Our story

Our mission is to empower families caring for children involved with the child welfare system, specializing in those with special health care and developmental needs. Whether it be a child with a complex medical or developmental diagnosis, a child with maladaptive behaviors, a teenager, or a sibling group, we work hard to make it possible for parents to be successful caregivers and for their families to be sustainable. 

We recognize that each child was created with as much self-evident equality as any other. A disability or complex care regimen should not be a pretext for institutionalization or health threatening cost containment policies. Through its mission, Childkind has dedicated itself to the proposition that all children with complex medical needs, developmental, or mental health needs have the right to live to their own fullest potential as part of a safe, stable, and nurturing family. We are an organization that is committed to working with vulnerable children with a focus on supporting their parents and families.

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Serving children better, and building partnerships

Our beginnings …

In 1988 a group of Atlanta pediatricians and community volunteers responded to the growing spread of HIV/AIDS to children in our community. Called “boarder babies,” many of these children were being abandoned at Grady Hospital. The fear of HIV being so high, DFCS, the state child welfare agency, had no foster care placement options at their disposal. Pooling their resources, the pediatricians and volunteers created a group home for HIV+/AIDS affected children with the understanding that DFCS would, in time, recruit foster and adoptive families for these children. DFCS’s recruiting efforts were not successful and in 1992 Childkind again marshalled its resources to locate, train and license foster and adoptive families. The agency was so successful in recruiting foster families that it was able to close its temporary group home.

By 1995 Childkind had expanded its specialty foster care program and began including medically fragile children. Building upon its success, the agency expanded its foster care program to include children with developmental disabilities and, most recently, children with mental health and behavioral challenges. Since 1995 well over 1,200 children with medical, developmental, and mental health disabilities, without their own families, have gained life as part of a real household with genuine moms and dads. Unlike any other family foster care program in our state, Childkind has created a well-tested system of supports and programming staffed by social workers, nurses, and behavioral specialists. 

Childkind is fully accredited by the Council on Accreditation and has a 100% rating by Charity Navigator with a 97.34% expense ratio, among the best in Georgia.

Meet childkind

Kate Brady

Project Manager
Human Services Research Institute

Cindy DeSa

Maternal and Child Health Director
Virginia Department of Health

Fozia Khan Eskew (Secretary)

Early Intervention Coordinator
Georgia Chapter
The American Academy of Pediatrics

Katherine Gardes

Cardiac Services Social Worker 2
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston

Dacia Green

Attorney at Law

Misty Palmer

Business Development, Tandem Bank

Jeff Lukich

Senior Director, DLH Corporation

Quintina Robinson – (Chair)

Product Manager at Macro Helix, LLC

Stuart Rosenthal – (Treasurer)

CPA and Partner
Rosenthal & Kaplin, PC

Andrew Barclay

Technical consultant
Fostering Court Improvements

Veda C. Johnson, M.D.

Department of Pediatrics
Emory University School of Medicine

John Parker

Attorney at Law

Jordan Greenbaum, M.D.

Medical Director, Child Protection Center
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

Georgina Peacock, MD, MPH

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center on Birth Defects and
Developmental Disabilities

David Tatum

VP for Government & Community Affairs
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

Melissa Carter

Executive Director
The Barton Child Law and Policy Center
Emory University School of Law

Polly McKinney

Advocacy Director of Voices for Georgia’s Children

Leadership Team
Nina Branch

Director of Performance & Quality Improvement

Franchesca Cardona

Clinical Director

Trisha Clymore

Director of Administration

Karl Lehman

President/CEO

LaSonya Rudd

Placement Supervisor

Brian Russell

Director of Program Services

Eleasa Smith

Recruiting and Training Supervisor

Staff
Dahletha Armstead

Family Services Coordinator

Tiffany Boea

Family Services Coordinator

Tammy Bowers

Recruitment Specialist

Melody Brooker

Nursing Support Specialist

Genee Haynes

Administrative Support

John Jubilee

Developmental and Behavioral Specialist

Izetta Gadsden

Family Services Coordinator

Shanda Maiolo

Intake Specialist

Charity Olocha

Recruitment Specialist

Kathy Reid

Nursing Support Supervisor

Jasmin Woolfork

Family Services Coordinator

Fully accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), Childkind’s model programming has documented success at serving children with multiple health, developmental and behavioral challenges.

Childkind has a 100% rating by Charity Navigator with a 97.34% expense ratio, among the best in Georgia.

We believe children with complex medical or developmental challenges have the right to enjoy a full and decent family life and to be engaged within a supporting community.

Foster a child with love

Thristian gets his bike

Keeping up with Marie