The SAINT LOUIS CRISIS NURSERY (SLCN) is an independent, not-for-profit agency funded by donations and committed to preventing child abuse and neglect by providing short-term, emergency shelter for children, birth through age 12, whose families are faced with emergencies or who are in crisis.
Founded in 1986, the Saint Louis Crisis Nursery has become a cornerstone in the fight against child abuse and neglect. In addition to the direct care of the children, the Crisis Nursery gives ongoing support and follow-up care to families and serves as a child/family advocate within the social services system.
Families may voluntarily bring their children to any of the Nursery sites for a variety of reasons, including:
- Overwhelming parental stress
- Parental or sibling illness or death
- Lack of utilities, food or shelter
- Domestic violence
- Other emergency situations which jeopardize the safety and well-being of the child and necessitate temporary parent-child separation.
The average stay of a child is two to three days. During his or her stay at the Crisis Nursery, each child receives:
24 hour care by trained, loving staff and volunteers +Provide individual attention to children who are coming from a stressful environment and need 24-hour care.
A medical exam +Detect previously undiagnosed or untreated medical problems.
A developmental assessment +Targets children from 6 months to 6 years, helping to identify any developmental delays.
Therapeutic activities developed for each child's specific situation and needs +Helps children who are dealing with life-altering situations (i.e., death of a family member, homelessness, witnessing abuse/death, divorce, new sibling, etc.).
Art activities +Help children with self-expression and are used as therapeutic tools to assist children in dealing with traumatic situations.
3 well-balanced meals and 3 snacks each day +Ensure that the children get proper nutrition while at the Nursery
In addition, each family receives:
24-Hour Helpline- manned by trained professional staff, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, literally saving lives when parents reach out for help:
Immediate Access +
Resource referrals +
Family Empowerment Services: provided by Master’s level staff who provide crisis counseling and strength-based interventions:
- Community Outreach Visits
- Parent Education Groups
- Emergency Fund
Intensive home-based crisis interventions and skill development in the home to see firsthand the dynamics of the household.
Teaching critical parenting skills and basic child development issues; topics include appropriate discipline, budgeting, and job preparedness skills.
For families enrolled in the Crisis Nursery FEP Program, the Crisis Nursery has a limited emergency fund available to help families with the necessities of life (i.e., housing, utilities, food, and medicine).
The staff, volunteers and Board of Directors of the Saint Louis Crisis Nursery understand that families entrust their most precious possessions to us. Nursery personnel take this responsibility very seriously. They demonstrate their commitment and dedication by devoting their time, effort and their hearts to the youngsters in their care. Through the many wonderful programs and outreach services that the Nursery provides, children and families in the Greater St. Louis Metropolitan area have a place to turn while coping with the incredible complexities and stresses of life.