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Maryville Crisis Nursery plays critical role in keeping children safe in Cook and Lake counties

Arielle Brown was only 19 when she had her daughter Ava. She was alone, homeless and suffered from postpartum depression when she decided to walk away from the cycle of abuse she experienced growing up and in the hands of Ava’s father.

“I was in a crazy situation and I had no one to watch Ava when I had to go to court to file for an order of protection from her father,” Brown said. “It was my saving grace to have found the Maryville Crisis Nursery at the time that I did.”

Brown said Ava was very young when she learned about the Maryville Crisis Nursery. “It saved my life when I needed help,” she said. “The staff were very kind to me and Ava, there was no judgment, it is so clean and accommodating to babies.”

Brown used the Maryville Crisis Nursery twice as her daughter was growing up. She said she had no problem leaving her at the Nursery because she trusted the people there. “I feel safe and it’s totally different from anything that I have experienced after living in more than 20 transitional homes.” Brown said.

The Maryville Crisis Nursery, the only crisis nursery in Cook and Lake counties, is happy to hear success stories like Brown’s as it spreads awareness to help keep children safe.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and the work of the Maryville staff and programs, and the critical role they play in reducing the risk of child maltreatment are recognized.

“When you are thinking about young children and the things that they see and the things that they hear, we all know that there are times where it’s not in the best interest of the children to be around those environments,” said Amy Kendal, Maryville Crisis Nursery director. “So let them be in a place like the Crisis Nursery while the parents, guardians and other community members attend to the things that they need to do so that they can really embrace their children and move forward and be the best that they can be.”

Through its work with caregivers and the children in its care, the Maryville Crisis Nursery provides critical support to prevent the maltreatment of children. Its FY 2020 numbers further tell the story.

Child Care Services:        

872 children and their families served

38,998 hours of crisis care services

5,523 healthy meals enjoyed

Helpline Services to Families in Need:

1,169 Crisis Helpline calls

12,799 Crisis Helpline minutes

1,142 Referrals to Community Resources

Caregiver Impact:

85.6% of parents reported a decrease in their stress level

92.3% of parents reported improvement in parenting

94.2% of parents reported a reduced risk of child maltreatment

“When put in the correct context, these numbers provide insight into the Crisis Nursery, its work and its impact on the community’s effort to reduce child maltreatment,” said Adam Avrushin, Maryville’s Department of Strategic Performance director. “We cannot only provide a few stories from caregivers about their experience with the Crisis Nursery, we can show them with the numbers that we used to measure our impact.”

The Maryville Crisis Nursery opened its doors in July 2006 and serves children ages birth to 6. It offers free year-round services 24/7 for parents experiencing an emergency or a crisis such as homelessness, domestic violence, medical issues, unemployment, poverty or parental stress. Parents or caregivers can call the 24-hour Crisis Helpline at 773-205-3637.

For more information on the Maryville Crisis Nursery, visit www.maryvilleacademy.org

Daily Herald online version (posted 04/14/21) – https://bit.ly/2Q8QtdY

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