I have spent the majority of my career in mental health, working with youth and young adults, so I know that what happens to you as a child plays a significant role in the person you become. When we’re young, our brain is elastic and ready to adapt to our circumstances. Our surroundings teach us answers to many questions: Do I feel safe? Are my needs being met? Can I trust the people in my world? Who are healthy and safe people? Therapeutic interventions help us unpack the lessons we learned as...

“Before becoming a foster parent, I never really had to care for anyone but myself. Being a foster dad and being responsible for another human being has humbled me a lot. It made me realize that there are things in this world that are so much bigger than me. It has changed both me and my partner for the better,” shared Larry, who fosters with his partner David through CHRIS 180’s Gateway to Adoption program. Foster parents who provide a loving, secure and stable home can help children in foster care...

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...

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...

At just 12-years-old, Jocelyn had her first encounter with CHRIS 180. Her grandmother was looking for help after taking in Jocelyn and her brother, in the wake of their mother’s issues with substance use.  Knowing that both children had experienced significant trauma, the family turned to our Keeping Families Together program. Jocelyn’s involvement with CHRIS 180’s wraparound services changed the direction of her life. It even led her to evolve from being a client to working as a behavioral health provider. Jocelyn found herself at CHRIS 180 once more when...

There are infinite ways to practice mindfulness. Well-known mindfulness practices include breathing exercises, sensory activities, meditation and mindful movement like yoga. But any activity can be made mindful by “paying attention, on purpose” to it and maintaining non-judgmental thoughts about the activity. My strong interest and belief in the power of mindfulness for families stem from my role as a child therapist with CHRIS 180’s School-Based Mental Health Department and as a parent myself. I know the value of doing mindful practices together to model the behavior we want to see...

Almost two years from the day they first arrived at CHRIS 180’s Gateway to Adoption program, brothers Logan and Layne were adopted into their forever family! Sibling relationships can provide support, love, and stability, but siblings in foster care often experience separation. The data tells us that as many as 75% of siblings in foster care are placed apart from their brothers and sisters. Separated siblings struggle to adapt to new situations, may experience more behavioral and emotional challenges and perform more poorly in school than siblings placed together in the...

Home for neighborhood matriarch will provide stability for young mothers CHRIS 180, an Atlanta-based nonprofit organization dedicated to providing trauma-informed holistic health services to children, youth and families, held a groundbreaking ceremony to announce the launch of a project to stabilize families on Atlanta’s Westside. CHRIS 180 partnered with the MicroLife Institute to construct a single-family home in the Washington Park neighborhood for Deborah Glover, a 71-year-old woman who has lived in the area for decades, in a shed without water or electricity. Glover connected with CHRIS 180 through its Community Health...

We all need rest to function well in each area of our lives. Sleep, exercise, video games and spending time with loved ones are a few examples of activities commonly used to recharge. But sometimes, what you think is a break is actually a form of escapism that saps your time and energy. CHRIS 180 clinical experts Chris Haider-Bardill, LPC, CPCS, and Rob Collins, LCSW, LSSGB, discussed escapism and its role in our lives during a Lunchtime Live episode in May 2021.   What is escapism? Typically, escapism involves engaging in an activity to...