Welcome to the Saint Louis Crisis Nursery’s Blog!
On this blog we will share real stories from the Crisis Nursery—from staff, volunteers, families, and many others—that show how the Nursery prevents child abuse and neglect, helps build strong families and benefits the greater St. Louis area. Every. Single. Day.
We will also feature articles from the Masters Level Social Workers and Counselors on our staff. They will, for example, offer valuable advice on helping children through tough times, how to discuss sensitive issues with children, and ways to help children grow and thrive.
For those of you not familiar with the Saint Louis Crisis Nursery:
The Saint Louis Crisis Nursery is committed to preventing child abuse and neglect.
The Crisis Nursery provides a short-term, safe haven for almost 6,500 children a year, birth through age 12, whose families face an emergency caused by illness, homelessness, domestic violence, or overwhelming parental stress. Providing respite care to stressed parents in crisis can prevent child abuse.
Parents bring children to one of five Nursery sites for 24 to 72 hours free of charge and on a voluntary basis. While there the children receive a medical exam, nutritious meals, trauma-informed care, and take-home necessities. Parents receive crisis counseling, in-home visits, and parent education groups at one of ten outreach centers. The Crisis Nursery provides care 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, serving families throughout the greater St. Louis, St. Charles, Southern Illinois and surrounding regions. The Crisis Nursery is an independent, not-for-profit agency.
In 32 years we have served over 114,000 children.
We look forward to sharing our stories with you!
Every now and then, we hear a story that makes us cry, but also...
...reminds us that there is good in the world.
Something that is tragic and sad, but also uplifting, and life-affirming.
Last month, the Crisis Nursery learned about Baby Lucas. Lucas was born on June 8, 2018, with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) and double outlet right ventricle (DORV) condition, two congenital heart defects that would ultimately prove fatal. While his life was unfairly cut short at just five months, during his time on earth he brought love and light to all that knew him, including everyone at the children's hospital who aided his fight to survive.
He, like all of our kiddos, helps us remember how innocent and precious children are...and that we have a sacred duty to keep them safe and healthy.
But the story doesn't end there.
Read more: Baby Lucas
March is Women’s History Month, so we want to take this opportunity to recognize some of the women who have been so important in the history of the Saint Louis Crisis Nursery.
Today we want to tell you about Fran Pieper.
Since 1976 Fran has worked diligently to help children who have been neglected or abused, and women who have survived sexual abuse or domestic violence. That is over four decades of tirelessly fighting to make sure women and children are safe. She is a true champion for mothers and babies.
Read more: Fran Pieper, Crisis Nursery's Angel
On a chilly fall evening, Monica, a staff member at the Crisis Nursery, answered the door to find a young mother holding her crying infant son. The mother, Janelle, asked if the Nursery would be able to help her out with some diapers and formula for the baby. Due to the temperature and Janelle’s lack of a jacket, Monica invited her in. While Monica gathered items for Janelle, the baby continued to cry. Monica offered to fix a bottle for the little boy, and Janelle accepted.
Monica sat with Janelle while the baby was fed and asked Janelle if she, herself had had anything to eat that day. At first, Janelle simply told Monica that she was fine, but after a few more minutes, explained that she could use a snack. Instead of grabbing just a snack for Janelle, Monica fixed her a full dinner. While Janelle ate, another staff member gave the baby, now happily full, a warm bath and dressed him in fleece footie pajamas, which instantly soothed him to sleep.
Read more: Janelle's Baby Boy
We could not let Women’s History Month pass without taking the opportunity to recognize some of the women who have been so important to the Saint Louis Crisis Nursery.
Today we would like you to meet Dr. Nanci Bobrow.
In 1986, Dr. Bobrow was seeing children victims of sexual abuse and the non-offending spouses in her role as a Psychologist. It was heart-wrenching therapy. Dr. Bobrow says, “I would go to court as an expert witness Psychologist, and in one especially awful case, after testifying as to what the children had told me, drawn for me, and cried about with me, the jury awarded custody of the children to the father/abuser. There were many other sad stories, and I was angry for much of the time, at the system especially. I thought that this was not the way this should be - PREVENTION of this scourge of child abuse was what was needed.”
Read more: Meet Dr. Nanci Bobrow
Sarah was a new mom and Ashley, her baby, wouldn’t stop crying. For days, Ashley had been inconsolable. Sarah was sleep-deprived, upset, scared, and completely stressed out. She tried everything she could to make Ashley feel better, but nothing worked.
With no support from family or friends, she was at the end of her rope.
At 2:00 a.m. the phone rang at Crisis Nursery. The Intake Counselor, Natalie, answered and heard a woman sobbing. She could hear a baby crying in the background. Natalie’s calming words and understanding tone eventually quieted Sarah, and Natalie was able to find out what was going on.
Because Sarah did not own a car, Natalie had a cab bring her and the baby to the Nursery as quickly as possible.
Read more: Sarah's Story