Richmond, Virginia

Our Story

ChildSavers is the only nonprofit in Virginia using a coordinated prevention and intervention model to prepare children for lifelong learning, address mental health, and recover from trauma.

Nearly 100 years ago, ChildSavers was established as the Children’s Memorial Clinic in memory of Dr. McGuire Newton, one of Richmond’s first pediatricians. Martha Patteson Bowie (Mrs. Melville C.) Branch connected concerned citizens to create an innovative agency “for the purpose of giving complete physical and mental examinations, free of charge, to all children who may need the same.”

We were one of the first ten child guidance clinics in the United States, and the first in the South, and we are the oldest provider of mental health services for children in the metro Richmond area licensed by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. As our knowledge grows and the community changes, we adopt new models and best practices to meet the needs of children.

Children’s Mental Health Services

Toxic stress occurs in a child’s life when they experience four or more traumatic events. Our mental health clients experience an average of six before turning 18. ChildSavers provides trauma-informed therapy for children in the Greater Richmond area.

In addition to in-person therapy, we are now offering teletherapy during COVID-19.

Child Development Services

90% of our brain develops before age five, which is why quality early child care and education for all children is crucial. We work to prevent childhood trauma and ensure thousands of children have access to quality early care. We do this through our six Child Development Services programs:

Trauma and Resilience Training

Trauma creates changes to our biology, our genetics and epigenetics, our behavior, and ultimately a myriad of lifetime health outcomes. Looking through a trauma-informed lens allows us to have effective interventions to help individuals reach their full potential.

ChildSavers offers a multitude of trauma training opportunities for organizations, businesses, and community leaders. Our Director of Mental Health and Lead Trauma and Resilience Educator, John Richardson-Lauve, LCSW, is available to train in Richmond or around the US.

We are a community-supported nonprofit governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. ChildSavers is licensed by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Services and accredited by the Council on Accreditation for Child and Family Services. We are members of the national child advocacy organization, Alliance for Families and we are the Central Virginia Child Care Aware and Virginia Quality agency.


ChildSavers guides our community’s children through life’s critical moments with trauma-informed mental health and child development services.


ChildSavers guides our community’s children through life’s critical moments with trauma-informed mental health and child development services.


ChildSavers believes that all children can be safe, happy, healthy, and ready to learn.

Statement of Shared Values


We believe that quality of service is defined by the strength of our relationships. We will build strong positive relationships on a foundation of mutual respect, open communication, and collaboration with each other, our children, families, providers, community partners, volunteers, and contributors.


We believe that the services we provide are strengthened by respecting and nurturing our differences.  We will honor the diversity of the people and organizations we serve by striving to understand, respect, and accept our differences.  We will honor diversity of opinion, background, belief, culture, race, and ethnicity in all aspects of service delivery, management, and organizational leadership.


We believe that it is a primary and essential responsibility of each person in this organization to conduct him or herself with personal honesty.  Integrity nurtures trust: trust of each other, trust that we will follow this statement of values, trust that our children and providers have for the organization. Trust is the key to our success.  We will strive to be honest with ourselves, tell the truth to each other, be transparent in our decision making, and prioritize making progress over who receives the credit.


We believe that our work gives people the opportunity to improve their lives. Through the professional development services our organization offers, we help providers achieve a higher quality of care and a higher quality of life. The mission inspires us to be passionate about our work. We will always do our best in the most creative, resourceful, energetic, thoughtful, and compassionate way possible.


We believe that we have an obligation to ourselves, to the organization, to our clients, and to the community to provide services that produce tangible, significant results.  We are all stewards of the resources of the organization and have the responsibility for using those resources to achieve the most effective outcomes.  We will use the best available knowledge and information, develop the best of our abilities and skills, and hold ourselves and each other accountable to make the greatest impact possible.  We will measure and openly report on our results.