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...

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...

Valancia Abdullah considers it her calling to care for youth who some may think of as “challenged.” After working with special needs students at Atlanta Public Schools, in 2000, she joined CHRIS 180’s foster care program. She serves as a Resident Assistant. The kids affectionately refer to her as Ms. Val. “The RA to me is just like being a mom in care: we have to make sure their needs are met,” Abdullah shared. “They look up to us. They’re learning from us. Kids who are grown now have come back...

Did you know that children are now seen as the silent victims of the opioid epidemic? CHRIS 180’s HERO Program (Helping Restore Children and Families Affected by the Opioid Epidemic), was created to provide direct services, psychoeducational training and a community coalition aimed at expanding awareness and advocacy for these silent victims.  The program is funded by a grant awarded to CHRIS 180 by the Office of Victims of Crime (OVC). The funding comes from settlements between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and pharmaceutical companies around misleading claims related to...

“A child is not looking for a perfect parent, but to feel loved and understood.  We are blessed to be a step along the journey in the growth of a new family” -Emily Thompson, VP of Community Programs CHRIS 180 Happy National Adoption Month! While the month of November is dedicated to bringing awareness to the need to have more foster and adoptive parents, CHRIS 180’s Adoptions and Foster Care team works each day to empower people to impact the lives of children in care. At CHRIS 180 we provide therapeutic foster...

In a typical year, the holidays mean spending time and celebrating with family and loved ones. At CHRIS 180, we love getting to celebrate the season with volunteers, staff, donors, and the clients we serve. But just like everything else in 2020, the holidays will look different because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve had to cancel and rethink many events we usually host in order to keep our youth and staff safe. Despite changes and safety concerns, CHRIS 180 will still work to make sure each youth in our foster homes and all the clients that we serve have...

Parenting school-aged children, circa 2020, has required parents to juggle (in new ways) their profession with their parenting responsibilities, and to strike the right balance between their kids’ happiness and their health.  Now that virtual school has started across metro Atlanta, pandemic parents are encountering additional and entirely new challenges. In many ways, parenting during virtual school may feel like being lost at sea, with no Coast Guard in sight. Here are a few try at home strategies that may help pandemic parents navigate the unchartered waters we are all in...

We’re all feeling it.  We’re all thinking it.  How much longer will this be our reality?  What can I possibly plan for today that will feel different than yesterday?  Remaining in our homes for extended periods of time is something we’re all trying to adjust to.  Kids get restless and for adults with kids, it’s probably starting to feel like you are not only in the role of caregiver, but also chef, teacher, housekeeper and overall entertainment concierge (insert deep breath here). That pressure and constant feeling of having to...

The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted many families into a work-from-home model almost overnight and it’s been that way for over two months. This unexpected event for which we were unprepared has created stress in many homes. Parents are seeking a solution to being with their children 24 hours a day while trying to maintain a productive work schedule. There is no perfect solution, but there are simple ways to minimize frustrations and maximize productivity. If you are struggling with productivity, these tips might help! Set a Schedule Having a clear and structured...