Our History

Foreverfamily was the nation’s first organization, and is still the only nonprofit in Georgia, solely dedicated to helping children who—by no fault of their own—have had to struggle with a unique set of challenges. Too often, these include a sense of shame, anxiety and fear, and social stigma, tied to their parent’s imprisonment—all of which can become evident in deep emotional withdrawal or behavioral outbursts. Since its inception in 1987, Foreverfamily (originally known as AIM) has helped more than 10,000 children, each of whom had their own unique challenges to face. Because of the compassionate care and consistent support provided by Foreverfamily staff and volunteers, the lives of these children have been enriched, if not altogether turned around for the better.

2012

The agency celebrates 25 years of service to the community!!

Foreverfamily partners with The Center for Working Families, Inc. to create ForeverPals which will provide one-on-one mentors for children enrolled in the agency’s various programs who have or had an incarcerated parent.

2011

Foreverfamily partners with Healing Communities USA and hosts its first two- part national webinar for the faith community on parental incarceration and reentry. Over 400 people register for this virtual training experience.

Sandra Barnhill is selected as the first Visiting Fellow at the newly established Arcus Center for Social Justice at Kalamazoo College. During her semester stay, she teaches a class on social justice fundamentals and interviews emerging leaders on campus and across the country for her book on social change.

2010

Foreverfamily partners with the University of Chicago to conduct a stigma study on children ages 8 to 14 with an incarcerated parent and also secures funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation to begin an Oral History Project that trains children in the Atlanta-based program to conduct oral history interviews with their parent in prison and their caregiver in the community.

The first Practitioners’ Institute, a one day event sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, is held at the Sheraton Buckhead in Atlanta and provides training and technical assistance to frontline practitioners. 100 people from four states attend. This Institute is held in conjunction with Morehouse School of Medicine’s Community Voices annual conference.

2009

Foreverfamily’s National Headquarters opens in West End Atlanta through a partnership between Foreverfamily and the Integral Management Group. The donated space provides offices for the national staff that do program development and fundraising for the affiliates as well as training and technical assistance for practitioners and groups interested in parental incarceration and reentry.

2008

We open our first affiliate site, Foreverfamily Louisville, in Louisville, KY which serves incarcerated fathers at a transitional center and their children.

2007

We officially change our name to Foreverfamily.Our new Heritage Station office opens. This facility is a partnership between Foreverfamily, Capitol Development Group and the Annie E. Casey Atlanta Civic Site, where 3,000 sq. ft. of donated space is used to provide after-school programming that targets children who live in the Pittsburgh neighborhood.

Based on our success and national reputation, foundations like the Annie E. Casey Foundation – along with a number of churches, faith-based organizations, local nonprofits and community residents – help Foreverfamily take our programming model to other cities across the nation, including Louisville, KY and Seattle, WA.

Within our home state of Georgia, we start working with the communities of Bainbridge, Augusta, Savannah, and Albany.

2006

We receive the Allen Award for our community service.Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasters features our work in 30-minute television documentary.

2004

We receive the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award that is co-sponsored by Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health and Goizueta School of Business.We are named as a placement agency for Jesuit Volunteer Corps.

Sandra Barnhill triumphs over 900 applicants nationwide to become one of 18 winners of the Ford Foundation’s prestigious Leadership for a Changing World Award and a $115,000 agency grant.

CNN Headline News and The Atlanta Journal Constitution feature our family visits to prisons around the holidays, helping us tell our Foreverfamily story.

2003

One of our volunteer staff members, Josita Hartman, receives the National Community Quarterback of the Year Award from the NFL for her demonstration of leadership and dedication in her hometown. In Josita’s name, we receive a $35,000 donation from NFL Charities.

1998

We receive an official commendation at the Annual Catholic Social Services Luncheon for our outstanding work in bringing hope to a culture of violence.

1997

Our leader, Sandra Barnhill, participates in a one-year Annie E. Casey Foundation fellowship to improve community-public system collaborations, state-level programming, and national advocacy efforts designed to support children of incarcerated parents.

1996

We receive the Prevention for a Safer Society Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency for our volunteer efforts on behalf of incarcerated mothers and their families.

1990

We receive a major grant from the Administration on Aging of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Three Generations at Risk, a national demonstration project assisting children of incarcerated women, their mothers, and their grandparent caregivers.

1987

Foreverfamily, as Aid to Imprisoned Mothers or AIM, opens its doors.

 

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