The Tradition of Caring since 1927.

Griffith Centers for Children began in 1927 in Denver, Colorado. Our founder, Miss Emily Griffith, was a respected educator. She believed that every child deserves positive experiences and opportunities to prepare them to live a productive life. Emily began by taking orphaned and delinquent boys into her home. With the help of the Kiwanis Club of Denver, she built the first “Emily Griffith Home for Boys”.


Chins Up was formed in 1974. The organization addressed the unmet needs of children and adolescents in the Colorado Springs community. These were victims of abuse or suffering from emotional or behavioral problems. Chins Up joined with Griffith Centers for Children in 2002 to become one nonprofit.

For over 90 years, Griffith Centers for Children Chins Up has remained passionately committed to providing troubled children the environment and opportunities to become healthy, participating, and productive members of society. Read bits and pieces of our story and see our time-tested vision.


  • 1916
  • Miss Emily Griffith establishes the Denver Public Opportunity School, bringing basic and vocational education to adults, children, and immigrants.

  • 1927
  • 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.

  • 1952
  • A gymnasium and workshop are added to Number 9 Pearl St. to allow space for hobbies, education and recreation.

  • 1964
  • Number 9 Pearl St., now called Emily Griffith Center, relocates to 1260 Franklin St. in order to grow their influence.

  • 1970s
  • 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.

  • 1980s
  • After 53 years in Denver, Emily Griffith Center moves to 100 acre ranch in Larkspur, CO. Animal therapy is introduced to meet the increasingly complex needs of troubled children.

  • 1990s
  • The 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.

  • 2000s
  • 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.

  • 2011
  • 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.

  • 2013
  • Located in the historic Capitol Hill district, the Emily Griffith Center returns to Denver where it originally started with our founder Emily Griffith. In this location we are able to offer families a warm comfort-able environment in which to receive services through our family preservation program and conduct supervised visitations when needed.

  • 2015
  • Our community based Family Preservation services are now available in Greeley, Boulder, Grand Junction, Denver and Pueblo. On North Farragut Ave in Colorado Springs we provide residential, group home, independent living, transitional skills programs as well as a fully accredited on grounds school. What began a short term shelter is now an organization that touches the lives of over 1,500 children and their families annually.

  • 2016
  • In 2016 we opened a Transitional Skills Program 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 stduent engagement in school. Each family has access to their therapist 24/7 for crisis inter-vention as necessary.