to follow us on Facebook to receive the daily alerts, or visit


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Have Questions? Let's Chat.

Together, we can cultivate a more vibrant and resilient community where all North Texans can thrive.