What Is CHRIS Kids?

The Atlanta Junior League with the Menninger Foundation founded CHARLEE (Children Have All Rights – Legal, Educational, and Emotional) in 1981 in order to serve neglected and abused youth in metro Atlanta. Beginning with three group homes, CHARLEE began serving children with therapeutic and mental health needs in foster care. CHARLEE was renamed to CHRIS Homes and then to CHRIS Kids. CHRIS means Creativity, Honor, Respect, Integrity, and Safety.

CHRIS Kids helps children, aged 6 to 17, who are in foster care and have behavioral/emotional issues because of trauma. It also works with young adults, aged 18 to 24, who are young parents, homeless youths, and who have aged out of foster care. Supportive services are also provided to families via the various community programs. CHRIS Kids have eight group homes in Douglas, Gwinnett, Clayton, Fulton, and DeKalb counties. In East Atlanta, CHRIS Kids operates the Main Headquarters, CHRIS Counseling & Education Center, and the Summit Trail Apartment Community.

The CHRIS Kids Program

Positive youth development focuses on the strengths of youths and not on their risk factors so that they will grow up to be contributing citizens of the community. When kids are valued, feel safe, and connected to adults who care, they have better chances of having a positive outlook about life, engaging in school, and being emotionally healthy. They also have fewer opportunities to engage in delinquent of destructive behaviors.

Programs and services of CHRIS Kids have basis in trauma informed care, which is directed by social, psychological, biological, and neurological effects of trauma. Children are assessed about their trauma experiences, which can include abandonment, imprisoned family member, substance abuse, witnessing violence, loss, severe neglect, and emotional, physical, or sexual abuse. Understanding when and how long trauma lasted in a child can help in the center’s services, treatment, and responses.

The services of CHRIS Kids are focused in strengthening the children’s families so that they will stay safely with their own families. Most of these families belong to the below poverty level group and have interrelated and complex issues like teen pregnancy, substance abuse, domestic violence, unemployment, and poverty.

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy provides clinic-based treatment, which includes separate individual therapy with the parent and child, and joint parent-child therapies. The therapy caters to kids, aged 3 to 18, who possess emotional and behavioral issues, which are often related to the trauma they experienced. This kind of therapy is the only treatment accepted to be effective for children who are sexually abused. The goal of the therapy is to reduce the severity and frequency of trauma symptoms, lessen abuse and shame related attributions, reduce anxiety and depressive symptoms, and lessen sexualized and disruptive behaviors.

Behavioral therapy focuses on assisting the child to understand how their behavior changes can lead to difference in how they feel. The goal is typically focused on maximizing the child’s engagement in socially reinforcing or positive activities. Usual techniques used include behavior modification, role playing, scheduled weekly activities, and self-monitoring.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy, on the other hand, is effective in helping the child make behavioral and emotional changes. The therapist listens, teaches, and encourages the child while the child leans, expresses concern, and implements whatever he learned.

Play Therapy provides an opportunity to a child to express his emotions through play. It is a therapeutic means to help the child cope with trauma or emotional stress. It is successful for kids who are child abuse victims, socially underdeveloped, cruel or aggressive, bed wetters, nail biters, and distraught because of family problems. This therapy is often successful with kids who are between three and eleven years old.


Office Locations

CHRIS Kids Main Office

1017 Fayetteville Road, Suite B

Atlanta, Georgia 30316


CHRIS Counseling Center

1017 Fayetteville Road, Suite A

Atlanta, Georgia 30316

Phone: 404-324-4190

Fax: 404-324-4191


CHRIS Training Institute

1017 Fayetteville Road, Suite B

Atlanta, Georgia 30316

Phone: 404-486-9034


CHRIS Kids TransitionZ Program & Summit Trail Apartment Community

2045 Graham Circle

Atlanta, Georgia 30316


CHRIS Kids Choices (Care Management Entity)

1976 Flat Shoals Road , Suite B

Atlanta, Georgia 30316

Phone: 404-671-4084

Fax: 404-244-4923