Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, January 14, 2022

Chambliss Center for Children celebrates 150 years

Children enrolled in Chambliss Center for Children’s Extended Early Childhood Education Program. - Photograph provided

Established in 1872 by women from five churches in the Chattanooga area, Chambliss Center for Children is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.

In addition to naming Katie Harbison president and CEO in late 2021, the agency plans for program growth and a special celebration of its history throughout 2022.

While Chambliss Center for Children operated as an orphanage for nearly 90 years, the agency changed its focus in the 1960s to meet the needs of the Chattanooga community by offering 24-hour child care.

This program continues today on the main campus in Brainerd, providing early childhood education and extended child care for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years old, primarily from lower-income, single-parent families.

Additionally, the agency revolutionized a shared services model in the 1980s by partnering to operate six off-site child care centers and offering on-site care for the children of teachers in 12 Hamilton County Schools.

Chambliss Center for Children continued to provide residential care after the transition away from orphanages by placing children who have been removed from their homes with foster families.

The agency’s Transitional Living Program, established in 2017, provides stable housing and supportive case management for youth who have aged out of the foster care system at 18.

“This agency has an incredible 150-year history of support for all we undertake,” Harbison says. “While we’re still struggling to recover from the negative effects the pandemic has had on our operations and fundraising events, we have many things to look forward to in 2022 as we continue to serve more children and families.”

The agency’s newest endeavor is a partnership with Isaiah 117 House, an East Tennessee-based nonprofit that provides physical and emotional support in a home environment for children awaiting foster care placement.

The Isaiah 117 House at Chambliss Center for Children will be the first in Hamilton County and is set to open at the end of 2022.

Currently, Chambliss Center for Children and its management partners care for more than 750 children each day and employ over 300 workers.

Source: Chambliss Center for Children