Houston Achievement Place (HAP) was established in 1974 by a group of concerned Houston citizens. This beginning followed research by the University of Houston School of Social Work into model programming across the country with the goal of addressing the needs and problems of children in Houston.

After an extensive review of potential programs over eighteen months, a relationship was established with the University of Kansas (Lawrence, Kansas) and the Achievement Place Research Project. This relationship developed into the founding of Houston Achievement Place in March, 1974, as a not-for-profit, tax-exempt social service agency focused on the implementation of the Teaching-Family Model in service to Houston children.

From the outset, HAP served Houston children in residential homes staffed by Teaching-Parents, with these services continuing to this day. In 1992, HAP expanded into Therapeutic Foster Care. HAP services are built on a foundation of Training excellence, one of the hallmarks of the Teaching Family Model. In 1979, HAP achieved recognition as a Certified Teaching-Family Training Site, and has been re-accredited annually.

In 1997, Project CLASS (Children Learning Appropriate Social Skills) was developed to harness HAP Training expertise for implementation to benefit both residential and non-residential settings. Based on community need and program success, Project CLASS is a cluster of training initiatives teaching core building block social skills to children ages 3-12, using music, songs, and movements to accelerate skill development and retention.