The Wellbeing Wonderland at Head to Toe Therapy, Inc.

What if unique children and families no longer lived in isolation, but were empowered to turn their dreams into a reality?

Photo of Head To Toe Children's Clinic
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Founding Story: Share a story about a key experience or spark that helps the network understand why this project got started or a story about how you became inspired about the potential for this project to succeed.

Head to Toe Therapy, Inc. (H2T) opened its doors in 2010, providing a ‘Wellbeing Wonderland’ to children under the age of 12. H2T was founded by Dr. Bridget O’Brien, a mother of two children living with unique challenges. Professionally Dr. O’Brien is a Psychologist and Speech & Language Pathologist with over 30 years of experience collaborating with children and families in the public education system. Since opening its doors, H2T has become a leading provider of Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Music Therapy, and Feeding Therapy. The life-enriching interventions provided by H2T are offered in clinic-based, home-based, school-based, and community-based locations saving time, energy, and resources for families.
Children, families, and Bridget’s team have co-created H2T; turning every unique child’s dream into a reality. Children expressed that they wanted the facility to “look like Disney land and be just as fun” so they were encouraged to pick out their favorite cartoon characters from movies and books. These characters were professionally painted on every wall throughout the ‘Wellness Wonderland’, with therapists dressed as characters from their favorite movies and books.

Which categories describe you? (the answer will not be public)

  • Self-identify race, ethnicity, or origin

Website

www.headtotoeinc.com

Location: Where is your organization headquartered? [State]

  • Arizona

Location: Where is your organization headquartered? [City]

Phoenix

Location: Where is your project primarily creating impact? [State]

  • Arizona

Location: Where is your project primarily creating impact? [City]

Phoenix

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Over three quarters of families with unique children feel so isolated that it has caused anxiety, depression, and stress; robbing them of a sense of self, belonging, and purpose. Isolation prevents many parents from working, engaging in community and family activities, and presents major health concerns. A correlation between developmental disabilities and stigmatization lead to isolation.
Children are forced to remain in ‘special’ classrooms; isolated from the world. Parents/Caregivers feel as though other people judge them or stare at them when their child experiences a behavioral outburst in public. Children and families simply want to be accepted, included, and feel love. Children, Families, and H2T have partnered with other community based providers to reduce stigma, decrease isolation, and improve youth/family participation in public policy.

Head to Toe Therapy, Inc. has piloted a local level solution to the problem of isolation that many unique children and families face.  Including families in the creation and operations of the business leads to a reduction in isolation, an enhanced sense of self, and purpose filled living.  Co-creating public policy, and public programs with children and families, at the local and state level, will result in innovative and creative ways to meet the needs of every unique individual.  The piloted model has proven success throughout Maricopa County in Arizona and could be plugged into any community in the United States.  H2T has developed the following model which depicts children/families breaking out of isolation, becoming connected to H2T therapies, becoming engaged in H2T business development, engaging in other supportive skill-based workshops, developing skills, advocating, and creating wide-spread change to improve the lives of other children and families.  Self-esteem, sense of belonging, and purpose become a reality for every unique child and family.   


Is your model focused on any of the following traditionally underserved communities?

  • Communities of color
  • Children who are differently abled
  • LGBTQ or non-binary individuals
  • Low-income communities

Does your model work within any of the following sectors?

  • Child and Family Services
  • Community Development and Empowerment
  • Mental Health

Year Founded

2010

Project Stage

  • Scaling (the solution has passed the previous stages, and the next step will be growing its impact on a regional or global scale)

Example: Walk the network through a specific example of what happens when a person or group engages with your solution.

Ensuring that children grow up with a strong sense of self, purpose, and belonging is the final phase of development which provides an opportunity for every child to become a successful adult. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which appears to align with the wellness building blocks, there are multiple components that must be addressed in the development of a child. The most basic need is physiological needs (food, water, air, etc.). At H2T we provide therapies that focus on the physiological development of children to ensure that they surpass developmental milestones. The next level in the hierarchy of needs focuses on safety. Many unique children face safety and trauma obstacles because they have been stigmatized and bullied

Impact: What was the impact of your work last year? Please also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

• Over 10,000 children living with unique challenges were served on a weekly basis
• 84 parents were connected to the Regional Behavioral Health Authority: Office of Individual and Family Affairs to advocate for comprehensive behavioral health services for children living with complex needs.
• Over 200 families were supported in terms of applying for food stamps, public health insurance, and other needs.
• 27 families accompanied Head to Toe support staff throughout the year at monthly Child and Family Advisory Partnership meeting.

Organization Type

  • for-profit

Annual Budget

  • $250k - $500k

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is your solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

If this grant proposal is selected, the funds will be used by the H2T Social Outreach and Engagement Committee. This committee is made up of children, parents, and providers. The funds would be used to host a community resource fair in the western region of Maricopa County. This area does not represent many supports and services for children and families. A resource fair would connect thousands of community members to the services and support

Unique Value Proposition: How else is this problem being addressed? Are there other organizations working in the same field, and how does your project differ from these other approaches?

The problem surrounding isolation is currently being addressed by other community providers at the surface level. For example, other community providers work towards breaking isolation by bringing families together so that they may support each other. At H2T, we believe that this model is only a partial solution to the isolation problem faced by our population.

Reflect on the Field and its Future: Stepping outside of your project, what do you see as the most important or promising shifts that can advance children’s wellbeing?

One shift that appears to advance children’s wellbeing is the idea of incorporating spirituality in the workplace for businesses that serve children and families. Spirituality in the workplace emphasizes sustainability, values contribution, prizes creativity, cultivates inclusion, develops principles, and promotes vocation. If business leaders incorporated spirituality into the daily flow of the business there may be an increase in the development of innovative and cost-effective programs that promote the wellbeing of children and families.

Source: How did you hear about the Children’s Wellbeing Challenge? (the answer will not be public)

  • Changemakers.com
  • Word of mouth

Evaluation results

3 evaluations so far

1. Relevance: Does this project seem to help children (ages 0 to 12 years) develop a strong sense of self, belonging, and purpose?

5 - Yes, this is great! The project lays out a strong, compelling case for how its model nurtures children’s wellbeing. - 0%

4 - It seems like a good fit, and the model talks explicitly about children’s wellbeing. - 100%

3 - I think so. The project seems related to children’s wellbeing, but the logic is vague. - 0%

2 - Not sure. The project doesn’t have much to do with wellbeing, or it doesn’t give enough information. - 0%

1 - Nope, this project definitely doesn’t fit the challenge brief (e.g., It doesn’t help kids younger than 12, isn’t in the U.S., etc.) - 0%

2. Innovation: Does this project tackle children’s wellbeing from a new angle?

5 - I loved this! The project describes a novel model that addresses important cultural or systemic barriers. - 0%

4 - This is pretty cool. The project is addressing an important problem in a new or compelling way. - 66.7%

3 - I feel like there’s something there, but I want more details about what makes it distinctive. - 33.3%

2 - It’s a good project, but I’ve seen others like it before. - 0%

1 - It was confusing or hard to tell what it made it different. - 0%

3. Social Impact: What is this project’s potential for creating positive social impact?

5 - Lots of potential. This project is achieving impressive results, and it’s growing quickly. It could absolutely inspire changes in the ways we approach caring for kids nationally, across sectors (e.g. childcare, healthcare, education). - 0%

4 - Pretty good potential. This project demonstrates significant positive impact so far, and it could scale regionally or nationally one day and fundamentally change how a system operates (e.g. childcare, healthcare, education). - 66.7%

3 - Budding potential. This project is creating local impact, but it would take a few adjustments before it could scale. - 33.3%

2 - Some potential. This project demonstrates some initial positive impact, but it would require major changes before it could scale. - 0%

1 - Limited potential. This project has great intentions, but it looks like it does not include key drivers of a shift towards children’s wellbeing. - 0%

4. Overall, how do you feel about this idea?

5 - This idea rocked my world. It’s awesome! - 0%

4 - This idea seems really exciting. With a little more polishing, it’d be among my favorites. - 33.3%

3 - I think the idea is great, but it needs some work before it moves onto the next round. - 66.7%

2 - I liked it fine but preferred others. - 0%

1 - It didn’t make my heart beat faster. Needs significant revisions. - 0%

5. Offer some feedback. Where should this participant spend some time revising?

DEFINING THE PROBLEM. Make sure to articulate the root causes or main barriers of the social issue your project addresses. (Founding Story, Problem, Solution). - 33.3%

CLARITY OF MODEL. Make sure to mention (a.) the beneficiary, b) the main activities, and c) how those activities drive social impact. Keep it streamlined! - 100%

MARKETPLACE. Make sure to research other players in this space and articulate how this project is different. I didn’t get a complete sense of how this project compares to others. - 33.3%

IMPACT POTENTIAL. Make sure to use specific numbers to describe what your project has achieved so far! And consider how you might scale the model or its insights, through partnerships, trainings, or franchising. - 33.3%

WRITING STYLE. Try to stay concise and make it vivid. Avoid jargon. - 0%

Nothing stands out! I thought it was great. - 0%

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Photo of Christy Beighe-Byrne
Team

The H2T application is an unique one- essentially seeking to deliver comprehensive services to youth and families who may be impacted by physical, mental or social issues. At first, I was disturbed by the idea that the staff dressed up in princess and super hero costumes, but after seeing the pictures I understood that the dress aligned with the agency's theme of a wonderland. What would need more explanation is how the staff carry that "environment" (i.e. sense of wonderland) as they travel to schools, homes and the community.