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Agency - Bay Area Crisis Nursery


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Bay Area Crisis Nursery
Last updated on May 28, 2014

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The Bay Area Crisis Nursery's mission is child abuse prevention. The purpose of the Bay Area Crisis Nursery is to prevent abuse and neglect of young children by providing support to families who are under stress or in crisis.

Description:
The Bay Area Crisis Nursery (BACN) provides residential care for children birth through age eleven while their parents deal with a crisis (homelessness, illness, domestic violence, drugs or alcohol, etc.) or stress from parenting.

We accomplish our mission by providing a safe haven for children whose parents care but temporarily can't cope. The Bay Area Crisis Nursery (BACN) is the only free, confidential program in the San Francisco Bay Area where parents voluntarily place their children in short-term residential care. Rather than treat a child after abuse occurs BACN focuses on stopping child abuse before it starts. The Bay Area Crisis Nursery provides 24-hour residential care for children birth through age eleven in a warm, safe, loving and homelike environment. Besides a safe and caring place to live, children receive three meals a day plus snacks. Clothing is provided.

BACN's staff assesses and evaluates the children's socialization and activities of daily living (ADL). Through play we assist the children in developing gross and fine motor skills. By modeling positive behaviors in a structured environment we improve the children's social skills. For example, older children set and clear the table for dinner - the staff member eats with the children, modeling table manners and engaging the children in positive conversation.

Equally important with keeping the children safe is what happens to the family. The parent, freed from childcare responsibilities, is able to focus on the problem and its solutions and can make more efficient use of other services. The parent helps to develop an action plan and receives individualized referrals to Bay Area agencies that provide specialized services such as housing, substance abuse treatment, counseling, etc. Case management occurs every time the parent calls or comes in. Staff ask questions about how appointments, meetings, trainings, etc. went and update the plan as needed. A Client Outreach Coordinator works with parents who have multiple issues or difficulty accessing services. We measure our success by the family's success - completing the steps in their family plan, resolving the immediate crisis, alleviating stress, etc.

BACN facilitates long-term, positive change in families as illustrated by the following real-life example. In early 2008 we assisted a family with multiple problems - unsafe living conditions due to mold, loss of income due to job loss and tripling of mortgage payment, illness requiring surgery but no medical coverage, child failing in school. The children were admitted by the parents due to the mold and other unsafe living conditions. Working with other organizations, the problems were alleviated or mitigated - a faith community paid for repairs, a mortgage broker refinanced into a workable loan, the school district assessed the child and found treatable learning disabilities.

All that remained was for the parents to marry and the mother to get on the father's insurance so she could have surgery. In order to do this in the necessary timeframe, they needed $100 to expedite requesting and receiving the birth certificates from another state. BACN gave them $100 from our Special Needs Fund for clients.

In December 2008 the mother knocked on our door with tears in her eyes and a $100 bill. She said "I know the money was not a loan, but I wanted to pay it back so another family will have the opportunity we had."

History:
Sister Ann Weltz, of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, established the Bay Area Crisis Nursery (BACN) in July of 1981. Sister Ann had taught in Catholic schools in the Bay Area for ten years. In 1976, while in Arizona, she became Assistant Director at a crisis nursery operated by a nun. Because there were no other crisis nurseries in the Bay Area offering free, voluntary, and confidential services, Sister Ann raised $300,000 in donations and loans to open the doors to the Bay Area Crisis Nursery. After twenty-three years, we are still the only crisis nursery in the Bay Area. The Bay Area Crisis Nursery has had over 19,000 admissions, counting both crisis and respite admissions. In 2008 there were 1086 admissions.

BACN operates solely on donations from individuals, corporations, the faith community, clubs/organizations and private foundations and on income raised through several fundraising events each year. BACN does not seek government funding. We require funding for ongoing operations, capital and non-capital expenses. . In the year 2007, individuals contributed 38.8% of our funding, private foundations and grants 25.2%, fundraising events 13.3%, corporations/businesses 8.0%, clubs/organizations 7.9% and faith communities 3.1%. Other income (3.7%) included interest, gains/losses on investments and in-kind donations.

Expansion Project: Our Expansion Project, begun in 1998, had three primary goals: 1) Expand our current facilities to provide adequate storage, office and training space for all programs; 2) Establish two group homes for older children and 3) Relocate and restructure the transitional housing program for women and children from shared living to individual units with an emphasis on teaching independent living skills.

In April 2000 we opened the "Don and Mary Mitchell Family Center". This building, located next door to the current Nursery site, provides meeting rooms, offices and storage space. Staff and volunteer training sessions, parent activities and special events, such as holiday gift wrapping, are held here.

In July 2003 Dahlstrom House began admitting children six through eleven years old. Since only six children can stay at Dahlstrom House, we will need to find another house in the neighborhood in order to open a second home for older children.

In September 2006, the old nursery for children birth through age five was torn down in 14 minutes and in 20 days a new nursery was built! Dubbed "The Miracle Makeover", the home was completely designed for the children and all labor and materials were donated. Over 1000 volunteers and over 150 businesses participated.

Future plans include the purchase of a six to eight unit apartment building to re-establish transitional housing in individual units with training in independent living skills.


Contact person: Lori McGahey, Volunteer Coordinator, (phone), (email)


Office fax number: 925-689-5815

Address:

 1506 Mendocino Dr.
Concord, CA 94521
(See a map)

Web Site: http://www.bacn.info
Last updated on May 28, 2014

Volunteer Reflections    Post Your Own!

Bay Area Crisis Nursery 5 Overall Experience    Experience rating
Most meaningful volunteer experience for me

 Working at the Bay Area Crisis Nursery had the most meaning for me. The Bay Area Crisis Nursery provides residential care for children birth through age eleven while their parents deal with a crisis (homelessness, illness, domestic violence, drugs or alcohol, etc.) or stress from parenting. Through play, I assisted the children in developing gross and fine motor skills. I helped improve the children's social skills. For example, older children set and clear the table for dinner. I would eat with the children, engaging the children in positive conversations.
posted by alexlowen on October 25, 2004
 
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