OKC Crisis Nursery Opens To Help Families In Need
OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma City's only crisis nursery is now open for business. Three moms founded the facility with the goal of preventing child abuse and neglect, and keeping kids out of DHS custody.
The facility is already being used by families in a variety of situations, becoming the village for parents who have nowhere else to turn.
Sounds of happy children now fill the halls of the home on Northwest 14th Street. It is a place where they can forget their family's struggles, if only for a few hours at a time.
“The majority of them have been just, mom needs a break,” explained co-founder Jennifer Roberts. “She’s got post-partum depression. We’ve seen a lot of that, so just being that support for them has been huge.”
The nursery can hold up to seven children under the age of seven at a time. The focus is on fun, as volunteers provide food, toys, books and comfort.
“It’s a child-led facility,” said Roberts, “so if they want to go outside and play, we go outside and play. If they want to color, we color, so it makes it really fun.”
Although the crisis nursery is privately-run, it is also working in close conjunction with the state as a last resort before a parent loses custody.
Roberts said, “They are working with us to try to basically be a safety plan for these parents. If they don’t have that, there’s no choice for DHS. They have to take them.”
It is also open to foster families, many of whom have their hands full, too.
“There are great foster families out there,” Roberts said, “but what we want to utilize that for are the kids that do need to be taken into state custody. We don’t want to overwhelm them. Right now, there’s just not enough homes for them.”
The facility is free and open 24/7, and the founders encourage you, do not be afraid.
“You’re not a bad parent for coming here and reaching out for help,” emphasized Roberts. “You are a good parent if you ask for help. Everybody needs it.”
The crisis nursery is located at 2728 NW 14th Street. To reach the team there, call 405-979-0706.