The Atlanta Children’s Shelter Social Services Program recognizes the importance of providing comprehensive, coordinated, and continuous care to families with multiple challenges. The Social Services Director, is responsible for the overall coordination and provision of social services to children and their families.
Services include Housing, Employment and Aftercare.
Our goal is to enable homeless families to achieve the skills they need to become self-sufficient.
- Finding Permanent Housing: Ending the Cycle of Homelessness
- Finding Employment: Obtaining a Job if Unemployed or a Better Placement if Underemployed
- Education: Literacy, G.E.D, or Vocational and Technical Training
- Social Relationships: Family, Friends and Neighbors
Case Management Services
- Assessment & Goal Setting: After a thorough assessment of family needs, the staff and parent develop mutually agreed upon goals for self-sufficiency. These goals are formally stated on a Service Plan which serves as a contract between the parent and the Atlanta Children’s Shelter for the length of enrollment.
- Counseling: The staff is available to families for ongoing counseling related to housing, employment, education, medical and emotional needs, and financial challenges.
- Locating Resources: The staff maintains up to date information regarding Atlanta community resources, providing linkage and referrals for families as needed.
- Advocacy: The staff represents or advocates on behalf of the client with other community providers, such as landlords, to assure that needed services are given and client rights are honored.
Support Groups and Workshops
Parents are provided the opportunity to attend onsite support groups and workshops with topics ranging from “Communication Skills” to “Nutrition” in order to develop valuable life skills and learn ways to cope with the stressors uniquely related to parenting while in the homeless system. The Social Services Department welcomes volunteers interested in assisting with support groups and workshops.
Community Advanced Practice Nurses health providers visit the Atlanta Children’s Shelter weekly to provide well-child checks, medical treatment, immunizations, and referrals. The staff coordinates with the family, child care staff, and the Community Advanced Practice Nursing team to ensure physical, mental, dental, and follow-up care for enrolled children.
Hire Up Employment Program
Homeless parents in Atlanta are faced with the tough challenge of finding employment in the face of a difficult job market. In order to help homeless parents overcome this challenge, the Atlanta Children’s Shelter offers parents free childcare so they will have the availability to work.
We also enroll parents in the Hire Up Employment Program for job readiness education and counseling to give parents the tools needed to compete for permanent employment.
Services provided by the Hire up Employment Program include:
· Access to job search materials and job leads
· Resume building assistance
· Interview skills training
· Referrals for professional clothing
· Transportation to conduct job search activities
The Hire Up Employment Program is facilitated by an Employment Counselor who is responsible for the development of employment contacts and working agreements with area employers to identify available jobs for program participants. The Employment Counselor acts as a bridge between employer and parent, connecting the “right parent to the right job.”
The following is a list of some of the employment partners of the Hire Up Employment Program:
· Hilton Worldwide
· Marriott International
· Family Dollar
· Express Personnel Services
· Randstad Technologies
· Hire Dynamics
· Piedmont Healthcare
· Coca- Cola Refreshments
The ultimate goal for our families is to have them leave the shelter system and return to live in the community. Services provided to assist families with transitioning to permanent housing include:
- Credit Counseling: Bad credit can prevent a family from obtaining housing. The Atlanta Children’s Shelter has a partnership with CredAbility to provide our parents with money management workshops and individual credit counseling.
- The Sunshine Fund: Funded by private donations, the Sunshine Fund allows The Atlanta Children’s Shelter to provide rent and utility deposits for eligible enrolled families transitioning into permanent housing. Click here to donate.
- Furniture Referral: The Atlanta Children’s Shelter maintains a partnership with the Metro Atlanta Furniture Bank to provide referral for household furniture to transitioning families.
- Home Starter Kit: The Shelter accepts donations of household goods from individuals and groups in the community in order to provide newly housed families a “Home Starter Kit” containing linens, lamps, iron, dishes, eating utensils, toaster, and cleaning supplies.
- Transitional Childcare: Newly housed families are eligible for up to a year of extended childcare enrollment based on need, availability of spaces, and parent motivation.
Once a family achieves stable employment and housing, they are discharged from the program. These formerly homeless families have the opportunity to participate in Aftercare Services which provides the family with ongoing support and mentorship during their first year of self sufficiency. The Case Manager confers with the families who have received our services to monitor their progress and to assess the impact of our program upon their subsequent independence and future endeavors.
Follow-up contacts are made through home visits, office visits, and telephone calls. Case management, counseling, and emergency financial assistance are provided as needed and available for up to a year in an effort to increase stability.