We are very excited to announce the consolidation of Childhaven, Renton Area Youth and Family Services (RAYS), and Art with Heart. Our three organizations are exceptionally well aligned in mission, vision, values and strategy and feel confident that together we will be able to better serve more children and families.
As you know, the needs in our community are growing, a trend that has been intensified by the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, far too many of our youngest citizens are growing up in adverse childhood environments, driven by systemic factors such as institutionalized racism and poverty that have lifelong consequences for their health and well-being. In order to address these growing challenges, we believe we all must seek out additional ways to cooperate, collaborate and even consolidate when it better serves our missions and our communities.
Our partnership with Childhaven and RAYS also means that your support for Art with Heart is going further than it ever has before! Contributions to Art with Heart are investments in the healing power of relationships, in making comprehensive care easier to access, and in making systems easier to navigate for families affected by trauma and adversity.
Childhaven, Renton Area Youth and Family Services (RAYS), and Art with Heart Merge, Sharing Powerful Model for Nonprofits Looking to Meet Skyrocketing Need for Services
Merger Allows Community-based Organizations to Consolidate Strengths, Expand Services, and Improve Outcomes for More Children and Families
SEATTLE, Wash. (June 1, 2020) — The Board of Directors at Childhaven, Renton Area Youth and Family Services (RAYS), and Art with Heart have voted unanimously to merge organizations effective June 1, 2020. The unified organization will remain focused on serving the needs of children and families affected by trauma and adversity and achieving more equitable outcomes for families and communities.
For many years, the three longstanding nonprofit organizations worked as complementary partners. Over the last couple of years, RAYS and Art with Heart began discussions with Childhaven to formalize a more efficient and effective collective approach to achieve their goals. Moving forward, this merger will better enable all three organizations to consolidate their strengths and resources, share facilities and infrastructure, and scale a more sustainable business model. The move comes at a critical time when the demand for human services is reaching unprecedented levels, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, record-setting unemployment and economic downturn.
Under this unified structure, RAYS and Art with Heart will operate as a part of the Childhaven brand, while also retaining their current names, programs and services. The goal is to create a single, powerful resource for families where they can get most, if not all, of the care needed from the blended organization’s continuum of care.
The leadership at these organizations believe strongly in the positive impact of consolidation for nonprofits facing the immense challenges created by COVID-19 and the current economic crisis. “We hope this partnership can serve as a model for other nonprofits who are open to the possibility of coming together in order to better serve more children and families,” said Jon Botten, CEO of Childhaven and the newly merged organizations. “There has never been a greater need for collaboration, cooperation and consolidation than there is today.”
“Childhaven’s vision is that all children are safe and healthy; flourishing physically, socially, emotionally, and educationally; well-nurtured by family and community,” said Dr. Megan Beers, Chief Program and Operations Officer at Childhaven. “We recognize that we will only achieve this vision by breaking down the silos and adopting a collective impact approach with strong organizations such as RAYS and Art with Heart.”
During the past three years, Childhaven has made strategic partnerships one of its top organizational priorities. “We’ve left no stone unturned, considering a variety of partnership scenarios that would ultimately lead to growing our continuum of care and improving outcomes for kids and families,” said Bareq Peshtaz, Board Chair of Childhaven. “We’re pleased to have found two forward-thinking organizations that, like us, recognize that the status quo isn’t working and understand that we can create greater synergies through partnership.”
“RAYS, for many years, has been committed to providing exceptional care to our families and clients with behavioral health needs,” said Dalen Harrison, Board Chair of RAYS. “We are excited to join with Childhaven to help them expand in our markets and to further support our ability to provide critically needed services.”
“We’re very excited about the possibilities we’ve found in our new home with Childhaven and RAYS,” said Gini Beck, Board Chair of Art with Heart. “By merging, we have increased our capacity to grow and extend the reach of our programs to help more kids, while continuing to innovate resources for communities both locally and nationally. We know this will be a partnership where Art with Heart can flourish and build toward the future, while continuing to help kids use creative expression to thrive.”
Since 1909, Childhaven has been a safe and caring place for young children and families in the Puget Sound. Childhaven’s healing-centered framework embeds relational health, trauma-informed care, racial equity, and social justice in all places in which children and families live, learn, and play. Childhaven’s mission is to partner with parents and the community to strengthen families, prevent childhood trauma, and prepare children for a lifetime of well-being.
Since 1970, RAYS provides high-quality, integrated behavioral healthcare and prevention services to children, youth and families, to restore hope for a healthier future. As a well-respected provider, we receive referrals from school teachers and counselors, the court system, and Child Protective Services. Our vision is for all youth and families in our community to have the resources, support and strength they need to recover from substance abuse, mental health issues and other serious life challenges.
About Art with Heart
Art with Heart’s mission is to bring the healing power of creative expression to kids, families and communities. Our therapeutic, creative-expression based resources, training for adults and programs support kids to effectively identify and work through their feelings, heal, and build social-emotional learning (SEL) skills. We help kids build resiliency after trauma or Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Our partners use our products, training and services nationwide in schools, pediatric hospitals, after-school programs, national nonprofit camps, and community-based organizations. Art with Heart has reached more than 200,000 kids and 4,000 adults since its inception in 1996.