By October 1918, the FHLMF founded the Lafayette Preventorium which welcomed sick and weak children in one of its outbuildings. Under the direction of physicians and nurses, for the most part American, assisted by French teachers, the preventorium quickly cared for and educated more than fifty underprivileged children.The Lafayette estate was filled with children since 1918, but before others came, it welcomed many Parisians.
Rapidly much work became necessary.
From 1920 to 1925 the castle was restored, new rooms were finished, including an apartment for the Moffats. The most modern amenities for the time were installed (running water, electricity, telephone, central heating).In parallel to the work of enhancing Lafayette’s birthplace, including the creation of a park, the preventorium was constructed one kilometer from the castle. A swimming pool, tennis courts and sports fields were built, providing the preventorium and school an infrastructure that was unique in France.
In 1931 the college was incorporated into the preventorium which began functioning independently and in 1937 the association Lafayette Preventorium Inc. was created. Over one hundred educators, doctors and craftsmen were employed by this institution that had five hundred beds.
During the Second World War the preventorium continued its activity under very difficult conditions. The classrooms and dormitories were installed in the castle so that it wouldn’t be requisitioned by the Nazis. Many Jewish children were secretly hidden in the castle.
From 1950 to 1966, the preventorium was still considered as providing remarkable medical care. The staffing varied significantly with the reduction of cases of primary infections. At the end of 1966 the preventorium was transformed into a bronchology center and was renamed Centre Lafayette.
In 1974 the Lafayette Preventorium became a Centre d’Assistance Sociale Spécialisé (CASS) whose direction was provided by staff at the Education Nationale.
In 1993, the CASS evolved towards the statute of an association (ACASS) which definitively marked the end of the link with Memorial Lafayette.
In 2007 the association merged with l’APEP 43 (Association des Pupilles de l’Enseignement Public – délégation Haute-Loire) and became the Institut Thérapeutique Educatif et Pédagogique (ITEP). In 2008 the DASS decided to close the ITEP which was restructured in several centers across the department..
25,000 French, Russian, Italian and Polish children: war orphans or children in poor health, were welcomed, cared for and educated at Château de Chavaniac-Lafayette from 1917 to the end of the 1960s.