As individuals and as a community, we are all feeling the upheaval that the COVID-19 pandemic is causing. Sheltering in place will help flatten the curve and save lives, but it has also placed vulnerable children out of site and at an increased risk of abuse and neglect.
“When families experience high levels of stress, it is associated with increases in child abuse and neglect,” said Yolo Crisis Nursery Executive Director, Heather Sleuter. “At the Nursery, we are seeing more clients experiencing domestic violence, substance abuse, post-partum depression, mental illness, and other serious situations as a result of the pandemic. We also have parents with essential positions in desperate need of quality childcare for their children.
The 2020 California Children’s Report Card states that 500,000 babies are born each year in California with two in three born into low-income households. With low-income families hit especially hard by the pandemic, there are more families in need.
The Yolo Crisis Nursery offers voluntary and free childcare to families in crisis 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. Recently, the Nursery has seen a 120 percent increase in the number of care packages we are distributing to parents in our community. These care packages provide childcare essentials such as diapers, formula, wipes, and clothing to families in need. Now more than ever, it is important that we recognize and guide those who might need extra assistance to the help they need. If you or someone you know needs help caring for their child, please call 530-758-6680.
Yolo County is filled with generous and compassionate people, and together we all do make a difference. The Yolo Crisis Nursery is participating in the Travis Credit Union Foundation COVID-19 Relief Initiative to help raise much-needed funds to help more children and families impacted by the pandemic. Won’t you join us?
Every dollar donated up to $20,000 by Sept. 30 will unlock a dollar-for-dollar matching gift from the Travis Credit Union Foundation for a possible total donation to the Nursery of $40,000! Gifts of any amount are welcome. A $100 donation provides a safe stay for a child in crisis. Our goal is to raise $20,000 in donations, resulting in a total donation of $40,000 to provide 400 safe stays for children in crisis. This is a fantastic opportunity to double the reach of your donation to help more children in their time of need.
Won’t you join us to invest in our future, improve our community, and to save a child? To unlock the matching gift, all donations must go through the Travis Credit Union Foundation. Please visit www.tcufund.org/waystogive to donate online or for instructions on how to donate in person or by check. Please be sure to select Yolo Crisis Nursery from the drop-down box or note Yolo Crisis Nursery on your check.
Thank you for your support and for helping us to raise additional funds to care for the most vulnerable children in our community. Together we can weather this crisis with grace and dignity, and minimize the suffering in our community. To learn more, donate, or volunteer, please visit www.yolocrisisnursery.org.
— This article was written by Nancy Storm and Sharon Schauer, co-chairs of The Friends of the Yolo Crisis Nursery and originally appeared in the Davis Enterprise on Sunday, August 23, 2020.
So much has changed and yet some things remain the same.
As a member of the Yolo Crisis Nursery Board of Directors, an 18-year member and past president of the Davis Rotary Club, and a passionate advocate for children, I am seeing the potentially devastating challenges the COVID-19 pandemic is creating for young children and their families. COVID has changed the way the Yolo Crisis nursery works, but it has not changed the positive impact the nursery makes on children’s lives.
With so many in our community struggling, the services that charitable organizations — like the Yolo Crisis Nursery — provide are as critically necessary as ever, as demonstrated in Amanda’s story below.
Amanda is an essential worker and a single mother battling mental illness. Amanda and her 4-year-old daughter, Isabella, came to the nursery in April when they found themselves in an impossible situation. Amanda needed to go to work and childcare was scarce due to the shelter-in-place orders.
Without childcare, Amanda’s mental health was stretched to the limit, she risked losing her job, her home, and most importantly, Isabella. The nursery quickly assessed their needs and wrapped them both with compassionate care and services. Unbeknownst to Amanda until assessed by the trauma-trained Yolo Crisis Nursery staff through its intake and screening process, Isabella was identified to be deaf and on the autism spectrum.
Our amazing nursery staff worked with Amanda to help her understand Isabella’s diagnosis and connected her to the medical and social services her family needed. Together with Amanda and Isabella’s doctors, we built a treatment plan.
Isabella thrived at the nursery, as our staff worked with her on non-verbal communication skills and some behavior modifications. Isabella made huge improvements in her social functioning and communication skills while in the nursery’s care.
With the nursery’s help, in just three months, Isabella has a medical plan in place and is enrolled in a preschool with an individual education plan. Amanda is healthy, employed, stable, and is the best mom she can be for Isabella. The pandemic has changed our world, but thankfully, some things have not changed.
The Yolo Crisis Nursery is here to help all families in crisis with children from birth to five years old, and our services are voluntary and provided free of charge. Asking for help is sometimes not easy for parents; it takes courage and love for your child. We understand that parents are doing their very best, but sometimes they need assistance to properly care for their children.
The Nursery is funded by the generosity of individuals, businesses, foundations, granting agencies, and local government. We could not help people like Amanda and Isabella without this ongoing support. Regrettably, we will not be able to gather in person for our annual Barn Dance fundraiser this fall.
While we may not be able to line dance, we can get in line to support Yolo County kids in crisis through the Travis Credit Union Foundation’s COVID-19 Relief Initiative. Every dollar donated up to $20,000 by September 30th will unlock a dollar-for-dollar matching gift for the Yolo Crisis Nursery from the Travis Credit Union Foundation.
This is a tremendous opportunity to double your donation and to help more children and families in crisis. To qualify for the matching gift, all donations must go through the Travis Credit Union Foundation.
Please visit www.tcufund.org/ways-to-give/ and select Yolo Crisis Nursery from the dropdown box to donate online or to learn more about how to donate in person or via check. Alternatively, you may also visit a local Travis Credit Union branch and specify that your foundation gift is to benefit the Yolo Crisis Nursery.
As the only crisis nursery in Yolo County, Yolo Crisis Nursery has always been an essential resource and place of hope for families, and it has been especially so for those dramatically impacted by COVID-19. I am extremely proud of the amazing work that our Executive Director, Heather Sleuter, and her team do day in and day out for children and families in Yolo County, no matter the circumstances.
It is my pleasure and honor to serve on the Yolo Crisis Nursery Board of Directors. The work we are doing as a board to advance our vision that every child grows up in a safe, loving, and stable home is rewarding in ways I could not have imagined.
If you believe that all children deserve to grow up in a safe, loving and stable home and would like to help young families like Amanda and Isabella, I invite you to join us at the Yolo Crisis Nursery.
We are always looking for people who are willing to lend their time and talent to join us. To learn more or to make a gift, please visit our website www.yolocrisisnursery.org. If you think you might be interested in joining the Yolo Crisis Nursery Board of Directors, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love the opportunity to get to know you.
— Kay Resler is a member of the board of directors for the Yolo Crisis Nursery. This article originally appeared in the Davis Enterprise on July 26, 2020.
Life has been turned upside-down for us all since mid-March. We are so thankful we had our eighth annual Krustaceans for Kids Crab Feed before then. The evening was the last social gathering for so many of us before sheltering in place to help flatten the curve.
As the State begins to reopen, we want to express our deep gratitude for two record-breaking events — Big Day of Giving and Krustaceans for Kids. The proceeds raised through these events are allowing the Nursery staff to serve more families in new and creative ways from the frontlines of the Coronavirus pandemic.
We are so grateful for all who sprinkled the Nursery with Love for the Big Day of Giving during the first week in May. Despite the challenging circumstances in all of our lives, our amazing community rallied to help the most vulnerable children and those hardest hit by the pandemic.
We extend a special thanks to Greg and Amy McNece and the Yolo Crisis Nursery Board of Directors for their matching gifts. We are so pleased to have exceeded those generous gifts. Thank you also to all who donated and participated in our Sprinkler Challenge — Yolo County kids felt all that love! The gifts made for Big Day of Giving have a profoundly positive impact at this critical juncture. Thank You!
This year’s Krustaceans for Kids Crab Feed was made possible by our generous sponsors, donors, volunteers, and guests, to whom this year we say a very special thank you! We cannot thank our volunteers enough, particularly the event co-chairs Nancy Storm and Martha Bernauer. The year-after-year growth of this sell-out event would not be possible without their leadership and tireless efforts. To the entire Friends of the Yolo Crisis Nursery team: You are making the world a better place for the children of Yolo County and you have our heartfelt appreciation.
Thank you also Lamppost Pizza, Upper Crust Bakery, Sudwerk Brewing, and Paradise Valley Estates for your delicious donations. And a very special thank you goes to our volunteer servers from the National Charity League and Woodland High School National Honors students.
We would like to recognize and thank our returning Premier Sponsor Sutter Health and King Crab Sponsors Jim and Lucinda Childress, Davisville Management Company, 2nd Street Storage, Aggie Square Apartments, Fountain Circle Townhomes and Almondwood Apartments for their ongoing generosity and support.
Sincere thanks to our generous Dungeness Crab Sponsors: Dignity Health, Kaiser Permanente, and Harris and Mary Liu of the Woodland McDonald’s.
To our wonderful Blue Crab Sponsors: Martha Bernauer & Maren Heise, Brooks Painting & Higgins Team Good Home Group, Brown Construction Inc., Marguerite Callahan, Carbahal & Company, Coldwell Banker Select Davis & Woodland, Davis Firefighters Local 3494, Davis Oddfellows & Davis Rebekah Lodge, F Street Dispensary, Steve & Teri Greenfield, Heidy & Peter Kellison, Morse Custom Homes & Remodeling, NakanoKennedySimpson, Recology, Kay Resler, Shottenkirk Honda, Sharon Schauer & Brodie Hamilton, Stromberg Redway Friends, Swim America – Davis, Stewart & Ann Teal, Union Bank, and Welsch Family & Friends – Thank you.
On behalf of the Board of Directors and Friends of the Yolo Crisis Nursery, we would also like to thank our amazing volunteer kitchen crew, bartenders, security team, The Bridge Church, Collegiate Studios, and CK Hicks.
And last but not least, thank you to the numerous businesses, community groups and individuals who donated items for our auction and raffle. Your generosity was a critical piece to our success.
Our local small businesses have always rallied to support those in need in our community, and we encourage our community to shop local to support those businesses in their time of need. If you are interested in helping vulnerable children and families in Yolo County, I hope you’ll consider joining us. Please email email@example.com to learn more about how you can help the Yolo Crisis Nursery. Visit our website, www.yolocrisisnursery.org, to learn more or join us with a donation or by volunteering.
— This article was written by Steve Willhoff, Yolo Crisis Nursery Treasurer. The article first appeared in the Davis Enterprise on May 24, 2020.
I am so inspired by the compassion, creativity, and resilience of our community and local businesses, yet I find myself with a sense of uncertainty — somewhere between what was and what will be.
For me, the pandemic has emphasized how necessary my personal and community connections are to my emotional and physical well-being. I’ve managed to find creative and technological methods for sustaining those relationships, but for some, it’s not so easy.
That’s where the Yolo Crisis Nursery comes in. The nursery continues to provide community support and understanding for Yolo County’s most vulnerable children and their families in crisis during the Coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, history informs us that with stress and crisis, all too often, comes neglect and abuse.
Without a doubt, physical distancing is a unique challenge for our community that impacts us all in different ways During this time we know that the hardest hit are our community’s most vulnerable — the children whose families are facing serious and often life-threatening crises like abuse, mental illness or extreme poverty during this pandemic.
The Yolo Crisis Nursery is here for children and their families as a place of hope and help as they navigate this period of uncertainty due to COVID-19.
The Yolo Crisis Nursery is serving children to provide services to those whose safety is at the highest risk within the guidelines of national, state, and local health officials. The children who have come to the Nursery in the last month have had very high needs.
Our trauma-trained staff has seen undiagnosed children, and through our screening process helped to identify major medical issues such as deafness and Autism. While providing compassionate care for these children, we worked with them and their families to get the medical care and resources they need to help properly care for those elevated needs.
We have children onsite at the Crisis Nursery during the day and overnight. The number of children having experienced abuse and neglect is high, and it is anticipated that number will grow even higher as the pandemic and its effects wears on. Our compassionate caregivers are working with these children to comfort and support them and to help them to heal.
Yolo Crisis Nursery case managers are working with families to provide wrap-around services and to connect them to additional resources in our community for support. We are in regular communication with our nursery families to ensure their children are safe and cared for.
We also provide the childcare essentials that parents need, along with those currently recommended by local and national health officials to help keep them and their children healthy.
In addition to our crisis nursery program, we continue to offer our in-home parenting education programs (Family Life Skills and Attachment Biobehavioral Catch-up or ABC) by way of doorstep curriculum delivery/pick-up followed by video and phone sessions.
These two programs are critical to help children and parents navigate life’s challenges in a time of uncertainty. Also, for the first time, we are taking our family engagement night virtual this month to continue to build and sustain our client families’ support network during this isolating, stressful time.
Our committed staff continues to adapt and find creative ways to help families navigate the pandemic while also managing family crises of abuse, mental illness, unemployment, and homelessness.
Through our community care package program, we are seeing an increased need for diapers, wipes, formula, and other childcare essentials. Sadly, we expect to see this need increase significantly over the coming weeks and months.
Currently, our most pressing need is for unrestricted funds to help support our families through their crises. In the first week of May, we are participating in two planned generosity movements — Giving Tuesday Now on May 5 and Big Day of Giving on Thursday, May 7.
If you are able to donate at any level, we hope you will give from your heart and help us sprinkle the Nursery with love the first week in May by making a donation.
Thanks to the generosity of Greg and Amy McNece, the first $10,000 in donations will be matched dollar for dollar! Your gift will help the Nursery provide services to protect children while also helping at-risk families remain as stable as possible through this pandemic.
We encourage those who are able to participate by making a single gift in the first week of May. You can schedule your gift now at www.yolocrisisnursery.org or by visiting our website the first week in May or mailing a check to 1107 Kennedy Place, Suite 5, Davis, CA 95616.
None of us know when the pandemic will end nor the full extent of how our lives will be changed, but for now we can all sleep better knowing that the Yolo Crisis Nursery is in the frontlines keeping our community’s most vulnerable children safe and their families whole.
— This article was written by JoEllen Welsch is the president of Yolo Crisis Nursery and appeared in the Davis Enterprise on April 26, 2020.
Safety, compassion, community, commitment, respect, and hope are the values that Yolo Crisis Nursery embraces 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Every child we serve receives 100% of our dedication to maintaining those values, along with our further commitment to embrace their parents in our wrap-around services to help preserve their family so that they can grow up in a safe, loving, and stable home.
When parents and caregivers experience high levels of stress without resources, support or relief to help manage their crises, child abuse, and neglect increases. In this unprecedented period of uncertainty due to COVID-19, there are more families than ever experiencing extreme stress.
When parents aren’t able to work, poverty and homelessness will increase, leading to prolonged toxic stress on families that will result in increased domestic violence, substance abuse, child abuse, psychiatric issues, and other serious situations. In these uncertain times, the Yolo Crisis Nursery will focus on the safety of our community’s most vulnerable children as well as the safety of our staff.
We will keep providing services to help children whose safety is at the highest risk within the guidelines of national and local health officials. We are monitoring the CDC guidelines and are in contact with state, local and county health officials regularly to ensure our staff, children, and their families are kept as safe as possible.
Yolo County’s recent shelter-at-home mandate will help reduce the risk of further spread of the virus and save lives. We understand that COVID-19 is causing concern and upheaval for us as individuals and for our community. We are feeling this and our community’s children feel it too. Children may be agitated or confused as they are undoubtedly unsettled by the drastic changes to their normal routines and unavoidable ominous news that surrounds us all.
Now more than ever, it is important that we recognize and guide those in our community who might need extra assistance to the help they need. Yolo County is filled with generous and compassionate people and together we all do make a difference. Together we can weather this crisis with grace, dignity, and minimize the suffering for our community.
During this time, the Yolo Crisis Nursery is developing online resources, and information to help families stay strong and resilient. If you have not already liked the Friends of the Yolo Crisis Nursery page on Facebook, please join our community for the latest updates.
We are working to bring in child and family specialists as well as other experts. We plan to cover key topics like how to discuss the virus with children, parental self-care, as well as ideas to keep children engaged and learning during this challenging time. Please like us on Facebook and stay tuned!
We invite you to join us, please visit www.yolocrisisnursery.org to learn more about the nursery, or to make a donation. Thank you Yolo County, we are stronger together.
— This was written by Heather Sleuter is the executive director of the Yolo Crisis Nursery and first appeared in Davis Enterprise on March 22, 2020.