October, known to some as “Toby,” was only two-years-old when she died from abuse at the hands of her mother’s boyfriend in 2011. She endured for hours after suffering broken bones, extensive bruising and brain swelling before medical assistance was called for.
What is a crisis nursery?
A crisis nursery is a licensed facility providing short term, non-medical residential care and supervision for children under six years of age, voluntarily brought by a parent of legal guardian due to a family crisis or stressful situation for no cost childcare.
Our non-profit Crisis Nursery will offer supportive services that link parents and caregivers to community resources to build resilience and strengthen families.
It provides an option for families to leave their children in the care of safe and dedicated caregivers, offering support in times of need. Montana is one of only 11 states with no crisis nursery. While there is no income restrictions or qualifications for service to families, other crisis nurseries share that about 75% of their utilization is from families living below poverty levels.
Why does Great Falls need a crisis nursery?
Child abuse and neglect rates in Cascade County have trended up over the last 7 years. Our community very recently lost another innocent child to appalling abuse. We believe all children deserve safe, loving, and immediate shelter during a family’s crisis. Infants and toddlers are most vulnerable to child abuse and neglect, often resulting in death.
What will people use the Crisis Nursery for?
There are many reasons people utilize a crisis nursery for temporary child care or respite. Some of these include:
- There is not a safe place for a child to stay while resolving personal issues
- Someone is not capable of taking care of their child as they would like
- An important appointment but no one safe to leave a child with
- When stress and life’s problems are becoming too much to tolerate and could result in taking it out on a child or when someone feels they are losing control
- Medical emergencies where a care-giver needs immediate assistance with temporary childcare
- Mental health, substance abuse crisis
- Foster care parent respite
When will this Crisis Nursery be ready?
Our coordinator, Samantha is working to get licensing and hiring staff to open in early 2020. We know the most recent tragedy is demonstrating the need for our services.
Who is planning the Crisis Nursery?
The Board of Directors has professionals from many professional and community groups. Our Project Coordinator is Samantha Stutzman.
Where will Toby’s House be?
The house is in downtown in Great Falls, close to Gibson Park. It will allow us to host seven beds. We will post the site location when open!
How will it be funded?
We are a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization. We need your help to raise funding for staffing and operations of the nursery. We anticipate some foundation grants, but will rely on our community’s generosity to help care for innocent kids at risk.
How can I learn more? How can I help?
Call Samantha at (406) 770-3191 Email us at [email protected]
We are accepting donations of goods, services, and monetary contributions to help us fund this amazing service. We are starting applications for volunteers. Join us in our mission to prevent child abuse and neglect!