Childhaven’s Dr. Jim Wright set to retire

Dr. Jim Wright (contributed)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Childhaven Board of Directors and Executive Director Dr. Jim Wright have announced Wright’s plans to retire at the end of 2020.  Wright will have served just over 27 years at Childhaven when his retirement is official, making him Childhaven’s longest-serving executive director.

During Wright’s tenure, two new homes- the Smith and Willingham Cottages- have been constructed.  New programs have begun, including the second pregnant and parenting teen program in the state of Alabama (The Genesis Project), the Transitional Living and Independent Living Programs which serve older youth ages 18 – 21 preparing them for life beyond foster care, and our Intensive In-Home Services Program (Family Partners)  providing family preservation and reunification services to high risk families.  Family Partners is a collaborative effort involving three partner agencies working with high-risk families in 11 north Alabama counties.  This is the most recent of several collaborative efforts that have been developed during Wright’s tenure.

The number of lives touched each day through the various programs that make up the ministry of Childhaven has grown at least threefold.  Renovations have been completed across the campus, including  the historic Brock Center. Wright credits the steady and stable leadership of the board of directors, a very dedicated and competent staff, and loyal partners / donors for the progress that has been made over these decades of ministry.

Throughout his career, Wright has been involved in the local community as well as with statewide and national professional organizations. He has been an active Rotarian since the mid-1990s.  He has served on numerous boards including the Cullman City Schools Foundation, Cullman Caring for Kids and Family Life Missions (operates a children’s home in Honduras.)  He was appointed to the Governor’s Data Oversight Committee for the Department of Human Resources, has served as president of the local Cullman Co. DHR Quality Assurance Committee, and has served as an elder in his home church.  Wright has served as president and board member of the Alabama Association of Child Care Agencies and has served as president and board member of Network 1:27, a national association of Christian child welfare and family service agencies.

When the next Childhaven executive director takes office, Wright will assume Emeritus status and work in a consulting role until the end of the year.