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35 Years of Service: St. Louis Crisis Nursery protects 125,000 children from abuse and neglect

This free-of-charge center gives children medical exams, meals and trauma-informed care

ST. LOUIS — For 35 years, a safe haven has prevented child abuse and neglect for hundreds of families.

The St. Louis Crisis Nursery helps families facing homelessness, domestic violence or overwhelming stress.

It is committed to providing emergency intervention.

Crisis Nursery can help children from birth to 12-years-old. 

Parents can receive crisis counseling, in-home visits, and parent education groups.

This free-of-charge center gives children medical exams, meals, and trauma-informed care.

Another feature it has is art and play therapy. It's a way for children to speak out.

"Our kids are coming often times after witnessing a trauma, such as a shooting or sleeping in a car," said Molly Brown, the Senior Clinical Director. "This helps our kids process, to heal from that, learn some coping skills. It’s critical for our kids' long-term success and survival."

Since 1986, it has expanded to five nursery locations and 10 outreach centers across the region.

And not even a pandemic slowed it down.

"We know in a pandemic, children need a safe place and parents need to be supported," communications director Jane Beckman said. "Our staff masked up and went to work every day. It’s just such an important job, there’s no way we could stop."

Credit: Crisis Nursery

This past year, the team made 11,000 telehealth calls to families. 

But in the midst of one crisis, our area also sees another: Children getting shot and killed.

"After there's a tragedy in our neighborhoods, it's really important for our team to be present. Our social workers are leaving yellow cards and a note with our services and to remind people we are here to help," Brown said. 

Credit: Crisis Nursery

After wrapping its arms around the community for 35 years, now there's a way for you to do the same for them.

You can donate through its Amazon Wishlist or with monetary donations. 

"Every nursery needs everything a house needs, paper towels, diapers, socks and underwear we need everything," Beckman said. 

Most importantly, Crisis Nursery wants to make sure you know they are there to help.

"The nursery has an amazing loving staff and ready to wrap around our arms around your family," Brown said.

If you or anyone you know needs help, Crisis Nursery has a 24-hour helpline at 314-768-3201.

Thirty-five years of preventing child abuse and neglect consist of:

  • 125,000 children kept safe at one of the nurseries
  • 4.8 million hours of emergency crisis care for kids
  • 63,000 families served
  • 99% of children involved with the Crisis Nursery have NO child abuse hotline report
  • 98% of the children stay with their family and do NOT have to go into foster care