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Childhelp is pleased to begin using Patches in our Good-Touch/Bad-Touch® personal body safety curriculum. The expressive faces allow our classroom facilitator to reinforce in a positive, age-appropriate manner the key messages vital for kids to learn. More information on Good-Touch/Bad-Touch is available at www.childhelp.org/gtbt or www.goodtouchbadtouch.com
Patches is also used by therapists working with children in Childhelp’s advocacy centers and its residential treatment centers.
Mark Publow, Vice President, Strategic Initiatives
Childhelp National Headquarters
15757 N. 78th Street
Scottsdale, Arizona, 85260
Telephone: (480) 922-8212
Fax: (480) 922-7061

While completing my pre-doctoral internship in clinical psychology at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia I was introduced to a life changing therapeutic tool, Patches the Bear. I completed a rotation with The CARE (Child Abuse Referral and Evaluation) Clinic Follow Up Program where I provided targeted and targeted therapeutic interventions with children who had been sexually abused. Their ages ranged from 3 to 16 years of age. By using Patches I was able to help children find a way to express their emotions about the traumatic event and how they were coping. An incredible bonus was being able to provide the children with their very own Patches to take with them after our treatment had ended. Patches provided a safe, fun, and effective means to help children heal from sexual abuse. Janice Keener, Psy.D.

Janice Keener, Psy.D.
Pediatric Psychology Post Doctoral Fellow
Department of Pediatric Psychology
The Children’s Hospital of Orange County
Telephone: 714-532-8482

“Kathylee presented PATCHES to the spouses of nine of our nations fallen
service members during the summer of 2008 during a week-long family retreat.
These mothers were very appreciative of the gift not only of the bear, but
the gift that will assist their children during the grief process. I watched
the children carry PATCHES all over camp during that week. It was a great
feeling to know we were working together to help children cope through the
assistance of PATCHES and Kathylee Forrester”!

Janet R. Marquis, Ph.D.
MPSC Contractor
PA NG State Youth Coordinator

As a speech/language pathologist, I loved the idea of “Patches,” an avenue for children to express their feelings. I began to use him with children who were impulsive in their actions relative to their emotions. One boy, age 4 years old, would throw the toy across the room if it did not work the way he wanted. After introducing Patches to him, he let Patches stay on the therapy table and “watch us play.” When the game did not progress as he had hoped, he took the key ring of emotions and quickly found “frustrated,” instead of throwing the toy across angrily on the floor. His impulsivity decreased.head_image_patches
Patches caused the mother of an autistic girl, age 4 and ½, to cry tears of joy in my therapy room. I told the mother the history of Patches and how I wanted to incorporate him into the play therapy situation. The mother told me that her daughter has never shown an interest in dolls, stuffed animals, or make pretend. I just knew Patches would be different. I sat Patches on my lap and cuddled him like a baby, hugging and kissing him. I brought out toy food and started to “feed” him. After watching me, the young girl took the toy food and put it to Patches’ mouth imitating the eating sound “m…” I, then, put a cup to his mouth making a “gulping/drinking” sound, and the little girl did the same. She then picked up Patches and hugged him saying “ah,” as if to comfort him. To me, this was normal play behavior, however, to the mom, this was the beginning of her daughter’s make pretend play and compassion towards another object. What a wonderful effect Patches has on those around him!!
Andrea Staffin, M.A. CCC
Speech/Language Pathologist

Hello Kathylee,

I became interested in your website and checked it out here at home. I read your biography from start to finish and cried through every word of it! I can’t begin to tell you how I feel about the wonderful things you have done for this worthy cause. There is far too much child abuse of all types in this world in which we live. I am totally fortunate to not have been a victim of such abuse as you and way too many others.

My conversation with you touched my heart deeply and I felt the need to share those feelings with you.

Thank you from my heart!

Patches is such a special bear. I remember when I was graciously gifted with his presence in our new home. He immediately became part of our family. Our boys, Winston and Kendall carried him everywhere; they were 1 and 3 years old. My husband and I were teaching them so many age appropriate things at that time: one of them on how to express their emotions in lieu of yelling, hitting and kicking one another. The faces really helped to reinforce good behavior. We actually turned it into a game by picking a face that responded to whatever emotion they were expressing. For example, if I handed them a HAPPY face…my oldest, Winston, would ask me why was I happy. I would immediately give him an answer as to why that particular behavior made me so happy. And, I would even do the same if a particular behavior made me sad. Kendall quickly got the message too. The boys really focused on my positive reinforcement of good behavior, rather than negative. Patches retired early in our home, as my boys shared him with friends and family. I think Patches got more hugs and squeezes because he was just truly loved. Thank you Patches for blessings our home.

Elbert and Carla Lee
Proud parents of Winston, 5 and Kendall 3

Philadelphia’s Children’s Hospital

Child Life Specialists Testimonials:

Samantha Palmieri MA,CCLS
Special Events Coordinator
Child Life, Education & Creative Arts Therapy
“The hospital uses PATCHES as a therapeutic tool to get kids to talk about their feelings. The bear comes with eight “emotion” faces that represent different feelings, such as happy, afraid, angry and cool. Children are encouraged to put the appropriate faces into the bear’s front cargo pocket so that it might initiate a conversation about that moment’s emotions.”
patches_img21 “When you’re younger, it’s hard to label your feelings sometimes. What PATCHES does is give us a way to educate kids about what feelings are and what emotions go along with those feelings, so kids can start to be able to label them,” said Samantha Palmieri, the special programs coordinator at the hospital.
The nurses and doctors all know that the kids have PATCHES bears. Palmieri said she tells the staff, “If she’s reticent to tell you that she’s feeling happy or sad or her pills taste yucky or she’s hopeful, you can look in PATCHES’ pocket.” And the kids really latch on to the stuffed animal, Palmieri said. “There are kids that will carry him around everywhere they go after they’re introduced to him,” she said. “There was a patient who got one a couple of years ago during initial diagnosis. Every time she came back for an appointment, she brought PATCHES with her.”

“I have had a lot of success stories about my friend Patches. One stands out in my mind…a Spanish speaking four year old was having a hard time communicating his feelings and would just throw tantrums. At times he was inconsolable. Upon explaining Patches to his parents…he began looking at Patches different feelings. He reached for “happy” and put it in Patches pocket. The patient then put “cool” in his pocket and said when he goes home he is “cool.” This continued for a few more minutes with different scenarios. The following week the parents mentioned that their son loves Patches! It is so simple for children and families to use…even those who speak a different language. Thank you for an amazing, therapeutic tool!”
-Michelle Noble, Child Life Specialist

“I love Patches. He works great for the 3-4y patients. I had a 3y patient who would not talk to me at all about anything. No matter how much I tried to get him to open up nothing would work. I decided to bring him Patches. I told him about how Patches can help him tell everyone how he is feeling. Each day I was able to ask “How is Patches feeling today?” and he would pick out the faces that matched how he was feeling each day. He was very honest about his feelings and would picked out “Afraid” and “Yucky” the first couple day and by the end he picking out “Frustrated” and “Hope” which were more advanced feelings to identify for his age. Mom commented on how great it was for him to just being able to identify how he was feeling. It was a big step for him and my only connection to understanding how he was truly feeling.”
-Andrea Obert, Child Life Specialist

“I used Patches with a 4 year old patient that was having a lot of difficulty externalizing her feelings. She had a terrible time relaying to medical staff and even her own Mom and Dad while in the Hospital what she was feeling. She just always sad mad. Once I introduced her to Patches, she quickly caught on that she wasn’t always sad but sometimes “yucky” or “angry” and what we did was to come up with plans on how we could help her feel that way and then change to a “happy” face/feeling. She now even uses emotions when she is talking to her Nurses, etc., “That medicine made me feel yucky!” I am so thankful that I had Patches to give her and I know this patient’s family was as well : )”
- Sarah Pajak, Child Life Speciliast


“A 3 year old little girl was brought into our ED for a suspected sexual abuse exam. While in the hospital, her mother had to be removed from the hospital to be admitted to a Psychiatric Institution, leaving this little girl alone. Clearly, this is a traumatic scenario in multiple ways for a 3 year old little girl. I met this child the next morning when she awoke and was alone. Upon meeting her, I knew Patches was just the friend that she needed for her hospital stay and her departure. I asked her if I could introduce her to a friend of mine named Patches, and she gleefully responded, Yes!

I brought in Patches and they were fast friends. This little girl reached out, took Patches into her arms and stated, “I am going to take good care of him.” She hugged him tight and I asked her if I could teach her a little something about Patches. I proceeded to explain the different feelings on Patches feelings cards, which this little girl carefully repeated. After we talked about each feeling, she stated, “I think he feels happy now.” I asked her why and she stated, “because I am his friend.” I agreed, he looked happy and so did she. A few minutes later, we walked to the playroom. On our walk we saw one of the ED attending physicians who was introduced to Patches. This little girl remembered every single feeling card and for the last card, hopeful, she said, “this one means he feels really sunny!” And with that, we walked with Patches hand in hand to the ambulance bay in our ED to see if the sun was shining. The sun was shining and this little girl had a new friend to hold her hand through this awful adventure. ”
- Brittany Luther, Child Life Specialist


“I had 2 patients who absolutely LOVED the patches bear along with the bracelet with emotions–it was a great way to get out of patients how they were feeling with out actually having to use their words. Patches also was a great comfort item for both patients especially because they had little/no family support. Both decided the box that patches came in could be used as his bed! We love patches!:)”
-Kelly Conlin, Child Life Specialist

Inspiring a teenager’s life (15) can be a difficult obstacle but Kathylee did not have to confront that obstacle. She has inspired me in ways unimaginable. Listening to Kathylee as she spoke at the Childhelp’s 50 anniversary truly touched me. All you hear on the media is about the war in Iraq, politics, and business but you never hear about child abuse and neglect. The world needs to know that innocent children are dying everyday. Child abuse cases are very private and personal and for Kathylee to speak out in front of hundreds and thousand about her personal life as a child inspired me.
Child abuse is a life long a scar and finding treatment is not as easy as it seems. Kathylee has kept fighting for her voice till someone was ready to listen. Kathylee started at the bottom and worked her self to the top. Patches is dedicated to helping children find their voice; I definitely found mine. Through my journey of trying to stop child abuse and neglect I’ve kept my voice strong for thousands of children, thanks to Kathylee and the others who have stuck with me. Thank you so much Kathylee.

Hebah Elhak
Annandale High School