Who We Are

Moving in the Direction of Hope

FamilyForward’s highly skilled staff, evidence-based practices, and strong partnerships with leading educational institutions and researchers positions the agency to utilize innovative tools and practices to formulate better insights and achieve better outcomes for children and families.


FamilyForward leads the community in providing innovative solutions for advancing safer, healthier relationships for children and families.


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


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. 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.

Core Values

6 Geographic Sites

Out Front

We are leaders in the use of innovative tools and methods to get better results for the children and families we serve. We prefer to set the pace, testing new ideas and collecting data; always striving to make the biggest impact we can.
182 Clinical, professional, and administrative personnel

Whole Hearted

We are tirelessly committed to the vision and mission of FamilyForward. We use our unique talents and expertise to serve our clients and community with compassion, acceptance, and respect.
483 Actively engaged volunteers

Rock Solid

We are responsible stewards of an organization with a long and proud history of service. Reliable, trustworthy, and hard-working, we do whatever it takes to get the job done, even when no one is watching.

Executive Team

Karen E. Nolte, LCSW

Chief Executive Officer

Robert Ahrens

Chief Financial Officer

Rachel Neukirch, LCSW

Chief Program Officer

Craig T. Biehle, MSW

Chief Quality and Compliance Officer

Jessica L. Dederer, MHA

Chief Development Officer

Governance Board

  • Douglas R. Beach
  • Gwendolyn Belle
  • Megan Bittle
  • Matt Burkemper
  • Wendy Chambers
  • Brian Clevinger, PhD
  • Michael Daming
  • Michael DiSalvo
  • Rachel D’Souza-Siebert
  • James Elder
  • Edgar Ellermann
  • Steven Goldstein
  • Matt Harvey
  • Salvador Hernandez
  • Jan L. Hess
  • Laura Holt
  • Matt Hunt
  • Timothy Leon
  • Gregg J. Lepper
  • Earl Ming
  • Juliane M. Praiss
  • Aki Puryear, MD
  • Christopher Reid
  • Sarah Salky
  • Susan Stith
  • William C. Stude
  • Charles Woods

Advocacy Board

  • Leonard Adreon
  • Norman Baxter
  • Anna Mayer Beck
  • Dean Boeschen
  • Satonya L. Booker
  • Valori Bring
  • Stephen J. Burrows
  • Kent A. Chancellor
  • William Danforth, MD
  • Sally Danforth
  • Sandra Davis
  • Dannae Delano
  • Sherry B. Delo
  • Jim Erlinger
  • Thomas L. Ferris
  • Andrea Frazier
  • Ryan Freeman
  • Sarah Fuhmann
  • Thomas Gall
  • Michael Gullion
  • Albert Haller
  • Cindy S. Handy
  • Anna Harris
  • James Hart
  • Sue Hays
  • John D. Heithaus
  • Phyllis A. Hoff
  • Nathan Holt
  • Christine Homan
  • Scott Homan
  • Sam Hopmeier
  • Catie Hurst
  • Don Imholz
  • John J. Irace
  • Liz Johnson
  • Lorraine Kee
  • Joseph Kelley
  • Ashley Kemper
  • Mary Jane King
  • Patrice Komoroski
  • Robert Lucy
  • Asha S. Lundal
  • Kjell Lundal
  • Michael Manchisi
  • Carol Margreiter
  • Debbie Marshall
  • John Marshall
  • Pat Martin
  • Ada McHaney
  • Deborah L. Morley
  • Allison C. Nash, MD
  • Kathy Novelly
  • Nancy Pechloff
  • Thomas P. Pollihan
  • Heather Rhodes
  • Margie Sacks
  • Kathy Siddens
  • Ellen C. Smith
  • Steve Smith
  • Joseph Soraghan
  • Jackie Watson
  • Nancy Weaver, PhD
  • Mindee Weber
  • Lina A. Young