Lutheran Social Service Teams Up with Wright County to Support Families Through Crisis Nursery

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (LSS) is teaming up with Wright County to offer Crisis Nursery services that support the safety and wellbeing of area children and families.

The Wright County Area Crisis Nursery provides short-term child care to families during medical emergencies, child care challenges or other difficult situations.

Families can be referred to this service through schools, medical professionals and local shelters. They can also reach the Crisis Nursery directly via the 24-hour Crisis Nursery phone line at 320.406.8606, which connects parents to services and resources including:

  • Up to 72 hours of child care from licensed providers
  • Guidance to help parents sort through challenging life circumstances
  • Necessities such as diapers, formula and clothing

For many parents, personal or financial barriers to child care often mean missing work, medical appointments or vital time to care for themselves. The Crisis Nursery team works with families to address their immediate child care needs and develop a long-term plan to ensure child care in the future.

Conni Orth, facilitator with the Crisis Nursery, said the service aims to keep children safe, support parents and ensure family well-being.  

“We're making connections with the community to support families,” Orth said. “Our goal is to empower families to get through the crisis they’re facing today and figure out ways to overcome obstacles they may face later on.”

This new service is possible thanks in part to generous funding from Wright County. The county has been providing this service since 1992 and sought out LSS as a partner in early 2020.

“We are really excited that this partnership will allow us to continue being a resource to families in our area,” said Michelle Miller, social services manager with Wright County. “We are seeing a greater need for crisis nursery services during Covid-19. The pandemic has really amplified the stressors that can make it hard for people to be the parents they want to be. Crisis Nursery is one of the ways we are here for them.”

Lutheran Social Service is taking every precaution to ensure families’ safety during Covid-19. Crisis Nursery cannot provide care to children who are sick or have a fever and parents must return completed paperwork via contactless drop-off.

Orth said the Crisis Nursery team will still be available to support parents of sick children over the phone. “Parents can call us for emotional support any time,” she said. “Sometimes when things get tough, parents just need another adult to talk to.”

If you are interested in supporting the Wright County Area Crisis Nursery, the service is currently accepting donations of baby wipes, formula, blankets and gently used clothing. It is also seeking volunteers to serve as advocates for families from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. Training is provided. The Crisis Nursery is recruiting licensed daycare and foster care providers.

For more information, please call the Crisis Nursery phone line at 320.406.8606.