Safe Passage

Start Date: 03/04/2022


Safe Passage called earlier in the week to reschedule our visit from Wednesday, 2 Mar, to Friday 4 March due to multiple clients to be interviewed today. We were happy to accommodate.
Willow and I arrived at 0815 for our 0830 appointment. Right after our arrival the first family appointment (mother, father and two girls ages 5 and 3) arrived. We greeted each other in the main lobby and the two girls came right over to Willow as we explained we were there to visit with them this morning. The girls were very excited to hear that. All of us entered the playroom area and the, very excited and loud sisters, immediately set off to play with all the toys and features of the room, returning to Willow to say "HI" and to give her a pet frequently. The parents were very engaging and very interested in Willow and her calm demeanor. Both the mother and father left the room for their interview. About 20 minutes later the counselor came to take the older girl back for her interview. Initially, she did not want to go to talk to anyone but was promised that she would come right back and would be able to continue to play.
Another family joined us for their appointment time in the playroom. A very quiet 7 year old boy and his mother. They were introduced to Willow and the other younger sister in the room, then left to another area in the room to play with his mother.
While the older girl was gone the younger sister and I played with Willow and colored at the table until her sister returned. When the older sister returned, the younger girl left for the interview. We sat at the table and colored. I noticed that the older girl, who was very chatty and excitable before her interview, was very quiet and subdued. We continued to color at the table with the room volunteer in silence. The child then proclaimed, " I talked to them about XXXX, and let them know how mean he is to me"? There was immediately an awkward moment of silence and both the room volunteer and I looked at each other to find some words to reply and not totally ignore the child. I immediately redirected her to Willow and asked her if she would like to see the tricks that Willow can do, she was eager to watch and awkward moment diverted and she did not speak of her discussion with the counselor again. Her focus was now back on Willow and not her interview.

The older male child then joined us at the table playing with Willow and coloring and playing games with us while his mom was in an interview. The next family, (mom, dad, and two additional 3 year old twins came into the room for their appointment the same time the younger of the girls arrived back as well. There were now five children with the room volunteer, Willow and I, and the parents of the two new children in the room. The two newer children were very quiet and stuck with each other. They had a hard time when the parents left the room but the other three children welcomed the new twins to the table to play, but they were happy by themselves with the room volunteer, while Willow and I entertained the other three.

Eventually the first family to arrive with the two girls, and the mother and her 7 year old son departed the facility. The parents of the twins returned and stayed in the room while the twins played together with the toys for a short time. They were also very engaged with Willow and learning her history and the work we do.

Another successful and enriching HOPE visit for the children and the parents of the children. Many of the facilities staff came in the room through out the visits to engage with us and to meet Willow. All were grateful for our visits and assistance to their clients.

Agency: Safe Passage