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Local History

Area's First Crisis Nursery Opens

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/areasfirst_1499.mp3

Beginning today, parents who are in a crisis situation will have a safe place to leave their children while they seek help in resolving the crisis. KSMU's Missy Shelton takes us on a tour of Isabel's House, the area's first crisis nursery.

Isabel's House is a brick structure that from the outside looks like a really large house. It's located just west of the intersection of Scenic and Bennett in Springfield. For some children, it will be their home away from home for anywhere from a few hours to 30 days. It's a place where parents can place their children while they deal with crisis situations like domestic violence, the loss of a job or home or a medical emergency. Experts say crisis nurseries are a valuable tool for preventing child abuse. Sherri Eldred is the House Manager. She took me on a tour of the facility. We begin just inside the front door.

In fact, as you walk through the facility, the entire place feels warm and receptive...complete with framed tiles painted by donors who helped fund the project and kid-friendly murals.

Just past the reception area, we find a set of offices where families talk with staff about the circumstances that led them to Isabel's House.

Providing quality care to children and assisting parents in resolving their crisis are the goals of Isabel's House. After the initial interview, Eldred says parents see the rooms where their children will stay.

There's also a library with computers, a play area with books and toys, a dining room and kitchen.

Eldred says she wants parents to feel comfortable leaving their children here. She says there is a real need in Springfield for Isabel's House.

Eldred says parents need to feel good about their decision to place their children at Isabel's House. She says it gives parents a chance to recover when their financial, physical and/or emotional resources are depleted.