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Philosophy & Mission

For over 40 years, CHRIS 180’s mission has been to heal children, strengthen families, and build communities.  We do so through our work providing counseling services, safe housing, community support and training.  

 Since 2013 CHRIS Adoption and foster care services has been dedicated to helping abused and neglected children with emotional and behavioral concerns in foster care find safe and loving homes. 

Our own adoption story

Over the course of over 30 years we have worked with children in foster care and found that far too many of these children were traumatized by an adoption that failed and resulted in their return to state custody. We wanted to do something to improve these outcomes for children and families.


Then in 2011, a small adoption agency, The Giving Tree, approached CHRIS 180 seeking “adoption”.


Through The Giving Tree, CHRIS 180 saw the opportunity to build on its strengths, commitment to inclusiveness, dedication to eliminate adoption barriers, and to leverage it's mission for the development of a trauma-informed model of foster care and adoption that would increase the permanency of adoptions. Our Trauma-Informed Foster Care Adoption Model (TIFCAM) is grounded in an understanding of trauma and provides essential parenting and trauma training, counseling and ongoing support for children adopted from foster care and for adoptive families. 


In short, we saw potential to be unlocked so that children could truly be adopted into safe, loving, permanent families.


To heal children, strengthen families, and build community.


To improve our community by providing children, adults, and families with high-quality, trauma-informed behavioral health services and support systems.


CHRIS is an acronym that stands for our core values: Creativity, Honor, Respect, Integrity, and Safety.


We were founded by the Junior League of Atlanta in 1981 as Georgia CHARLEE (Children Have All Rights –  Legal, Educational, Emotional) to provide a brighter future for children in the state foster care system who had mental health needs. In 1992, we adopted the name CHRIS representing our core values: Creativity, Honor, Respect, Integrity, and Safety. In 2016, CHRIS Kids became CHRIS 180 – representing our commitment to helping those we serve change directions and change their lives.


We help children, young adults, and families through mental health counseling at our CHRIS Counseling Center, group homes for abused and neglected children in foster care, adoption services, a Drop-In Center for ages 16-24 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and a supportive housing program for single and parenting youth, ages 17-24, who are homeless or have aged out of the foster care system, and in home programs that strengthen families. Training is also provided for the broader community through the CHRIS Training Institute, with a focus on trauma informed care. Our holistic approach enables children, youth and families to change the direction of their lives and become self-sufficient, contributing adults despite challenging circumstances.

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