Fall 2023: Paula Moody

Current Position

CEO, Families First



Community Involvement

  • Ethos Classical School, Founding Board Member
  • Project Healthy Grandparents, Advisory Board Member


  • Cyclling
  • Traveling
  • Reading        

Recent Books

  • The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story (Nikole Hannah-Jones)
  • Becoming (Michelle Obama)
  • Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival, and Hope in an American City (Andrea Elliot)

Childhood Hero

  • Florence P. Warmsley (my mother)

What most people don’t know about you?

  • I am a 9th generation direct descendant of Venture Smith (Birth Name: Broteer Furro), a West African 6 year old boy who arrived in New England around 1735.  As an adult, Venture purchased his freedom and that of his family.  He documented his life in A Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Venture, a Native of Africa:  But Resident Above Sixty Years in the United States of America, Related by Himself.  His autobiography is one of the earliests known examples of an autobiographical narrative in an entirely African American literary vericas, only about a dozen left behind first-hand accounts of their experiences.


For more than 130 years, Families First has been providing empowering solutions for Atlanta’s most vulnerable population.  In 1890. Families First started as an orphanage on the Westside of Atlanta on what is now the Spelman College campus.  In 1937, Families First became the first licensed adoption agency in Georgia.  In 1964, it opened the first group home for young people in the state, and, in 1989, it developed a curriculum that more than 200 communities across the U.S. use to help divorcing parents learn how to co-parent their children.


Families First’s mission is to help families strengthen their resiliency so all children can thrive and achieve their full potential. In 2022-2023, Families First served 21,000 individual clients across its multiple programs, which include: counseling, adoption and adoption support services, teen pregnancy prevention, parenting services, foster care,  maternity group home, and intensive case management, working with families with complex challenges that impede their ability to function at their best.


Paula is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from North Carolina A&T State University and a Master of Science degree in Urban Studies as well as a Master of Social Work degree  from Southern Connecticut University.  She recently completed the Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management program at Harvard Business School. Paula originally hails from Connecticut.  Before joining Families First as the Child and Youth Permanency Director in 2013, she served as executive director of a nonprofit agency in New Haven, CT.

3340 Peachtree Rd.
Suite 1800
Atlanta, GA 30326