Jennifer Hayden

Licensed Clinical Social Worker



I always thought I was a cat person until I got a Golden Retriever (I still love the cats, but my Golden has stolen my heart).

I am the parent of two children with Autism who are about as different from each other as they possibly could be.

I am married to my high school sweetheart.

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not. - Dr. Seuss


I believe that relationships are at the core of any effective therapy. It is important to me that the children and families I work with feel heard and respected. I am flexible in my approaches and how I deliver therapy. This allows me to be able to focus on the strengths of the child and family. I utilize interests, abilities, and passions to provide services that are engaging, comfortable, and impactful.  I believe that children and adolescents thrive best in therapy when they are allowed to express themselves in the way that is most natural for them. I utilize a blend of traditional talk therapy, art and play therapy techniques, and other active and creative interventions.  I also am very supportive of parents’ involvement in treatment to support the best outcome for the child as well as supporting parents in the hard work of parenting. I enjoy working with children and adolescents of all ages.

I have a busy house with 3 cats, a dog, a husband, and 2 children with Autism. It can be challenging, but we work hard to create a balance for our family. My youngest loves museums so you often might find us at Grand Rapids Public Museum on weekends. My husband and I are foodies and love finding great new places to eat in the area. My happy place is at the beach. While I love the ocean and visit as much as I can, I’m also lucky to live in Michigan and to be able to spend some of our glorious Michigan summer days on the beaches of Lake Michigan. I am happiest with my toes in the sand and a book in my hand.


Michigan State University, BA Psychology


Grand Valley State University , Master of Social Work



Prior to joining Developmental Enhancement, I have had experience in working with children of all ages, from infancy through young adulthood. I have provided outpatient therapy to children and adolescents in a Community Mental Health setting. I also have worked in the school setting for 16 years. I began in the school system as a home visitor for families with infants and toddlers and then transitioned to a role as a School Social Worker in middle and elementary school settings. I have had advanced training in areas such as play and art therapy, emotion regulation strategies, supporting children with Autism as well as many other trainings related to supporting children’s challenges with emotional and behavioral health. I have experience working with many concerns such as anxiety, depression, social skills, ADHD, Autism, anger management, emotional regulation, sleep challenges, behavioral concerns, adoption, and trauma.