Changing Lives, Building Families, Strengthening Communities

Birmingham, AL   |
GuideStar Charity Check


EIN: 63-0288823


Changing Lives, Building Families, Strengthening Communities

Ruling year info


Chief Executive Officer

Gayle Watts LICSW

Main address

Children's Aid Society of Alabama 2141 14th Avenue South

Birmingham, AL 35205 USA

Show more contact info



Subject area info

Community and economic development

Family services

Adolescent parenting

Foster care

Youth services

Population served info



Foster and adoptive parents

Adolescent parents

Children and youth

NTEE code info

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Foster Care (P32)

Family Services (Adolescent Parents) (P45)

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Alabama Pre/Post Adoption Connections (APAC)

A wide range of services are available statewide to all members of adoptive families. Additionally, certain services are extended to foster family members, prospective adoptive families, kinship care families, and professionals involved with the foster/adoptive population.

Preparing to Adopt: Adoption navigators walk beside families from TIPS classes, home studies and more.

Adoptive Family Services: Free counseling and support groups to post-adoption resources, camps and outings, our goal is to ensure a strong and nurturing environment for both parents and children.

Training & Resources: Free essential training and resources to enhance families' and child-welfare professionals' knowledge and skills. Workshops, seminars, webinars and online resources to address various aspects of adoption, helping families build a solid foundation.

Population(s) Served

Program Purpose: Establishing safe homes where families stay together.

Family Partners serves children at risk of abuse and neglect by providing intensive case management designed to preserve family unity when children are at risk of being removed from the home and to reunify families whose children have been temporarily removed. Family Support Workers and Therapists deliver comprehensive services aimed at decreasing and managing family stressors that may include: financial problems, limited resources, unemployment, transportation needs, and limited parenting skills. These services are delivered in the family home, or at other locations as deemed necessary for client safety. Family Partners’ staff responds to client needs with crisis intervention.

Population(s) Served

Independent Living, (IL) is a program serving youth in Alabama's foster care between the ages of 14 -21. IL works toward improving communication among IL youth statewide, county DHR workers, providers, and foster parents. IL youth have a place to share resources and ideas with each other throughout the state and be informed of the health, education, housing, and career resources available to them. The IL team is comprised of individuals with lived experience in foster care as well as social workers. The team also works alongside a youth panel of DREAM Ambassadors, youth advocates currently in foster care. The team helps youth gain skills that will help them prepare for a successful, self-sustained life as adults once they age out of care.

Population(s) Served

Pregnant and/or parenting homeless young people (ages 16-21) and their children are provided safe, stable living accommodations while being taught skills to transition them successfully to adulthood. PI meets the specific needs of each individual young person and their child(ren) by providing individualized skill-building opportunities focused on the goals of breaking the cycle of homelessness, breaking the cycle of child abuse and neglect, and increasing the ability of the young family to stay together.

Population(s) Served

Children’s Aid Society’s Effective Parenting Instruction Course (EPIC) Program provides FREE parenting classes utilizing the Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP) curriculum to Jefferson and Shelby County parents with children between the ages of 0-18 years. The classes are available in English and Spanish.

Classes are designed to help strengthen each participant’s parenting by providing skills training to parents. The program encourages a more democratic parenting style of providing children choices and fostering responsibility, improving communication between parent and child, and helping children learn through natural and logical consequences. Additional topics including Shaken Baby Prevention, Safe Sleep and Smoking Cessation are discussed.

Population(s) Served

Supporting the adoption constellation (adults who were adopted, birth parents, adoptive parents, adoptive family members, and significant others) through a full range of services. Recognizing that adoption is a life-long journey, services are available to support the individual and/or needs of the constellation members. When CAS was a part of the adoption plan, supportive services are available with file updates, non-identifying information reports, and intermediary services. Available to all adoption constellation members (regardless of prior CAS involvement) are counseling services with an adoption-competent therapist.

CAS also offers a free monthly discussion group, Let’s Talk!, to support and build community among adults who were adopted.

Population(s) Served

The Child Trafficking Solutions Project is a statewide coalition comprised of human trafficking organizations; local, state, and federal law enforcement; government agencies; non-government/non-profit organizations; child protective services; and survivor care providers. CTSP works to rescue and restore child victims of sex trafficking through development of uniform response protocols, training, and strategic partnerships with law enforcement, first-responders, healthcare providers, juvenile justice, child-welfare agencies, and schools, while mobilizing communities to prevent abuse, raise awareness, and increase safety. Customized comprehensive training is offered for audiences of law enforcement, first responders, medical personnel, educators, child-serving professionals, parents, and students to prevent, recognize, and respond to child trafficking. Our Trafficking Training is offered at no-charge for all law enforcement.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Child Welfare League - Accredited Member 2015

Chamber of Commerce 2015

Association of Fundraising Professionals - Member 2015

Better Business Bureau 2015

Southeastern Network for Youth and Family Services 2015

United Way Member Agency 2016

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

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

The mission of Children's Aid Society, "Changing Lives, Building Families, Strengthening Communities," is accomplished via multiple signature initiatives addressing the needs of adoptees, adoptive families, foster families, birth parents and siblings, young parents, homeless young mothers and their children, youth aging out of foster care, and families at risk of disruption due to child abuse and/or neglect.

Children's Aid Society (CAS) staff accomplish direct delivery of services to >10,000 individual clients (children, youth and families) throughout Alabama's 67 counties each year. The specific delivery method is determined by each client's needs under their respective CAS initiative.

Services provided by CAS include, but are not limited to: Information and Referral Support; Support Groups; Family Adjustment and Crisis Counseling; Resource Libraries; Educational Trainings; Special Events and Networking Opportunities; camps and conferences; and free educational trainings on adoption and permanency related topics via webinar approximately 12 times a year. Webinars can be accessed by anyone throughout the state with access to the internet.

Some clients are served by programs, groups, meetings and trainings hosted by CAS at one of our agency locations (Birmingham, Huntsville, Florence, Jasper, Montgomery, Mobile). CAS case managers and social workers also make necessary home and site visits.

Established in 1912, Children's Aid Society (CAS) staff accomplish direct delivery of services to >10,000 individual clients (children, youth and families) throughout Alabama's 67 counties each year. CAS directly served over 14,000 individuals in 2014 through adoption support, pre/post adoption counseling, peer groups, mentoring, parenting classes, crisis intervention, professional trainings, family support, educational assistance and youth development. CAS continues to expand delivery of critical services to individuals in need by regularly reviewing, updating and adding initiatives to our mission.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback


Fiscal year: Oct 01 - Sep 30

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2023 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 2.82 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2023 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 2.2 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2023 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 23% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Oct 01 - Sep 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Oct 01 - Sep 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Oct 01 - Sep 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of CHILDRENS AID SOCIETY OF ALABAMA’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation -$833,362 $112,794 -$132,257 -$105,471 -$205,597
As % of expenses -15.2% 2.2% -2.6% -2.4% -4.4%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation -$965,562 -$17,960 -$256,374 -$239,344 -$317,447
As % of expenses -17.2% -0.3% -5.0% -5.3% -6.6%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $5,682,499 $6,039,538 $5,311,719 $4,228,067 $4,496,850
Total revenue, % change over prior year 1.3% 6.3% -12.1% -20.4% 6.4%
Program services revenue 0.8% 0.4% 0.1% 0.1% 0.8%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.2%
Government grants 78.5% 80.0% 77.6% 69.5% 71.5%
All other grants and contributions 20.6% 19.6% 22.2% 30.3% 27.4%
Other revenue 0.1% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $5,484,978 $5,100,772 $5,006,667 $4,356,621 $4,679,364
Total expenses, % change over prior year 6.0% -7.0% -1.8% -13.0% 7.4%
Personnel 68.1% 71.6% 70.0% 62.2% 63.2%
Professional fees 4.0% 4.6% 5.3% 9.4% 5.5%
Occupancy 2.9% 3.2% 3.1% 3.0% 3.3%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other expenses 25.0% 20.5% 21.6% 25.3% 28.1%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Total expenses (after depreciation) $5,617,178 $5,231,526 $5,130,784 $4,490,494 $4,791,214
One month of savings $457,082 $425,064 $417,222 $363,052 $389,947
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $6,074,260 $5,656,590 $5,548,006 $4,853,546 $5,181,161

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Months of cash 1.4 1.8 1.6 1.8 1.0
Months of cash and investments 1.5 1.8 1.6 1.8 1.0
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 1.1 1.7 1.3 1.2 0.5
Balance sheet composition info 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Cash $658,995 $760,147 $685,924 $636,839 $372,531
Investments $21,505 $0 $0 $0 $0
Receivables $635,452 $750,139 $659,583 $488,800 $494,519
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $2,921,918 $2,931,509 $2,943,638 $2,948,285 $2,992,902
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 27.0% 30.8% 34.7% 39.2% 42.4%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 13.7% 13.0% 13.6% 12.8% 20.7%
Unrestricted net assets $2,630,647 $2,732,688 $2,476,314 $2,236,970 $1,919,523
Temporarily restricted net assets $370,069 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $370,069 $356,828 $371,803 $348,720 $371,803
Total net assets $3,000,716 $3,089,516 $2,848,117 $2,585,690 $2,291,326

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Material data errors No No No No No


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

Letter of Determination is not available for this organization
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Chief Executive Officer

Gayle Watts LICSW

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990


Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.


Board of directors
as of 09/13/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Michael Latta

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama

Term: 2022 - 2024

Bob Mitchell

Amy Myers

Dottie King

Meredith Calhoun

Steve Walker

Donny Donald

William Carroll

Leigh Davis

Tracy Thompson

Alice Williams

Beth Beaube

Kelly Fox

Michael Latta

Eddie Miller

Teresa Odom

Bethany Burns

Christy Stewart

Amanda Black

Jenny McCain

Walter Monroe


Helen Rand

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    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? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 9/13/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/20/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
There are no contractors recorded for this organization.

Professional fundraisers

Fiscal year ending

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 Schedule G

Solicitation activities
Gross receipts from fundraising
Retained by organization
Paid to fundraiser