“So many people have been waiting for this for a long time. Just a few weeks ago, a young man came to us who had nowhere for his two young children to go while he tried to get back on his feet. This is the only place of its kind in our area.” – Gretchen Herndon, Board Member
For over 120 years, the Noyes Home has welcomed children and teens into a loving and nurturing atmosphere.
In order to prevent infant abuse or neglect, they have open their doors to the youngest members of the family. The opening of the first Crisis Nursery in Northwest Missouri is the answer to an urgent community need, and the result of many local groups and organizations sharing the same vision and their support. Community partnerships were absolutely critical to the success of the new Crisis Nursery, demonstrating the community’s belief that the earlier intervention is provided, the greater the chances for the family to move forward. The Crisis Nursery will also reduce some of the stress on already strained assistance programs for young children, and may help reduce the need for court systems and detention systems later in life.
Why is the Nursery so Critically Needed?
- Prior to the opening of the Nursery, parents had few or no options when they needed emergency shelter or help with a healthy infant.
- If parents sought help at all during a crisis or a time of extreme stress, it was often at nearby homes that may be unsafe, or area hospitals, which are not designed to provide emergency or respite shelter to a healthy baby over a period of days or weeks.
- In 2009, the rates of infant and child mortality were higher in Buchanan County than the state average. Rates of abuse, neglect, and poverty were also above the state average.
- Without the Crisis Nursery, parents facing severe stress, an inability to care for their child due to mental or physical illness, or those who may abuse an infant have almost no options for an immediate, “no strings” safe place for their baby.
Common situations at the Crisis Nursery include:
- Parents who have mental or physical illness that prevents them from providing care for their baby for a period of time.
- Parents who need time to return to financial or emotional stability.
- If a parent fears harming or shaking their baby during times of high stress.
- In some situations, parents need to find adequate housing and prepare an environment to meet the baby’s needs.
- For some families, the ability to place their baby in the Noyes Home’s care allows them to have all of their children under one roof. Siblings can remain together at the Noyes Home while family challenges are addressed.
- The nursery offers parents in crisis the assistance and assurance that their baby begins their first months with proper nutrition, shelter, and loving care.
- In some cases, a parent needs safe, loving infant care and has no other resources. For example, a mother may need a place for her toddler or infant while she interviews for a job or relocates to a new home.
What about the parent(s)? While the infant is receiving care at the Nursery, a parent receives guidance toward solving problems like domestic abuse, unemployment, homelessness or illness. The doors are open when a parent realizes they are temporarily unable to provide a nurturing environment for their baby.
The Noyes Home Nursery Exists to Prevent Infant Abuse and Neglect in Buchanan County:
Currently, the rates of infant and child fatalities are higher in Buchanan County than other counties in the state, as is the rate of child abuse and neglect. The Noyes Home Crisis Nursery reflects the critical need for safe emergency shelter for infants and very young children.
What Kinds of Situations Occur to Bring Children to the Nursery?
Parents can call the Noyes Home Nursery day or night, seven days a week, to find out next steps for getting help. Parents can also bring an infant to the nursery without an advance call, every day of the week or at night, in cases of crisis and emergency.
Can you help? Find out more about needs at the Crisis Nursery, such as our wish list for infant care.