The Sacramento Children’s Home operates the county’s only Crisis Nursery. Our mission is to prevent child abuse and neglect by providing support to families at times of crisis. The Sacramento Crisis Nursery is a family-strengthening program, where parents can bring their children ages 0-5 to one of two Sacramento nurseries for emergency childcare services or overnight care during difficult times.
- Voluntary, confidential, and free
- Childcare services provided 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
- Children are cared for in a safe, loving, and homelike environment
- Age-appropriate play and learning activities
- Crisis Intervention services and case management support for the family
- Two Crisis Nursery locations: South Sacramento & North Sacramento
- Care provided to children newborn to five (ages 0-5) residing in Sacramento County
The Sacramento Crisis Nursery is here if you need help caring for your children in tough times.
- A sudden illness or accident
- Feelings of desperation or helplessness
- Emotional distress or frustration
- Domestic violence
- Drug or alcohol treatment
- A medical or mental health situation
- Employment or housing situation
Children may stay at the nurseries for up to 30 days. Each child has their own bed and is provided with all the essentials while they stay at the Nursery. This includes clothing and shoes, diapers and formula. The nursery provides nutritious homemade meals and snacks served family-style. Scheduled age-appropriate learning activities, playtime, mealtimes, and bedtime help structure the child’s experience. The ultimate goal of our program is to keep families together and reduce the number of young children that enter into the foster care system.
The Sacramento Crisis Nursery is licensed by Community Care Licensing. We believe that children are active learners and should have the opportunity to develop to their full potential.
- A daily schedule includes age-appropriate early learning activities like numbers, letters, colors, and other basics. We build in time for arts and crafts, free time, storytime, nap time, snacks and meals
- Rooms are set up to promote age-appropriate social interactions
- Staff model appropriate behavior and use activities to help children develop social skills like empathy, cooperation, respect and kindness
- Staff encourage children to think through problems and find appropriate solutions
Case managers provide parents and caregivers with support during times of crisis or stress when their children are at the Crisis Nursery. In order to help parents manage their situation and be better able to care for their young children, the case managers develop a plan in conjunction with the parents. They also provide them with community resources and referrals to help address all of their needs. We focus our efforts on service delivery, program consultation, and innovation.
- Housing resources
- Mental health/counseling services
- Substance abuse services
- Domestic violence intervention support
- Childcare resources
- Legal services
- Parenting classes
- Employment opportunities
Case managers also help coordinate and manage medical and mental health services for children while they are at the nursery.
In addition, case managers arrange transportation services for various reasons including:
- Medical appointments
- Court dates
- Counseling sessions
- Job interviews
- Housing appointments
- Travel to and from the Nursery
Brittany called the Crisis Nursery in desperation. She came to Sacramento for a fresh start. But her housing fell through. None of Brittany’s friends in the area could take her or her two young children in. Thankfully, the Crisis Nursery gave her kids a safe, nurturing place to stay while she worked to better her situation. The kids especially enjoyed playing outside, riding in the wagon, and drawing with chalk. Brittany visited her children often while she searched for permanent childcare and a new home, spending quality time with her kids whenever she could. Meanwhile, Crisis Nursery staff put Brittany in touch with vital community resources to help her find safe, stable housing. At the end of the kids’ stay, Brittany was overjoyed to have the children come to their new home. She was ready to begin her new life in Sacramento. She thanked the Crisis Nursery staff for taking such good care of her children in her time of need.
“William & Carter”
William and 13-month-old Carter got caught in an overwhelming situation. Carter’s mother battled drug abuse and mental health issues. One day, she left Carter with William with no word. William was completely unprepared to care for a child on his own, and he knew he needed help. With no childcare or family support, he risked losing his job if he took time off to care for his son. To make matters more difficult, Carter’s mother did not leave William with any clothing, diapers, or formula. William had no idea where to turn. Thankfully, a DHA worker referred him to the Sacramento Crisis Nursery. First and foremost, the Crisis Nursery provided free, emergency childcare for Carter, allowing William to maintain his employment while securing alternative care. However, William and Carter both benefitted from Crisis Nursery services in ways they couldn’t have imagined when they first arrived. Carter could not walk or stand on his own yet, and he had difficulty communicating, which caused him to become frustrated. Crisis Nursery staff remained patient and nurturing, using a combination of words and gestures to aid communication. They gave Carter lots of floor time and appropriate walking toys to help him become more mobile, and they held his hand as they encouraged him to take his first steps. While he made great strides to better his situation, William still struggled with being a single father with no family. He confided in his Case Manager that he had been experiencing loneliness and depression. William’s Case Manager referred him to community resources, including a Family Resource Center, where he could find social support and connect with other single fathers in similar situations. Today, Carter is walking and running on his own, and he loves to sing songs with his father. William still occasionally uses the Crisis Nursery when he needs help, but his situation and his relationship with his son are much improved. Because of the Sacramento Crisis Nursery, William knows he is not alone and is able to enjoy being a father.
Crisis Nursery Sustainers Circle
To care for our community’s most vulnerable children, we rely on support from community members like you. By becoming a monthly sustainer, you empower us to provide a safe haven for children throughout the Sacramento area. You allow us to offer respite to parents during times of crisis and build strong support systems for the future. Every dollar goes directly toward giving our most vulnerable children a safe place to stay when they need it most.
We host one monthly Crisis Nursery tour that rotates between the North and South locations on the following day/time: 10 a.m. on the second Thursday of each month. As part of the tour, you will see how this vital community program provides a safe place for local children and families experiencing crisis. The Sacramento Children’s Home operates the County’s only Crisis Nursery, and the Nursery’s mission is to prevent child abuse and neglect. With COVID-19 remaining a concern, the tour will be capped at 10 reservations. Masks will be required by all tour attendees. Additionally, advance proof of full vaccination will be required. Thank you for your understanding. Please email Todd Koolakian to register for an upcoming Crisis Nursery tour.
Friends of the Crisis Nurseries
The Friends of the Crisis Nurseries is a group of long-term volunteers dedicated to maintaining the success of the Crisis Nursery, spreading awareness, and raising funds. To learn more about the Friends and how to join, click here.
First 5 Sacramento Commission partially provides funding for the Sacramento Crisis Nursery through Proposition 10 (tobacco tax) funds to support the healthy development of children ages zero to five. Additional information about the First 5 Sacramento Commission is online at www.first5sacramento.net or by calling (916) 876-5865.