Kinship House has programming partnership with Bridge Meadows, an intergenerational housing community that provides homes for elders and families who adopt foster children. The program provides safe, stable communities and Kinship House provides mental health care for some of the children who live there.
This past year, they opened their newest location in Beaverton. Hailey Bailey, is a child and family therapist at Kinship House who specializes in art therapy. She provides the support at that location. Recently, I asked her a few questions about her work with us. Meet Hailey!
1.) How many years have you been working for Kinship House?
I have been working with Kinship House for about a year and a half, and have been working in my role at Beaverton Bridge Meadows since the community opened in August 2017.
2.) What inspired you to get involved with Child and Family services/ non-profit?
As many people who work in the helping professions, my passion for this field came from my own life experiences as a child needing support, and as I discovered my career path I knew that I wanted to help children and their families feel supported, validated, and empowered. I am an art therapist by training and always wanted to work specifically with children and adolescents using art and play therapy. For children, play is their first language, and in many cases, the experiences of children in foster care have endured are beyond words. Art therapy, play therapy, and other expressive modes of therapy can help bridge this gap and help children find ways to share their stories in deep, authentic ways, all within a supportive and playful environment.
3.) Can you describe your role as a Kinship House therapist and what you do?
I work as a child and family therapist. I provide individual, family, and group therapy services to children and families in foster care, adoptive homes, guardianships, or who have otherwise experienced a lack of permanency in relation to being placed in foster care. I work with kids and their families in the therapy room using play therapy and art therapy with a focus on increasing healthy attachment, a sense of safety, and working toward processing and integrating the child’s life narrative (including trauma and reasons for being placed into care). I also provide support to families caring for foster children as well as consult with DHS caseworkers, wraparound service coordinators, teachers, and other members of the child’s support system.
4.) What does Partnering with Bridge Meadows look like? What are the unique opportunities with this partner?
My work with the Beaverton Bridge Meadows community allows me to support children, families, and elders living together in an intergenerational community. At Bridge Meadows, foster parents who plan to adopt children from foster care live alongside elders, ages 55 and older, who want to give back to their community. In this setting, elders can develop relationships with the families and help support not only the children and parents – by providing childcare, tutoring, facilitating group activities, or just connecting with the children in play – but also to support one another as elders. My role at Bridge Meadows is to help provide education about early trauma and its impacts on the developing brain as well as how we can best support the children in the community. I co-facilitate groups such as Wisdom Circle, where elders can meet and share their stories, Parent Circle, where parents can connect about their experiences of being parents, and particularly foster parents, as well as support one other, and other group activities such as an All Ages Art group. I also see children, families, and elders at Bridge Meadows individually for therapy services.
5.) Can you describe the environment and some of the fundamental features of the new Art Therapy space? What are some of the valuable new resources?
As a child and family therapist and an art therapist, it was important for the Bridge Meadows therapy space to be a container for many different needs and age groups – play therapy with very young toddlers, art therapy for all ages, a space that feels mature enough for teens to be comfortable in, as well as a space for parents and elders. The art therapy space has many elements: a variety of toys for all ages, games, and activities to help families connect, an assortment of art materials and a separate space for dedicated art therapy work, and a space for teens and adults to sit back and relax. We were able to manage to fit all of these elements into the space without it feeling too cramped or too full, which is hugely important for a space that needs to feel safe and comfortable. Many who have walked through the therapy space have commented on how serene and relaxing it feels, and how they feel a sudden urge to sit down at the art therapy table and start drawing. Perhaps the best part about the therapy space is that it is connected directly to the Bridge Meadows community building. The space was built so that therapy services can occur with privacy for families, but also so that the space can feel integrated into the community setting. My Bridge Meadows colleague, Hannah, is right next door to me in the community building and I can connect with her throughout the day. Overall, the space has been incredibly successful in its versatility while maintaining an inviting and comfortable atmosphere.
6.) Are there any developments or results you’re hoping to see in the future?
This summer we are looking forward to welcoming our second child and family therapist to the Bridge Meadows Beaverton space. This will allow us to further integrate our work with the community as well as provide more therapy services for families living in Washington County. As the community at Bridge Meadows nears its first anniversary, residents have begun settling into their roles and their lives in this community and with that we are excited for many more groups, fun events (we just had a Bridge Meadows community barbecue over the weekend!) and many more opportunities for families and elders to connect and share their stories.
7.) What do you think are the best ways that the supporters of Kinship House can contribute?
As we welcome our second therapist to the space, we are in need of additional materials to help fill the second therapy space. We have furniture, some art supplies, and toys in the space, but we could use a wider variety of art materials to allow more opportunities for creative expression in therapy in the second office. We deeply value any and all support from those who want to contribute to our mission at Kinship House and specifically at the Bridge Meadows space. One fantastic way to support our work would be to help spread the word! Bridge Meadows Beaverton has been graced with the support of some great resources in the community, including volunteers who provide childcare so that elders and families can connect, doing face-painting at community events, donating tickets to events for residents to attend together – and all of this has been made possible by the generous people surrounding us who care about the work we do. If you or someone you know might be a resource for supporting the Bridge Meadows families in ways such as these, we would love to know!
Thanks to the following donors who support our work at Bridge Meadows – Beaverton: Windermere, The Storms Family Foundation, and The Juan Young Trust. If you would like more information about our services, check out this page on our website or call 503-460-2796.
— Dennise M. Kowalczyk
Development & Communications Director