IMG_1217.JPGFriend of Children and Families Award - Wednesday's Child


Every child deserves a loving family.  Wednesday’s Child, a partnership of the Freddie Mac Foundation, the Georgia Department of Human Services, FOX 5 TV, and other foster and adoptive organizations, is recognized for their work in facilitating the creation of thousands of loving families for hard to place children in Georgia’s foster care system who await adoption. 


The program raises awareness by featuring hard to place children on television news segments.  Hosted by Amanda Davis, the segments highlight each child’s special qualities and interests.  Children on Wednesday’s Child have sung on stage with Stevie Wonder, taken a ride in a blimp, interviewed the Atlanta Falcons and met a variety of celebrities and much more. 


Their efforts have generated more than 50,000 calls from viewers interested in adopting children, created more than 2,000 homes and permanent families for these deserving children.  Without this important work, these children would not have a place to call “my” home and “my” family. 


We are honored to recognize Wednesday’s Child as 2011 Friend of Children and Families. 



IMG_1218.JPGOutstanding Agency Award - CHRIS Kids
This is an agency which has demonstrated outstanding service to children.  This year’s recipient goes to CHRIS Kids.


CHRIS Kids for three decades has concentrated on filling the gaps in services to the underserved children and youth of Georgia.  CHRIS Kids leverages and builds strategic partnerships to create broad impact while maintaining focus on their mission, core work, and the investments entrusted by others for the work.


Since their inception in 1981, CHRIS Kids has lead in promoting community and strength based services to under served children populations.  CHRIS Kids is a founding member of the Multi-Agency Alliance for Children, better known as MAAC, created the first wraparound pilot in 1998, developed trauma informed services in 2008, and opened Summit Trail, a supportive housing apartment complex for single and parenting youth in 2010.


CHRIS Kids has an exemplary 30 year track record of innovation, filling the gaps in services to children, youth and families.


We are proud to select CHRIS Kids as for the 2011 Outstanding Agency Award.



IMG_1219.JPGOutstanding Social Service Award in a Public Agency - Sherry Kimball
This award goes to a social service worker who has made outstanding contributions while serving in a governmental agency.  This year’s award goes to Sherry Kimball of the Carroll County Department of Family and Children Services.


In a very difficult and thankless profession, Sherry Kimball is an example of what a social worker should be.  She is there for the kids and their families.  She is known for her ability to engage children and families, guided by uncommonly good common sense, and driven by an excellent work ethic, she makes outstanding contributions to those she serves.


She is thorough in case plans, she knows each child by name, she knows their medications, their therapist, family histories and known intimately them and their families.  She is a resource to the courts, to the families she serves and to her fellow workers.  She is recognized for the long hours that she puts in, her compassion, her professionalism and understanding for all with whom she works.


It is no wonder that we recognize Sherry Kimball for the 2011 Outstanding Social Service Award in a governmental agency.



IMG_1220.JPGOutstanding Social Service Worker in a Private Agency Award  - Jenni Caruso
This award goes to a social service worker who has made outstanding contributions in a private agency.  This year’s award goes to Jenni Caruso of Northside Psychological Services.


Jenni Caruso epitomizes what it means to go above and beyond for those she serves.  As a young therapist, Jenni understands what it is like to be a teenager and helps young adults cope with the difficulties of their teenage years.  She is able to offer guidance and support that is age appropriate while maintaining a sense of humor and a clear sense of caring for each child and adolescent.


Her passion for serving is unrivaled.  She will do whatever it takes to make sure that her clients get the care and support they need to succeed; whether it is advocating for a client who has juvenile arthritis so that they can go to summer camp; whether she is assisting a frightened teenager about to go to college on college applications, financial aid, or her find the courage to leave home and family, Jenni is there for her clients.


Jenni is truly inspiring and is richly deserving of the honor of 2011 Outstanding Social Service Worker in a Private Agency Award.


IMG_1221.JPGLeadership Award - Sally Buchanan
This award goes to an individual who has made outstanding contributions by supporting and leading his/her staff and/or agency.  This year’s award goes to Sally Buchanan of Creative Community Services.


Creative Community Services was started by Sally Buchanan some 30 years ago in 1982.  CCS has steadily grown under her leadership as Executive Director.  Faithful to its mission of “improving the quality of life for children, adults and families who are facing special challenges through community based support and services,” Sally Buchanan always keeps this focus for the client.  “We need to make this happen because it is about the client,” is one Sally favorite mantras.


Sally has worked tenaciously to build services that achieve her agency’s mission.  From her innovative development of the Therapeutic Foster Care Program and Adventure Youth program, to Respite, Crisis Respite and Developmental Disabilities Programming, to new horizons with the STEP and SOARS Programs, Sally continuously advocates for those they serve and those with whom they serve.


Sally Buchanan is advocacy in action; a supporter, a promoter, an activist, and a believer in the power of leadership.


For these reasons, we are honored to recognize Sally Buchanan for the 2011 Leadership Award.


Eugene Calhoun Lifetime Achievement Award - Peggy Baird
This award is for recognition of an individual for lifetime achievement in services to at-risk children.


This year’s Eugene Calhoun Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Peggy Baird of Families First.


Peggy Baird has been a leader in the field of adoption, foster care and residential services for well over 30 years.  Peggy began her career in her native North Carolina.  By 1984 she had become the Director of Family Services at Grandfather Home for Children in Banner Elk, NC.


Peggy found a home at Families First as the Supervisor of Pregnancy and Adoption Unit in 1986.  Her husband was adopted through the very agency that she has served for over 26 years.


Having served for over 30 years at Families First,  Peggy has served in many capacities, from Adoption, Foster Care, residential services, Second Chance Homes, Placement to Permanency, the Georgia Center for Resources and Support and the Georgia Adoption Reunion Registry.  Currently, these programs serve almost 11,000 children and parents in Georgia each year.


While the past few decades have brought forth many changes in the adoption and foster care arenas, Peggy’s experience and leadership has been integral in the development of Families First’s programs.  She is a tireless advocate at the State and Local legislative level for adoptive families and their children.


We are thrilled to select Peggy Baird as a worthy recipient of the Eugene Calhoun Lifetime Achievement Award for 2011.


IMG_1222.JPGGail Bayes Vision for Children Award - Kaffie McCullough
This award is for recognition of an individual as an outstanding advocate and visionary for at-risk children.


This year’s award goes to Kaffie McCullough.  Kaffie has spent a lifetime working to make a difference for at-risk children.  Kaffie McCullough is a national leader and plays a central role in the Juvenile Justice Fund’s work to end child sex trafficking by not only overseeing critical work to identify and help girls before they become victims but by being a leader in eradicating the demand for sex trafficking.


Her accomplishment in making significant strides in eradicating demand for victimizing children have had far-reaching effects by utilizing innovative means that have been replicated across the country.  A few of her accomplishments include lobbying, conducting research, rallying community leaders, training law enforcement, and targeting buyers and pimps with criminal prosecution and educating the public about the problem of sex trafficking.


What Kaffie McCullough does every day makes a difference in dismantling the demand for child sex trafficking, giving hope to children for a better tomorrow.


For these reason, it is with pride that we select Kaffie McCullough for the 2011 Gail Bayes Vision for Children Award.