Children’s Hope Alliance – Inspiration for Healthy Healing

Lighting the pathway to healing and a brighter future, Children’s Hope Alliance is committed to helping children and families of all shapes, sizes and blends.

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, Children’s Hope Alliance has a history of advocating for the welfare of children that dates back more than 130 years, helping children in 62 counties across North Carolina. The CHA is also strongly committed to improving services in order to alleviate the severity of the local mental health crisis. Those services include Foster Care and Adoption Services (including support and training), Child ACTT (a technology-based service with the mission of healing hurting children in their own homes), Out-patient Therapeutic Services (developing the mindset to overcome challenges and strive for better emotional health) and other community-based services (including skill-based interventions within the family environment to facilitate more healthy behaviors).

Psychologist Dr. Laura Skinner, based in Cornelius and a member of the Board of Directors, says it’s clear the comprehensive programs developed by Children’s Hope Alliance are making tremendous differences in children, families and communities.

“I’m amazed, honored and so inspired to have been able to witness and participate in the contributions that CHA has made to the community,” said Dr. Skinner. “I have seen unbelievable growth, adaptation and quality services as Children’s Hope Alliance has responded to the mental health needs of children and families in NC. I absolutely love that I have been able to work with children, adolescents and families up close as they maneuver the complex, difficult, delightful and dynamic nature of being human.”

She has seen the change in mental health needs through her 25 years of service, and the evolution of the agency in response. Research, real-time legislative and policy changes, and specific community needs have helped guide the process. Dr. Skinner and other CHA board members are always aware of their mission: “Providing Hope, Health and Healing for Generations.”

When it comes to mental health, it’s important that parents assess their child’s or teen’s maturity level and capacity of emotional stimulation when determining how to approach sensitive news topics. Parents should talk with their children and encourage open discussion. Dr. Skinner also notes there are several “big issues” facing teens today, most of which are difficult to navigate on their own.

“Many adolescents and children experience loneliness, disconnection from others and struggles with identity development,” Dr. Skinner explains. “Feelings of hopelessness and powerlessness are prevalent and exacerbate the mood and anxiety reactions that may be present. As a result, we are seeing an increase in anxiety, depression and suicidal behavior, as well as addictive behaviors including drugs, alcohol and ‘screen’ addiction.”

CHA provides a variety of services that address these larger issues, including outpatient behavioral health services, early intervention and prevention services. Comprehensive clinical assessment, individual and family therapy are available in CHA’s clinics and schools through Outpatient Therapeutic Services. One of CHA’s early intervention and prevention programs – Heartstrings Therapeutic Music and Arts – allows children and adolescents access to more wholistic and “fun” activities that are profound therapeutic tools. If a history of trauma is already known or suspected, the agency has clinicians trained in completing Trauma-Informed Comprehensive Clinical Assessments, as well as Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Throughout the spring season, CHA experts will share what they know about brain science and how a child’s view of the world around them can impact brain development and well-being. “Planting” positive thoughts and experiences in a child’s life through therapy builds resilience to overcome future life struggles. The goal is for communities to better understand the challenges youth face today – whether it’s too much screen time or peer pressure about self-image.

Depending on the child’s need, therapeutic services can cost approximately $75 per hour on average – and donations can change lives. Children’s Hope Alliance has a goal to raise funds for at least 10,000 hours of therapy – to make a real difference in the community. Stay tuned for more information about plans for March, April and May, and how you can participate. Children’s Hope Alliance is located at 194 Barium Springs Drive in Statesville, 800.320.4157. To learn more about their services, please visit, and follow them on Facebook and Instagram @childrenshopealliance.


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