KOOTASCA Community Action strives to improve the lives of Itasca County residents by providing a variety of services, including a Crisis Nursery.
Every 20 minutes a child is reported abused or neglected and 85% of child abuse can be prevented. Parenting today can be a greater challenge than in years past. Few families are multi-generational and not every family has a reliable support system to provide respite in times of stress or crisis. There are times when children need a safe place to stay while a parent takes time to get help during a work or marital related crisis or if there are mental or physical health issues within the family. At these times, a break from the responsibilities of parenting, even for a few hours, may allow a parent to have time to do things that will keep them in control.
The Itasca Area Crisis Nursery was started in 1995 to meet the needs of parents in crisis. It is run by caring staff and volunteers to help families work through their parenting challenges and focus on a solution. It is a parent initiated, confidential, non-judgmental program for parents needing short-term child care during a crisis or stressful time. Child care is provided for up to 48 hours at a time through a 24 hour crisis line. The program is open to families with infants and children up to 12 years of age throughout Itasca County area. Services are free of charge and there are no income guidelines. Care is provided around-the-clock at one of many licensed family homes throughout the Itasca County area. Staff are available when the parents need someone to talk to, need a break from their children, or need referrals for resources to manage a situation. Parents remain in control of their children at all times.
The Crisis Nursery is an effective program that provides a safe environment for children, while their parents access the support and resources they need during an emergency or short-term crisis. Preventing child abuse and neglect is critical to protecting Minnesota’s children and minimizing the costs of long term intervention for crime, corrections, truancy, hospitalization, special education and mental health care.