Mental Health, Crisis Intervention


Providing Healing and Hope to Children and Families

Atlanta, GA


Hillside helps children and families thrive by providing outstanding residential and community mental health services.

Ruling Year


Principal Officer

Mrs. Emily Acker

Main Address

690 Courtenay Dr NE

Atlanta, GA 30306 USA


Child & adolescent mental health, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, therapeutic foster care, wraparound services





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Psychiatric, Mental Health Hospital (F31)

Foster Care (P32)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

Hillside’s 14 acre campus is tucked in the Morningside neighborhood and serves over 700 children and their families across GA each year. Hillside specializes in using Dialectical Behavioral Therapy to treat clients who struggle with anxiety and mood disorders. Our continuum of programs includes therapeutic foster care, in-home services, residential treatment and day programming.

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

Residential Treatment

Community Intervention Programs

Treatment Foster Care

DBT Outpatient Clinic

Partial Hospitalization Program

Where we work

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 they accomplished so far and what's next?

Strategic Priorities 1.Maximize Positive Outcomes for Children in the Evolving Mental Healthcare Environment 2.Be the Mental Healthcare Employer of Choice 3.Raise the Resources to Achieve Hillside’s Mission and Vision 2020 4.Tell the Hillside Story

Strategic Priority 1: Maximize Positive Outcomes for Children in the Evolving Mental Healthcare Environment Major Initiatives: 1.Develop robust and meaningful outcome measures based on statistical data. 2.Strengthen the continuum of services to stay at the forefront of therapeutic best practices. 3.Manage the continuum of services to access diverse funding sources. Strategic Priority 2: Be the Mental Healthcare Employer of Choice Major Initiatives: 1.Create a culture of development, growth, and inclusiveness. 2.Establish regular company-wide communications. 3.Refine current training and increase clinical training for direct care staff. 4.Align roles, responsibilities, and expectations from bottom up and from top down. 5.Expand efforts to recruit and retain the best quality employees. Strategic Priority 3: Raise the Resources to Achieve Hillside’s Mission and Vision 2020 Major Initiatives: 1.Strategically expand the donor base by cultivating current major donors and identifying new ones. 2.Increase grants and corporate giving. 3.Increase donor retention and promote multi-year giving. 4.Develop a portfolio of events including an annual “Signature Event.” 5.Expand the volunteer program and increase community engagement. 6.Develop a legacy giving program. Strategic Priority 4: Tell the Hillside Story Major Initiatives: 1.Identify and prioritize target audiences. 2.Develop the Hillside story and a communication plan for each target audience, including appropriate media and messages. 3.Expand the use of both traditional and social media vehicles to effectively reach the target audiences.

Since 1888, Hillside has cared for children in need. Those needs and the challenges of meeting them have continually evolved, but for more than 130 years Hillside has adapted to help each child succeed. That’s why, today, Hillside is recognized as one of the nation’s top behavioral treatment centers for children and adolescents. It’s why Hillside became the first Linehan-certified center for providing dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) to children. It’s why pediatric medical and psychiatric fellows from elite institutions like Morehouse College and Emory University seek out opportunities to learn at Hillside. And it’s why innovative institutions such as Emory’s Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics collaborate with Hillside. So that Hillside remains at the forefront of child and adolescent behavioral health care. So that communities can break the cycle of inadequate treatment. So that families can be strong and whole again. And so that every Hillside child receives the help they need to heal and succeed.

Hillside has a robust Quality Improvement department, which collaborates with our Clinical Services Department to implement and refine the assessment and outcomes measures we track for our clients. At present, we utilize five assessment tools upon each client’s admission. These include Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) and Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (CSSRS). In order to track each individual’s progress, we have implemented 11 outcomes measurement tools. Not every client completes all 11; they are designated to each child depending on the program(s) in which he or she is enrolled. Examples of these outcomes measurement tools include Difficulties in Emotions Regulation Scales (DERS) and Distress Tolerance Scales (DTS). Each Friday, our Outcomes Team meets to review and analyze ongoing outcomes measurement results, and this part of our work is continuously refined. We also survey our clients and their families at key points before, during and after treatment at Hillside. Each child in our Residential Program completes a weekly survey, where she or he can express concerns about clinical care, the residential environment, and their safety. Recently, we re-launched our post-discharge survey process, through which we reconnect with families weeks and months following discharge to evaluate the progress their children have made. As with the assessment and outcomes measurements, our Outcomes Team also reviews survey data. The information we collect and analyze in these meetings directly impacts our programs, as we continue to make improvements in conjunction with our findings. In order to ensure these services can be delivered, our Development and Finance Departments collaborate with Hillside’s various programs to determine areas of greatest need. We establish an annual fundraising budget, which includes private and Federal/State grant funding, individual contributions, and special events. The Development Department meets weekly to assess funding results and expand our community resources. As a key part of that expansion, our Community Relations Manager is actively involved in social media campaigns, volunteer recruitment, and launching events to spread awareness of our services on campus and throughout the community.

Strategic Priority 1: a. Upgraded Avatar electronic medical record system b. Identified new Key Performance Indicators c. Updated monthly Quality Improvement Meeting d. Launched an outcomes evaluation process utilizing five assessment tools and the NIH Toolbox® Cognition Battery e. Achieved DBT program certification f. Employ three DBT certified therapists g. Launched Experience DBT Day Treatment Program and IOP h. Trained Connections Foster Care in Together Facing the Challenges (TFTC) i. Hosted two Family Finding boot camps for Georgia professionals j. Offered foundation training in Cognitively Based Compassion Training (CBCT) k. Trained and piloted SAFE Home Study in Foster Care l. Began All Children All Families certification m. Leader in education and implementation of Family First Act in Georgia n. Contracted with TriCare to serve military families o. Implemented new billing software p. Total $408,000 in Scholarship Funds raised q. Achieved Joint Commission Accreditation November 2018 r. Invested in safety improvements throughout residential campus s. Active Shooter Training provided to all staff Strategic Priority 2: a. Initiated Employee Engagement Ambassador Team b. Began Consultation Team Meetings for residential staff a. Use the electronic medical record as the “source of truth” reducing email reliance b. Updated new employee orientation and onboarding practices c. Expanded Relias Learning System to include additional relevant topics d. Offer social work internships to UGA and Kennesaw State graduate students e. Offer on-site training for Emory nursing students Strategic Priority 3: a. Scholarship Fund donations totaled $408,000 b. Identified as Buckhead Rotary’s Signature Project 2017-19 c. Applied for a research grant and seeking others in partnership with Emory d. Taste of Hillside events 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 e. 130th Anniversary Celebration success in 2018 f. Created Mentor program for employees to serve designated youth Strategic Priority 4: Tell the Hillside Story a. Joined NATSAP and was highlighted in their newsletter b. Hosted networking opportunities with DBT professionals c. Participated in panel of experts for Fulton County Schools d. Video tour of campus updated on website e. Personal testimony updated on website f. Monthly e-blasts sent to email list

External Reviews



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Board Leadership Practices

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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?