Stapp Inspires Community Spotlight-Blue Sky Bridge

When a parent’s worst nightmare becomes a reality, what do you do? Who will help your child and your family? Residents of Boulder County have an advocate in Blue Sky Bridge. We are proud to partner with this child and family advocacy center as they help families answer these tough questions. Blue Sky Bridge focuses on the prevention and intervention of child abuse with four different areas of work: child advocacy, medical treatment, therapy, and education.

Blue Sky Bridge offers a neutral and child focused environment for children who have been abused to tell their story. They coordinate with several different agencies to ensure that children and their families receive comprehensive and professional support that is needed at a critical time.  Part of keeping the environment child-focused is the facility itself. Blue Sky Bridge blends into the neighborhood with it’s home-like appearance. Waiting rooms and interview rooms look more like living rooms with toys, coloring books and crayons. The interview rooms are equipped with audio and video equipment so the appropriate agencies can have copies and the child does not have to keep retelling their story. Blue Sky Bridge is also equipped with a medical examination room so that a child’s needs can be cared for in one place.  When a child and their family enter into the therapy part of their recovery they cross an enclosed walkway to the other side of the house. This helps build familiarity and comfort to aid in healing.

 

After the interview process is done, Blue Sky Bridge assists in the healing process as well. The therapy program is available to children 3-18 years old who have participated in a forensic interview after a traumatic event. These sessions are between 30-60 minutes in length and go for 12-25 weeks. Sessions are offered at no cost to the family.  They employ Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) – an evidence-based, short-term treatment model for children and youth impacted by trauma. TF-CBT includes parents or caregivers for portions of the therapy. Research shows that TF-CBT successfully resolves a broad array of emotional and behavioral difficulties associated with single, multiple, and complex trauma experiences.

 

There is one staff member that needs recognition. Meet Marion, a two year old Golden Labrador. Marion knows 40 commands and can help reduce stress and anxiety at Blue Sky Bridge. Her most important quality is the unconditional love she provides everyone she comes in contact with. 

IMG_0819

 

 

Blue Sky Bridge also has an educational outreach program as well. Every year about 30 volunteers along with a Blue Sky Bridge staff member will go into classrooms and give presentations to third graders on the difference between a safe touch and an unsafe touch, the difference between secrets and surprises, trusted adults, and the “No, Go Tell” plan. The program consists of four 30 minute class presentations that are developmentally and age appropriate. Presenters use puppets and dolls to role play situations that children may encounter and teach practical ways for children to cope in an uncomfortable situation. During the 2017-2018 academic year, the program was in 36 schools and reached roughly 2,000 children. Blue Sky Bridge hopes to bring their message to as many schools, children, parents and teachers in the Boulder Valley and St. Vrain Valley School Districts as possible.

 

We as adults have a responsibility to keep children safe. Blue Sky Bridge has some wonderful resources for parents and caregivers in help facilitating those difficult conversations.  Colorado now has one statewide number to report suspected neglect or abuse. If you see or hear something that concerns you, please call 1.844.CO.4.KIDS (1.844.264.5437) or contact Blue Sky Bridge at 303.444.1388 or visit https://blueskybridge.org

 

Thank you to Blue Sky Bridge and all the staff who are working hard to keep the children in our community safe.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s