The story of Crittenton in Atlanta, GA goes back to our co-founder, Dr. Kate Waller Barrett and her first encounter with Charles N. Crittenton. After having opened a small rescue home in Atlanta, relocating four different times, and defeating a city ordinance that kept rescue homes from existing in the city, Dr. Barrett finally got the home on stable footing with the support of Charles Crittenton. The home flourished for many years and in 1974, the Florence Crittenton home merged with Families First in Atlanta.
Families First supports underserved youth in Georgia in reaching their own definition of success as they transition into adulthood. They offer a range of services including adoption, foster care services, parenting classes and mediation, counseling, early education support, and supportive housing. Families First provides services for families wanting to grow through adoption both domestically, and internationally with training and post-adoption supervision completed by FF staff.
Families First utilizes a cooperative model in providing residential services, with the philosophy that agency, community, family, and state come together to enhance the life of the youth in care. They have two Permanency Cooperatives in Atlanta for teens and young adults 13-20 years old in foster care, with access to weekly group counseling sessions. FF also offers a Youth Independent Living program to young adults 18-21 that are transitioning out of the foster care system, where youth live in apartments while learning skills to prepare for adulthood with the assistance of a Life Coach. The Second Chance Home is available for teen mothers with a young child to gain parenting and self sufficiency skills, and work towards completing their education.
The COACHES (Coaching and Comprehensive Health Supports) 2-year program is offered to youth on the verge of transitioning to adulthood that are in the custody of Family and Children Services or Department of Juvenile Justice. Youth are matched with a coach and taught skills to self-manage their healthcare services and live independently.
This past December, Families First named Terry Tucker Chief Executive Officer. A leader in Atlanta’s nonprofit and for-profit worlds, Mr. Tucker brings a mix of, “creativity, passion, and respect for the power of data,” to the position. Prior to his work with Families First, Mr. Tucker served as the Chief Strategy Officer of City Refuge, Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to community development efforts that lead to stability and sustainability of the local community.