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Supporting

Families Across
Georgia For
30 Years
FY2019
ANNUAL REPORT
MISSION
Georgia Parent Support Network, Inc. is dedicated to providing support, education, and
advocacy for children and youth with mental illness, emotional disturbances, and
behavioral differences and their families.
GPSN SUPPORTS FAMILIES
Georgia Parent Support Network, Inc. is a grassroots family-run non-profit

organization established in 1989. GPSN has worked on the premise that

families are key to system changes and believes that families are the best

and most effective agents for change. GPSN was founded in response to the

lack of knowledge about services and actual lack of services that address

the needs of children with mental illnesses, emotional disturbance, and

behavioral differences. GPSN is a Board-directed, family support

organization whose Board consists of 5-14 family members and concerned

citizens at any given time.

Working with families at the state, local and community level is at the heart

of GPSN’s vision and mission. In FY2019, GPSN provided support and

services to 1,352 children and families and provided information and

education to 5,000 people through social media information and

educational programs such as Did You Know, Parent Support Group Meeting

Invites, and Parent Education opportunities. GPSN staff who are also Family

Support Partners work with and sponsor the 33 Federation of Families for

Children’s Mental Health Chapters as well as providing one-on-one support

with youth and families in need in a variety of settings including schools,

courts, social services, agencies, mental health, and other community

agencies.

GPSN provides Therapeutic Foster Care for children and youth through the

Department of Family and Children’s Services. GPSN has been a key

stakeholder in system transformation efforts through participation in local,

regional, and state councils and committees. GPSN is also a member of the

state Interagency Directors Team (IDT) and the Behavioral Health Planning

Council (BHPC).

UNMASKING CHILDREN'S MENTAL ILLNESS


Mardi Gras Ball 2019

Sue Smith, Ed.D., CEO, Georgia Parent Support

Network

Erica Fener-Sitkoff, Ph.D., Executive Director,

Voices for Georgia's Children, Mardi Gras

Queen

Judy Fitzgerald, MSW, LPC, Commissioner,

Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and

Developmental Disabilities

Frank Berry, Commissioner, Georgia Department

of Community Health

PAGE 2 GPSN| ANNUAL REPORT FY2019


BOARD
PRESIDENT'S
STATEMENT

2019 at Georgia Parent Support Network was a wonderful year! We celebrated our 30th anniversary on

June 30, 2019 with a 30 in 30 daily remembrance starting with 1989, our birth year, and of course ending

in 2019. A remembrance article highlighted the history corresponding with the year each day. The

memorial started May 15th and ended June 15th. It was a trip down memory lane for those who were

around back then and as the years got closer, a nice reminder for the rest of us. Making the year really

special was the completion of the House of Hope purchased in 2003 and finished in December of 2019 –

I know, it is a long story, and one for another day. What a wonderful new home for the Transitional Youth

Peer Program which is celebrating its 19th anniversary! GPSN’s Therapeutic Foster Care Program

continues to grow and do amazing work. Joining GPSN's array of services this year is a joint venture with

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) that we are very excited about. GPSN will team with CHOA to

place a Certified Peer Specialist – Parent (CPS-P) in their emergency room to assist families.

Children's Mental Health Day at the Capitol is one of the highlights of the year. This event brings

hundreds of family members, advocates, concerned citizens and state legislators together in support of

and education about children and youth services and supports for the vulnerable youth and families that

GPSN serves.  

GPSN is the state chapter of the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health.  Over the

last few years, GPSN has mentored and supported the growth of the 33 local chapters. These chapters

continue to thrive. Each is different, but reaches many people with a message of resiliency and recovery.

GPSN’s advocacy reached new levels as board, staff, families, and youth made their voices heard at the

legislature, to child serving agencies, and to local communities. The voices and the message, “Children’s

Mental Health Matters,” is being heard.

The 15th Annual “Unmasking Children’s Mental Illness” Mardi Gras Ball held at the Fox Theatre was a huge

success. Attendees from all over Georgia enjoyed an evening of meeting and greeting each other while

enjoying wonderful food, fun and games.  

Thanks to the Board, dedicated staff, and volunteers for all that you do. Through your work GPSN has

played a key role in changing how services are delivered in Georgia, how we think about persons in need

of and receiving services, and how those in decision-making roles view the need for services. Your help is

deeply appreciated.

ERICA FENER-SITKOFF, Ph.D.

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CHIEF
EXECUTIVE
OFFICER'S
STATEMENT

Georgia Parent Support Network celebrated its 30th anniversary on July 15th and completed the long

awaited House of Hope Peer Center. These are great milestones that we have attained only through your

support and generosity. What a wonderful year!

Therapeutic Foster Care continues to expand and to serve even more of Georgia’s most vulnerable

children, adolescents and their families.

The Transitional Youth Peer Center continues to serve and support youth 17-26 years old as they

transition into the adult world. The services promote and support education, stable housing and job

opportunities through a variety of different trainings and experiences. Our partners provide many of the

opportunities and experiences for the youth. None of this would be possible without you.  

GPSN introduced a new program in partnership with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA). GPSN

placed a Certified Parent Specialist – Parent,  (CPS-P) in CHOA’s emergency room to assist families and

children who arrive in need of family support. This new program is a very exciting addition to our

services. Thanks to CHOA for their partnership and willingness to work with CPS-P’s.  

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

Sue SUE L. SMITH, Ed.D.


 

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GPSN LEADERSHIP TEAM
Sue L. Smith, Ed.D., Chief Executive Officer

Brett Barton, LPC, Chief Operating Officer

John Zolkowski, Chief Financial Officer

Angie Coker-Lupo, Director of Advocacy

Quindland Hervey, Therapeutic Foster Care Program Director

Blue Huckeba, Human Resources Manager

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Erica Fener-Sitkoff, Ph.D., Board President

Lisa Rager, Board Vice President

Cynthia Wainscott, Secretary/Treasurer

Barbia Dunbar-Arnold, Hands of Hope Federation Chapter

Tywanna Bailey, Hyped 4U Mentoring Federation Chapter

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GEORGIA FEDERATION OF
FAMILIES FOR CHILDREN'S
MENTAL HEALTH
Georgia Parent Support Network, Inc. is both the Statewide Chapter and the

Atlanta/Fulton County Chapter of the National Federation of Families for Children’s

Mental Health, a nationwide advocacy organization with families as its sole focus.

GPSN works with the more than 33 local chapters throughout Georgia which provide

advocacy training and support to families, youth, and their children. GPSN hosts an

Annual Family Reunion for the Georgia Federation of Families for Children's Mental

Health chapters each fall.

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THERAPEUTIC FOSTER CARE
AND RESPITE CARE
SERVICES

Therapeutic Foster Care


Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC) is out-of-home placement for children who have already entered the custody of a

state agency. The child is placed in the home of a trained therapeutic foster care provider who assumes the duties of

caregiver for the length of time the child is placed within their home. Foster parents provide 24-hour therapeutic care

to children ages 0-18 who cannot live at home due to previous neglect, emotional, physical, sexual abuse, and/or a

current family crisis.

GPSN is dedicated to providing safe therapeutic services and support for children with a range of emotional,

developmental, and behavioral challenges. The TFC Coordinator organizes community-based services, support, and

training to maintain the child in the community.

Respite Care Services


Respite care is planned or emergency relief for guardians or caregivers of children who have a range of emotional,

developmental and behavioral challenges and who are in state custody. Respite care occurs as part of ongoing

mental health services. In some instances, respite takes place on an unplanned basis due to a crisis situation. Trained

respite care workers assume the duties of caregiving for a brief period of time to give parents/guardians a break

from the constant strain of parenting a child with serious emotional problems.

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TRANSITIONAL YOUTH
PEER CENTER
The Transitional Youth Peer Center Program (TYPC) provides services and training to youth between the ages of 17

and 26 who have aged-out of child and adolescent mental health services. This provision of services is provided by

peers who serve as peer mentors. The services and trainings include, but are not limited to: vocational assessment, life

skills, personal hygiene, cooking, tutoring, interview skills, and youth support groups. These services are provided

according to the youth’s individual needs and desires. Education is the key to success and each young adult is

encouraged and supported to pursue a high school diploma or general education degree (GED). The TYPC also

assists participants with opportunities for post-secondary education including a college degree, technical school

certificate program, and provides trade union opportunities. Living situations and arrangements can be challenging

for young adults who have a history of mental illness, emotional disturbance, or behavioral differences. The TYPC

strives to find housing/living situations that enhance the participant’s quality of life.

YOUTH M.O.V.E. GEORGIA


Motivating Others Through Voices of Experience
Youth M.O.V.E. Georgia is a youth-led statewide organization devoted to improving services and systems which

support positive growth and development. This is done by uniting the voices of individuals who have lived in and

experienced various state systems including mental health, juvenile justice, education, and/or child welfare. Youth

M.O.V.E. welcomes any and all youth between the ages of 14 and 29. Youth M.O.V.E. Georgia has five chapters as of

2019.

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2019 OUTCOMES,
HIGHLIGHTS, AND
ACCOMPLISHMENTS
GPSN advocated at the federal, state, local, and individual case level.

Provided support, food, clothing, and other basic necessities for children and families via the
SAMHSA Statewide Family Network Grant.

Continued to provide leadership in educating Georgia’s policymakers and legislators.

Served on committees across Georgia, including the Mental Health Planning Council, the
Behavioral Health Services Coalition, the Recovery Initiative, the Systems of Care (SOC)
Committee, the Interagency Directors Team (IDT), Behavioral Health Planning and Advisory
Council, Fulton LIPT Committee, and the Georgia 360 Families Committee.

Provided families with accurate, up-to-date information on laws, school issues, behavioral,
emotional, and mental disorders, and community resources.

Provided holiday gifts to 185 children and families.

Provided up-to-date and real-time, useful information through advocacy-based e-blasts to the
email list of 2,589 people. GPSN’s Facebook page has 1,465 followers, the Twitter feed
has 789 followers, and the GPSN website had 47,234 page views in 2019.

Supported families through the statewide chapter and Fulton County chapter of the FFCMH
(Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health).

Youth M.O.V.E. Georgia has five chapters: Youth M.O.V.E. Fulton, Youth M.O.V.E. D.F.I.A.,
Youth M.O.V.E. F.A.V.O.R., Youth M.O.V.E. Hyped 4U Mentoring, and the state chapter
Youth M.O.V.E. Georgia.

PAGE 9 GPSN| ANNUAL REPORT FY2019


AGENCY FINANCIALS FY2019
GPSN Programs are Supported by Diverse Funding

GPSN’s revenue for FY2019 totaled $2,964,003.00. Financial support was provided

by multiple agencies and funding sources including the Georgia Department of

Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, The Georgia Department of Family

and Children’s Services, a Statewide Family Network Grant funded by SAMHSA, a

Peer-to-Peer Grant funded by DBHDD and additional foundation funding. In

addition, GPSN holds benefit fundraisers, which includes the annual “Unmasking

Children’s Mental Illness” Mardi Gras Benefit Ball.

TOTAL PUBLIC SUPPORT & REVENUES

State & Local Grants, $1,024,956.00

Federal Grants, $120,552.00

Contributions, $45,895.00

Contract Services, $1,769,358.00

Other Income, $3,242.00

TOTAL EXPENSES

Program Services, $2,435,048.00

Support Services: Management and General, $515,662.00

Fundraising, $40,916.00

DECREASE IN NET ASSETS ($27,623.00)

TRANSFER OF ASSETS FROM HOLDING COMPANY $215,702.00

NET ASSETS, BEGINNING OF YEAR $589,287.00

NET ASSETS, END OF YEAR $777,366.00

PAGE 10 GPSN| ANNUAL REPORT FY2019


MARDI GRAS
2019

Dr. Erica Fener-Sitkoff, Mardi Gras Queen of the Ball 

March 5, 2019

What a fun evening as we gathered for our 15th Annual Mardi Gras Benefit Ball
“Unmasking Mental Illness” at the fabulous Fox Theatre! Our honoree, Dr. Erica
Fener-Sitkoff, took the helm as the Executive Director for Voices for Georgia’s
Children in July of 2017 after joining Voices in 2014 as the Policy and Outreach
Director. With experience as a PhD clinical psychologist and as an administrator
and consultant to school districts on mental health and development disabilities,
Dr. Sitkoff serves as an outstanding leader for Voices’ initiatives. Dr.Sitkoff has
steered Voices to facilitate policy change that improves access to quality services
for children and families across all systems that impact healthy development,
including health insurance and quality health care, early childhood development,
child welfare, and juvenile justice systems.

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CHILDREN'S MENTAL
HEALTH AWARENESS DAY
2019
Families and children, legislators, and organizations gathered on May 9, 2019 to

celebrate Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day at the Georgia Freight Depot.

The topic was “Suicide Prevention: Strategies that Work". Commissioner Judy

Fitzgerald, with the Georgia DBHDD, gave the keynote address. Dante McKay,

Director, Office of Children, Young Adults & Families, Georgia DBHDD gave

remarks. At the South Wing of the Georgia Capitol, we were blessed by the

performance from the R2ISE Theatre group featuring Youth M.O.V.E. Georgia.

PAGE 12 GPSN| ANNUAL REPORT FY2019


DONORS AND
CONTRIBUTORS 2019
GPSN thanks all of our donors and contributors for 2019! Our

work would not be possible without your help!

Alliant Health Systems Joseph Zolkowski


Amy Zolkowski Judy Fitzgerald
Anna Bourque Kathy and Karl Dennis
Barbara Friesen Dr. Kisha Whitfield
Beacon Health Options Dr. Kristan V. Adams
Behavioral Health Link/IHR Laura Citron
Benchmark Human Services Laura Cox
Bobbi Cleveland Leslie Lipson
Brett Barton Lisa Pace
Cameron Cochran Margaret Cawood
Care Partners of GA Marie Hicks
Care Source Mark Breibart
Carla Copeland Matthew Clay
Carole Galantly Mental Health America
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Mildred Maynard
Community Friendship NAMI Georgia
CORL Technologies Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough
Cynthia Wainscott Patricia Wise
Dani Smith Peach State Health Plan/Centene
Daniel Crimmins Preacher Jonathan Davis
Devereux Specialty Foster Care Remedios Rodriguez
Devi Knapp Resilient Georgia
Diane Schlachter Rollins and Van Lear
Dr. Todd Estroff Sam Rapier
Elaine DeCostanzo Sara Vander Straeten
Ellyn Jeager SEPPA
Faye Taylor Shalon Warren
Gale White Sherry Jenkins Tucker
Georgia Appleseed Center for Law and Justice Silence the Shame
Georgia Association of CSBs Skyland Trail
Georgians for a Healthy Future Spectrum Entertainment and Events
Giselle Johnson State Representative Katie Dempsey
Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network Sue Smith
Highland Rivers Health Summit Counseling
Hope Swift Susan Walker Goico
Ivan Fields Tod Citron
Jane Adams Trent Chou
Jane Kallal Tywanna Bailey
Jane Walker United Behavioral Health Solutions
Jean Olshefsky View Point Health
Jean Toole Voices for Georgia's Children
John Gates WellCare Health Plans Inc
Yassin Hall
Youth Villages-Inner Harbour

PAGE 13 GPSN| ANNUAL REPORT FY2019


GEORGIA PARENT SUPPORT
NETWORK, INC.

Georgia Parent Support Network, Inc.

1381 Metropolitan Parkway SW

Atlanta, GA 30310

Phone: 404-758-4500

Toll-Free: 1-844-278-6945

Fax: 404-758-6833

Website: www.gpsn.org

Email: info@gpsn.org

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