October 25, 2021 Posted by Heather Sleuter

Serving More Families Than Ever Before

Executive Director, playing with child in sandbox

Over the past 18 months, the pandemic has highlighted the increasing number of vulnerable, at-risk children and families in Yolo County. Last year, the Yolo Crisis Nursery provided emergency respite care and triaged resources for 67% more families. This is the most ever in our 20-year history of serving Yolo County and a strong indication that too many families are unable to meet even their children’s most basic needs.

The nursery’s mission is to protect children and preserve families. We do this by offering trauma-informed respite care as well as developmental and health screenings for children. Equally important are our wraparound services that ensure families’ basic needs are met and that they have ongoing support during their journey towards stability. This approach continues to be successful as exemplified by the 99% of our respite care families not becoming involved with child protective services.

A client mom recently shared the story of her journey. Hers is a story filled with love, determination, and a lot of hard work. Her story is powerful not only because of what she was able to achieve for herself personally and professionally, but also for her selfless desire to give back to our community.

“One year ago, I found myself fleeing a domestic violence situation that left my family homeless. From the very first day at the Yolo Crisis Nursery, I was greeted with love and support. My Client Navigator was amazing. She connected me with the resources for everything I needed — clothing, food, transportation, housing, and counseling.

“Coming from a domestic-violence situation, I was lost. My Client Navigator helped me identify a strength within myself that I did not know I had. We mapped out a plan for my life. With the Yolo Crisis Nursery’s assistance, I found permanent housing and am now a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) studying to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN). This puts me one step closer to my goal of becoming a Registered Nurse. I could not have accomplished all this without the nursery’s support.

“My son excelled in the nursery’s care. He accomplished so many important milestones due to the amazing staff at the nursery. He is more social, and his speech and motor skills have improved as well. Not to mention the nursery staff even helped me with potty training! I am thankful that our community has this amazing resource. I am now able to provide a safe and stable home for my family. I was even able to buy a used car. I am living proof of the great impact the Yolo Crisis Nursery can have on a family in need.”

This mom’s journey illustrates the tremendous resiliency of the children and families we serve. Sadly, there are still many families in turmoil as a result of the pandemic who are coping with the intensified burdens of poverty, joblessness, mental health challenges, and food insecurity. Our staff continues to work tirelessly to prevent crises from evolving into the devastation of family separation. Last year alone, the nursery served 1,018 children and provided 3,874 care packages to young, at-risk families.

To learn more about the nursery’s impact on our community, I invite you to read our 2020-21 Impact Report. It is available online www.yolocrisisnursery.org/impactleadership. As you turn its pages, you will see for yourself the enormous impact we have had on the county’s most vulnerable families.

We could not serve children and families as we do without our extended Yolo Crisis Nursery family of donors and friends and we are deeply grateful for your support. From of all of us at the nursery and the children and families we serve, thank you!

We are celebrating our 20th anniversary this year and look forward to serving our Yolo County community for at least 20 more! Donations are critical to building our programs and expanding our resources to meet the growing number of children and families in crisis with urgent needs. In supporting the Yolo Crisis Nursery, you can take pride in knowing that you are helping children and families to lead healthier, more stable, and more productive lives. To learn more, to volunteer with the Friends of the Yolo Crisis Nursery, or donate, please visit www.yolocrisisnursery.org.