Tradition of Caring Since 1927

Over ninety years ago, Griffith Centers for Children, Chins Up was founded by Miss Emily Griffith.  She was an educator, a visionary, and an advocate for children.  Her mission was to provide children with an education and the opportunity to become self-supporting. To do this, she established a home where children would find shelter, companionship, and sympathetic guidance.  Miss Emily’s vision was to inspire children to believe in themselves as a way to overcome their problems.  Her vision guided the creation of Griffith Centers for Children, Chins Up’s diverse programs, and continually pushes us forward in providing innovative services for all members of our beloved communities.


With the support of the Kiwanis Club of Denver Emily Griffith opens Number 9 Pearl St. as “a home for the boy who needs one.” In the first four years, 233 young men attend school and work while enjoying the homelike atmosphere of this safe haven.



In 1952, A gymnasium and workshop are added to Number 9 Pearl St. to allow space for hobbies, education, and recreation. In 1964, Number 9 Pearl St., now called Emily Griffith Center, relocates to 1260 Franklin St. in order to grow their influence.


As the nation begins to recognize the enormity of child abuse and neglect, Emily Griffith Center changes its overall focus from a group home to a treatment center. In 1975, an on-site residential school begins.


After 53 years in Denver, Emily Griffith Center moves to a 100-acre ranch in Larkspur, CO. Animal therapy is introduced to meet the increasingly complex needs of troubled children. A ropes course is built, providing a physical component to the therapeutic treatment plan to build confidence and teamwork in residents. In 1999, a treatment center in Colorado Springs opens, later expanding to include an independent living center and day treatment program.


Children in treatment at the turn of the century are more emotionally troubled than ever before. Emily Griffith Center, now known as Griffith Centers for Children, continues to expand its innovative programs to reach additional children, opening a new residential treatment facility for boys in Rifle, CO, and their first residential program for girls in Grand Junction, CO. In 2002, Griffith Centers merged with CHINS UP to offer community-based programs, including foster homes, adoption, and family preservation services.


As the importance of integrating children back into the community grew the decision to consolidate to our Colorado Springs campus precipitated the closing of our Rifle, Grand Junction, and Larkspur residential programs.


Griffith Centers for Children opens a location in Denver where it originally started with our founder Emily Griffith. Community-based Family Preservation services continue to grow and are available in Colorado Springs, Denver, Greeley, Grand Junction, and Pueblo.


A Transitional Skills Program opened for youth who have completed their intensive treatment and are now ready to leave our Center. This program guides them through job searches, graduating from high school or obtaining their GED, and finding an apartment. A Truancy Prevention Program was launched in partnership with school districts and truancy courts to increase student engagement in school.


Griffith Centers for Children launched RELOAD in 2017 to guide youth in our Community Programs through life skills development. In 2018, the Tele-Behavioral Health program was introduced to offer remote sessions for clients that do not have easy access to services from qualified counselors in the comfort of their own home or office.