Crisis Nursery Protecting Children, Supporting Families

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In fall 2013, Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery returned to the Field Regina Northrop neighborhood, where it is once again located by Field School at 46th Street and 4th Avenue. This nonprofit – whose mission is to end child abuse and neglect and create strong, healthy families – provides essential services to over 2,400 children each year, serving over 700 families.

We recently talked with Joel Bergstrom, Development and Communications Director for Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery, about the many resources they provide to our community.

24-Hour Crisis Helpline

Parents in crisis can call the helpline at 763-591-0100 to access services, where a family advocate will answer to provide support to families in need. “Almost every family initiatives services through the helpline,” said Bergstrom.

Childcare

The actual Crisis Nursery itself can house up to 20 children – newborns through 6 years old – or residential care for up to three days at a time. During these stays, children receive nutritious meals, engage in playtime in the gym or playground, do crafts and activities, and get individual attention from professional child-care providers. It’s a safe, nurturing environment during a critical time.

Crisis Counseling

“When the children are being cared for in the nursery, we will work with parents to help work through whatever crisis matters they are facing,” said Bergstrom. During the intake process, a family advocate assesses how severe the crisis is and gauges adequacy of basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing, and income, and provides referrals and an action plan to stabilize the family.

Home Visitation

Through the 4th Day Home Visiting Program, master’s-level practitioners visit the homes of clients weekly for up to 18 months. The program is designed to provide intensive support for families to make long-term change. According to Bergstrom, “This is how we can really work with families, helping them knock down barriers to self sufficiency long term.”

In addition, Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery provides other important services such as Pediatric Assessment and Medical Management (PAMM) to provide medical care for children who may not have regular access to healthcare. There are also many opportunities for parents to participate in parent education sessions and to join support groups.

If you, or someone you know, encounters a family crisis, take that first step. According to Bergstrom, “If anyone feels like they could use our services, they should not hesitate to call our crisis line. Taking that risk and asking for help takes a lot of strength and courage, and we are so grateful that people do.”

The Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery Helpline is 763-591-0100. For information on how you can volunteer, see
“How you can help” and visit: www.crisisnursery.org.

You Can Help

Interested in volunteering time or resources to an organization committed to strengthening families? Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery serves Hennepin County residents – which, as Development and Communications Director Joel Bergstrom points out, “is about a quarter of our state’s population.”

Here’s what you can do. The meal and snack opportunities would be a great way
for groups of families, friends, co-workers, or faith communities to get involved
in community service.

• Make a meal! Groups of up to six can volunteer to cook a meal for the kids at
the Crisis Nursery. The time commitment is just 2.5 hours, plus grocery shopping.

• Organize a snack time. There are three healthy snack times a day for the children –
another great group opportunity. Requiring just 90 minutes, plus shopping for snacks, this is an easy place to start.

• Volunteer to assist with childcare. For deeper involvement, you can volunteer
direct service to the children. There is an application process, and training and orientation, for people wanting to help in this way. The time commitment is
3-4 hours every-other week.

• Donate. Individual donations make up a majority of the funding of Greater
Minneapolis Crisis Nursery.

Visit www.crisisnursery.org to learn more about the many ways you can help
Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery.

By Carrie Shidla

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