As I often say, all good things that come out of the Nursery are because of our amazing team of staff and volunteers. These individuals are not only fantastic with our children, but are often the creative force responsible for many suggestions to help us better serve the children and families of our community.
In light of recent devastating events in our community our staff and board have been contemplating why the caregivers of these recent victims of child abuse and neglect never called VBCN for help. Long-term Nursery House Parent Marci approached me and suggested that perhaps if we staffed our intake office 24 hours a day more parents would turn to us in their time of need. She shared the following story about what sparked this suggestion…
“Several months ago I was contentedly rocking a baby back to sleep. It was 2 am and our phone rang. On the other end was a distressed mother saying that her two children refused to sleep, were endlessly fighting with each other, and that she was at the end of her rope. I could hear the desperation in her voice and was eager to help, but began the conversation by explaining our intake process. I said, “Our typical intake hours start at 7am–” Before I could go on to explain that we offer emergency intakes; she cut me off and said, “WHAT ARE YOU? You’re not a crisis nursery; you’re a call at 7am nursery!” She then hung up on me and I had ten minutes of agony – I hadn’t even had the opportunity to get her information. Luckily, she did call back and I was able to help her that night.” – Marci, VBCN House Parent
Up until this month, we have typically required our child care workers to pull a staff member away from their work to handle any middle of the night calls. If a family was not in an immediate crisis, we had them call at 7 am to arrange to bring their children in for care. This process worked very well for our staff, so we never questioned the need to do anything different. However, with Marci’s recent suggestion we realized we truly missed the point by trying to have our parents conform to our ability to staff. While this new change to have intake staff 24/7 is going to require a $50,000 annual increase to our budget, we know it is the right thing to do. Our staff were so supportive of this change we had multiple staff step up and offer to leave their day shift intake hours to ensure we had coverage on the graveyard shift. We truly do have amazing staff that are focused simply on what is best for the children in our community.
Please help spread the word that parents AND caregivers, can call anytime!