The primary purpose of the Saint Louis Crisis Nursery is to provide a safe haven for children, thereby preventing child abuse and neglect. In Missouri, despite frightening crime rates and increasing numbers of juvenile violent offenders, the home remains the most dangerous place for a child!
The Statistics below are for Calendar Year 2015.
Every Child Matters Report (pdf) Click to learn more about how critical it is to have the life-saving resources of a Crisis Nursery.
- Nationally, 2015 saw a 6% increase in the number of child abuse reports
- Nationally, there were 702,000 child victims of abuse and neglect
- 188 reports of child abuse are made daily in Missouri
- 17 children EACH DAY are confirmed as abused in Missouri
- 37 children were killed as a result of abuse in Missouri
- 84% of child abuse fatalities were age 6 or under in Missouri
- In Missouri, 6,244 children were confirmed as having been abuse, an additional 5,900 children were found to be in need of additional services to prevent abuse/neglect from occurring.
- In Missouri, more than 13,000 children were in foster care, an increase of 27% in the past five years.
- Studies have shown that the incidence of child abuse and neglect may be as much as three times greater than what is reported.
Hundreds of research studies consistently report that children who have been abused experience negative outcomes. Both short-term and long-term consequences affect children’s mental and physical health, including: impaired cognitive skills decreased educational attainment, and difficulties in social and behavioral development. In addition, the long term implications of abuse remain exceptionally high. Being abused or neglected increases the likelihood of:
- being arrested as a juvenile by 59%
- being arrested for a violent crime by 30%
- becoming homeless as an adult (10 times more likely!)
- decreased educational attainment
Child abuse and neglect touches all socioeconomic boundaries, but the primary risk factors are poverty, low educational attainment, and inability to endure stress. Lack of resources, isolation and parenting pressures add to the potential for child abuse and dysfunction in the family. In addition to providing immediate access to safe care for their children, the SLCN helps families identify and resolve “crisis-producing” situations, build self-esteem and self-reliance, enhance coping skills, and develop a solid framework of support.
Considered an evidenced-based model, Crisis Nurseries have been around for more than 30 years:
- Crisis nurseries are “a way to reduce child abuse and neglect and a necessary tool to help disadvantaged families cope effectively with stress”, Kids Count in Missouri 2009
- Utilization of crisis nurseries have “demonstrated a reduction in caregiver stress and in the incidences of child abuse and neglect among families served”, (FRIENDS National Resource Center, 2007 ).
- Crisis Nurseries are “an integral component on the continuum of services that communities can offer to families”, Missouri Children’s Trust Fund
Providing respite care to stressed parents in crisis not only prevents abuse, but provides an opportunity for early intervention in their child’s potential developmental, physical and/or behavioral concerns that, left unchecked, could progress and worsen.