Encompass Blog

Reaching the Community Through Small Groups and Workshops

April 12, 2023  |  Community, Pediatric Therapy  |  By Encompass

When we talk about the features of our Child Development Center, it’s easy to get caught up in our purpose-built therapy rooms, the designated kitchen for our Nourish program, or our beautiful Imagine Serenity Garden and outdoor therapy area. While they are impressive and vital to Encompass, our large conference room serves as a multi-purpose space that allows us to reach our community in new and valuable ways through the provision of workshops and special support groups for both children and caregivers.

When the Child Development Center first opened in July 2021, we were still deep in the COVID-19 pandemic. Students had returned to a hybrid form of education that still felt lacking in any form of normalcy. For over a year, children of all ages had been deeply impacted by a lack of social opportunities that are so crucial to their development. Parents, overwhelmed by the needs of their kids, were also struggling with their own sense of loss and isolation, as well as their own changing work requirements.

Filled with compassion and a desire to help, our Pediatric Therapy team put their heads together to figure out how they could provide much-needed support to both the parents and kids in our community.

“For parents, we wanted to provide a space for them to connect with other caregivers who were in similar situations,” said Encompass Behavioral Health Director Megan Walsh. “We provided workshops and opportunities for them to explore why they parent the way they do, explore how they want to parent, and get support on how they move along that path.”

Walsh shared that they had to think outside the box about how to reach the growing number of kids who needed help.

“With a large waitlist for individual services, our therapists worked together to build a plan to offer therapeutic groups of 5-10 children at a time. This allows kids to learn and practice relationship-building skills that were greatly impacted by the pandemic and resulting social isolation. The spaces available in the Child Development Center were purpose-built to allow therapists to get creative and meet the needs of more kids at a time than possible before.”

The response has been amazing. Over the past 18 months, approximately 200 children and caregivers have participated in our support groups, workshops, and enrichment classes. Caregiver sessions are deep and varied including feeding support, mindfulness, self-worth, communication, connecting with your child, managing behavioral challenges, and more. Encompass was thrilled when we recently won the Macaroni Kid Family Favorite Award for Parenting Support specifically for our wide array of workshops and groups.

Our programs for children are equally rich, ranging from seasonal special interest camps, therapeutic music and movement classes, infant and toddler feeding groups, grief support groups, and multi-disciplinary camps incorporating behavioral health, speech, and occupational therapies. It’s been a great way to reach kids who might be on a waiting list, need some extra support, or for families who are just exploring what might help their child.

Encompass has also used this new space to provide a variety of training sessions to our community partners including monthly First Aid and CPR training for childcare providers and Snoqualmie Valley School District nurses.  We’ve hosted gatherings for our Kinship Care families and had the opportunity to host a Town Hall with King County Councilmember Sarah Perry. Internally, we appreciate the space to gather our Board for regular meetings, hold staff training sessions, and host larger team meetings.

Nearly two years since we opened the Child Development Center, the Encompass team remains endlessly grateful for the flexibility of our space to serve our community and our staff through a variety of means. What a gift for everyone!


Want to know more about our workshops, classes, and support groups? Sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of this page so you can see what’s coming up and when!

Related Posts

Comments are closed.

Thank You to Our Community Partners for Their Support

  • King County logo
  • King County Best Starts for Kids logo
  • City of Seattle logo
  • City of North Bend logo
  • City of Snoqualmie logo
  • City of Carnation logo
  • City of Sammamish logo
  • City of Issaquah logo
  • United Way logo
  • NAEYC logo
  • WA State Dept of Children Youth & Families
Back to Top