Michael and his four younger brother and sisters watched in fear their father beat his mother. There was a lot of yelling and screaming. The next door neighbors heard the fighting and called the police. Michael watched the officers arrest his father and take his mother away in an ambulance.
There was no one to watch the children, so the officers took them to the Crisis Nursery. Michael was only 5 years old and very emotionally upset. All the children had been through such a traumatic time that they couldn’t eat or sleep. Michael’s mother had to be hospitalized for a week, so arrangements were made for the children to stay at the Crisis Nursery until she was released.
During that time, the nurse gave the children an initial health screening to make sure they were physically okay. They had arrived with only the clothes they wore, so the children were given clothing, socks, and shoes to wear and there were plenty of toys and activities to keep them busy.
The Nursery staff notified the school to let the teachers know the children were safe. As the days went by, the children began to calm down and become accustomed to the reassuring routine of the Nursery. The staff worked to keep the Nursery as calm as possible, and provided the extra care and attention that the children needed.
When Michael’s mother was released from the hospital, Michael and the children were able to return home. The Crisis Nursery outreach worker helped Michael’s mother to locate additional support services in the community, and also worked with her to help her find a job. The children returned to the Nursery several more times for short visits to give their mom a chance to catch up on her rest and to aid her recovery.
“At bedtime, Michael’s favorite thing to do was to pick out a different quilt each night, usually with cartoon characters on it, for his bed in the Nursery.” –Crisis Nursery Staff