May is National Foster Care Awareness Month, where we celebrate the great service that our foster parents pay to their community by inviting foster children into their homes. Since our founding in 1981,  CHRIS 180 has served foster children throughout the state of Georgia that are in the custody of the Division of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS). These children, who range in ages, have been separated from their families for a variety of reasons and our foster parents step in to parent them during this season of need. While...

Thanks to funding from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime, Georgia’s metro-Atlanta area organizations and leaders have come together as the Coalition for the Georgia Child Victims of the Opioid Epidemic. Through this public/private partnership of 20 organizations and individuals, the coalition works to establish a community-driven, comprehensive and multidisciplinary response to children and youth who are crime victims as a result of the opioid crisis. [caption id="attachment_22708" align="alignnone" width="791"] Coalition for the Georgia Child Victims of the Opioid Epidemic[/caption] The opioid epidemic has taken a devastating toll...

For a plain unit of language, the word “volunteer” does a lot by itself: It can be a noun, verb and adjective. (n.) a person who voluntarily undertakes or expresses a willingness to undertake a service… a person who performs a service willingly and without pay. (adj.) 1: being, consisting of, or engaged in by volunteers; a volunteer army. 2: growing spontaneously without direct human control or supervision… growing without being seeded, planted, or cultivated by a person; springing up spontaneously: volunteer cauliflower. (v.) to offer oneself for some service or undertaking. The desire...

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic there has been an increase in mental health issues like anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder found in women. According to a study at the University of Chicago Medicine, “29% of women reported symptoms of depression and anxiety — nearly twice the estimated pre-pandemic rates. One in six women screened positive for symptoms of post-traumatic stress.” A panel of CHRIS 180 mental health experts including Markie Nickens, LMSW, Shanessa Crook, M.S., CMHC, Cindy Song, LMSW and Chief People Officer Queie Barnett, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, discussed...

CHRIS 180 celebrates women’s role in creating brighter futures for every child, adult, family and community we serve and is proud to have an Executive Leadership Team that is 76% women. In honor of Women’s History Month, three of our leaders shared their reflections on working for and with women­­­­­—and how being women impacts their work. Chantel Kufeji, LMSW, is the Program Director for CHRIS 180’s Migrant Wellness program, which works to reunite unaccompanied minors with their families. Sharing about the strengths of the women and girls she works with, she...

By:  Jessica Travis, M.S. and Brittney Walters, LCSW No matter how hard adults try to shield children from having to encounter distressing news and tragedies, young people will still have access to what is occurring in the world, which can be terrifying for parents. In recent weeks we have seen political and social unrest unfold before our eyes between Russia and Ukraine.  You may have children of your own, nieces and nephews or young people in your life who are  struggling to understand what they are hearing on the news or watching...

As we celebrate Black History Month, CHRIS 180 is honored to spotlight the work of some of our team members and their reflections on the trauma-informed care they provide in their own communities.  Our team remains committed to providing the children, youth and families we serve with support that shows  they are experts on their own lives. [caption id="attachment_22524" align="alignleft" width="455"] Helen Yohannes, far right, poses with YouthBuild 180 participants on a Westside job site.[/caption] Helen Yohannes is the Program Manager of CHRIS 180’s YouthBuild 180, a program that provides youth ages...

Nonprofit to focus on addressing mental health needs in communities during pandemic  CHRIS 180 is pleased to announce the addition of two new members to its board of directors, who will serve over the coming years. They include Pascal Lewis, Managing Director, Global Field Operations, Delta Air Lines, Inc. and Terrin McKay, Community Volunteer.   “As we enter another year of the COVID-19 pandemic that has shaped so much of our world, we need leaders on our board who will partner with us to find new ways to be sustainable, and help...

Therapists, don’t forget that relicensure is just around the corner in September 2022! According to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office rules of Continuing Education Chapter 135-9, social workers, professional counselors, and marriage and family therapists will need to acquire 35 total hours through continuing education before Friday, September 30, 2022. Five hours will need to be considered ethics hours and 30 hours will need to be core hours. Helpful Tips and Tricks: When looking for a training, workshop, or seminar make sure that the training has ‘Core’ or ‘Ethics’ hours attached...

As I reflect on another year and preparing for the upcoming holiday season, I can say with confidence that this isn’t the blog I was hoping to write. I truly hoped we were leaving the days of social distancing, masks, and virtual events behind—but it seems that as we face this holiday season we are still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. I thought that planning an entire holiday season without being around others, with shipping delays and supply chain issues, and only seeing people’s faces with their masks on was a one-time occurrence but here we are again.  Supporting our...