Human Services


Safer, healthier relationships for children and families

St. Louis, MO


FamilyForward is the result of a merger between Children's Home Society of Missouri and Family Resource Center, two of St. Louis' most accomplished and leading-edge nonprofit organizations. With 170 years of combined experience helping children and families, the agencies united in April 2017 from positions of strength to better serve the community.

FamilyForward is committed to moving vulnerable children in the direction of hope by delivering comprehensive therapeutic and educational services to support biological, foster, and adoptive families.

Ruling Year


Executive Director

Mrs. Karen Nolte

Main Address

1167 Corporate Lake Drive

St. Louis, MO 63132 USA


Developmental Trauma, Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics, Trauma-informed, Foster Care, Adoption, Parent Education, Child Abuse and Neglect, Domestic Violence, Developmental Disabilities, Behavioral Health/Mental Health Services, Children's Home, Family Resource Center





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Counseling Support Groups (F60)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

Child abuse and neglect can have enduring physical, intellectual, and psychological repercussions into adolescence and adulthood, including mental health issues that cause disruptions in all areas of their lives. Because we know how profound the impact of abuse and neglect can be, our mandate is to use our knowledge, skills, and passion to focus our efforts on its prevention and treatment. The agency specializes in the assessment and treatment of chronic developmental trauma due to child abuse and neglect. FamilyForward provides child abuse prevention and treatment services, including trauma assessment and psychological evaluation, therapy, coaching and education, foster care and adoption, therapeutic preschool services, and care for children with developmental disabilities. FamilyForward leads the community in providing innovative solutions for advancing safer, healthier relationships for children and families.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Trauma Assessment and Psychological Evaluation


Coaching and Education

Foster Care and Adoption

Therapeutic Preschool

Care for Children with Developmental Disabilities

Where we workNew!

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Total number of volunteer hours contributed to the organization

Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Context notes

Total number of volunteer hours (includes episodic, on-going direct service, and administrative/other on-going service volunteers)

Number of clients served

Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Context notes

Number of direct and indirect clients served by FamilyForward in 2017.

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

Prioritize a trauma-informed approach to addressing client needs. Integrate the Neurosequential Model across services. Attract/retain the best talent. Implement best practices for exceptional board leadership and engagement. Advance a culture of diversity, inclusion, and equity across the organization and services. Develop a financial model that ensures a diverse base of support, allows flexibility for pursuing innovative therapeutic interventions, and monetizes our competitive advantage. Develop a robust culture of philanthropy that engages all stakeholders, ensuring a thriving, nimble organization to meet current and future needs. Elevate our brand and market position. Ensure internal stakeholders are informed and knowledgeable about all facets of the organization. Become a data-driven organization across all departments and programs to foster a culture of improvement and learning. Determine facility and operating requirements based on organizational needs and projected growth.

Service providers from across disciplines have moved towards better prevention and intervention strategies (of child abuse) using a trauma-informed approach. While a positive change, conversations about developmental trauma often lack the depth of understanding and complexity needed to address children who have been severely, chronically abused and neglected, which can confuse the concept and dilute actual capacity to appropriately employ services. There is a strong need for leadership to elevate conversations about trauma, specifically developmental trauma, to allow our region to move forward cohesively and collectively. FamilyForward is in a unique position to provide this leadership. The goals above, as part of our strategic plan, all align the organization with developmental trauma as the approach to best understand and address abuse and neglect prevention and treatment, incorporating a strategic focus rooted in The Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT).

FamilyForward’s team of clinicians are trained in a wide range of therapeutic interventions. Community partnerships and collaborations complement and reinforce traditional treatment programs, allowing us to reach a larger population of families who can benefit from our specialized mission. FamilyForward is accredited by the Council on Accreditation and the Better Business Bureau and served more than 6,800 children and family members last year. FamilyForward has partnered with the ChildTrauma Academy and Dr. Bruce Perry in the use of The Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT) since 2012 and achieved site certification in 2015. Academic research has clearly demonstrated the connection between abusive and traumatic childhood experiences with ongoing physical and mental health issues. NMT translates these findings into practice and draws on several core principles of trauma and neurodevelopment to create a comprehensive approach to the child, family and the broader community.

FamilyForward is the result of a merger between Children’s Home Society of Missouri and Family Resource Center, two of St. Louis’ most accomplished and leading-edge non-profit organizations focused on preventing and treating child abuse and neglect. With 170 years of combined experience helping children and families, the agencies united in April 2017 to better serve the community. As a merged agency, our Board of Directors and staff leadership have completed strategic planning resulting in the goals and strategic imperative described above. Each of these goals has specific activities with time frames, responsible parties, and required resources needed to accomplish the work. Stakeholder reporting as well as the work of the board and board committees are structured around the strategic plan, its goals, and activities to assure accountability to the plan.

FamilyForward launched the region’s only Developmental Trauma Center in 2018. Grounded in The Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT), the Center expands opportunities for healing. Moving forward, we seek to: Create a regional hub for training, intervention and knowledge advancement; unify discussions of early childhood trauma around common language and understanding; increase visibility of interventions that meet the unique needs of children and families impacted by developmental trauma; contribute to efforts addressing significant behavioral, emotional, social, and relational impacts of childhood trauma on individuals, families and communities; build capacity by training others working with children who have experienced developmental trauma; and contribute to ongoing research regarding infant/early childhood mental health, effects of trauma on child development, treatment of developmental trauma, and the impact of healthy relationships to buffer traumatic experiences.

External Reviews

Awards & Accreditations

Better Business Bureau - Accredited Charity

ChildTrauma Academy - NMT Site Certification

ChildTrauma Academy - NMT Trained, Phase II

Council on Accreditation (COA)



Fiscal year: Jul 01 - Mar 31

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FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2017 and 2016
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2017 and 2016
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
Click here to see what's included.

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


Organizational Demographics

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Race & Ethnicity

Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information.


This organization reports that it does not collect this information.

Diversity Strategies

We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
We have a diversity committee in place
We have a diversity manager in place
We have a diversity plan
We use other methods to support diversity