“Train up the child in the way they should go and when they are old, they shall not depart from it”
Edward Chisolm has dedicated over 30 years of his professional life working and advocating for children, youth, and families. Starting his career and advocacy for children and youth in Savannah with then Tidelands Mental Health Center in the Children and Family Unit, Chisolm established himself as an insightful, well read, and fearless advocate for children. In 1988, Chisolm joined the Chatham Savannah Youth Futures Author where he was instrumental in laying the ground for comprehensive community building. The guiding principles of the Authority included Family Focus, Community Building, Results Orientation, and Systems Change. The vision of the Authority was “Every child will be born healthy, grow up healthy, be secure from abuse and neglect and become a literate, productive, economically self-sustaining citizen.”
Youth Futures Authority
In 1998, Edward Chisolm was chosen as the 5th Executive Director of the Chatham Savannah Youth Futures Authority. The vision of the YFA was “Every child will be born healthy, grow up healthy, be secure from abuse and neglect and become a literate, productive, economically self sustaining citizen. The primary purpose of the YFA was to organize and collaborate on cross-cutting approaches to achieve positive outcomes for children and families. The YFA and its partners adopted a community building approach. The Authority envisioned a community-based family support system that involved all community institutions in creating an environment that is supportive of children and families, schools, churches, businesses, health and human service agencies, and civic and neighborhood groups.
Under Chisolm’s visionary leadership the Authority implemented a community building process that linked physical, social, economic factors and empowered communities to make decisions and allocated resources for the betterment of distressed neighborhoods.
Annie E. Casey Fellow (1997)
In 1997 Chisolm was selected to become an Annie E. Casey Fellow. The Fellowship Program increases the pool of leaders with the vision and ability to frame and sustain major system reforms and community capacity building initiatives that benefit large numbers of children and families. The fellowship seeks people who are committed to achieving better outcomes for children, families and communities. The leadership development approaches the program utilizes include but not limited to: Collaborative/collective, Individual capacity building, Network/Coalition building, Organizational capacity building.