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For Parents

'Crisis Nursery is helping me bring my family back together.' - a mother who lost her children to DCFS but with the help of Crisis Nursery they are being reunified.

Crisis Nursery creates an "Island of Safety" dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and neglect by providing
24-hour emergency care for children and support to strengthen families in crisis.

Crisis Nursery is the only emergency-based child care facility open 24 hours, 365 days a year for the entire community to access with no fees, income eligibility or waiting list. Besides safe shelter for children, ages birth through six, we also provide family support and parenting education to strengthen parent skills and confidence.  We believe that asking for help is a sign of strength. In fiscal year 2013, our Safe Children program provided 32,891 hours of crisis care and served 850 children, while our Strong Families program conducted 975 home visits.

How to use Crisis Nursery

  • Call our crisis line at 217-337-2730. A Crisis Advocate will ask you a few questions about your reasons for needing Crisis Nursery. Together, we will determine how to use our services to best help your family. 
  • All appropriate requests for child care are accepted and prioritized based upon need.  If space is not immediately available, we will schedule an alternate time for you to bring your children to Crisis Nursery. 
  • Upon arrival, a Crisis Advocate will access your situation in a confidential and non-judgmental manner. With you, we will determine how long your children will need to stay at the Nursery. This also is an opportunity for us to refer you to other community services that may be beneficial for you and your family.  
  • During intake, we will ask for pertinent information about how to best care for your children during their stay. This will include a brief medical history, special dietary needs, or any other special needs your children might have. 
  • A Children’s Specialist or volunteer will help your children get settled at Crisis Nursery. Our staff and trained volunteers will give the children the nurturing care that will make their stay at Crisis Nursery a fun and relaxing experience. 
  • Remember, Crisis Nursery is open 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us anytime at 217-337-2730.

To read stories about various reasons families use the Nursery, check out our Family Stories.