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Matrimonial Matters: Crisis nursery serves an often overlooked need

Sara Stout Ashcraft

Sara Stout Ashcraft

This is the time of year that we hear of those in need and those who help them. The Rochester area is fortunate to have a service that provides critical help, and it is a service that family practitioners and other lawyers who work with individuals facing problems in their lives need to be acquainted with. That service is the Greater Rochester Crisis Nursery.

What happens when a child’s only parent suffers a psychotic episode and there is no family to care for the child? Or what happens to the children if one parent commits domestic violence against the other, the aggressor is arrested and the victim is hospitalized?

The Crisis Nursery provides temporary care to children whose families are in crisis. It provides a nurturing and safe haven for children from birth up to 12 years old. The Crisis Nursery is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Crisis Nursery acts as a bridge between an immediate crisis and a long term plan for the children they care for.

The caregivers at the Crisis Nursery coordinate with a number of different agencies to plan a long-term solution to benefit the children and their families, and they are equipped to serve more than 1,000 children a year. Of great importance to families facing an emergency, the Crisis Nursery does not charge the families for their services.

The Crisis Nursery is funded by grants, fundraisers and by donations. Founded almost 10 years ago, the Crisis Nursery recently became a program of the Center for Youth. In an essay for the Democrat and Chronicle, Elaine Spaull, executive director of the Center for Youth, stated, “through this merger, we know that the program will grow. And we know that it will continue to be dedicated to its original mission when a group of amazing women and men stood up for children without the support of government and with an unequaled spirit of generosity that still remains.”

Professionals — including lawyers — who deal with families facing serious, immediate difficulties should be aware of the Crisis Nursery. Useful information is available on their website: www.cngr.org. The Crisis Nursery is located at 201 Genesee Park Blvd., Rochester, NY 14619, and the telephone number is (585) 236-5750.

Of course, at this time of year thoughts turn to charitable giving. The Crisis Nursery is supported by grants and donations, and they would certainly appreciate any funds you could give. Additionally, since they care for children day after day, their supplies continue to be consumed, and they have the following “wish list” of items that they need:

• Diapers (all sizes)

• Bottles

• Wipes

• Pull-ups (all sizes)

• Cotton diapers/spit cloths

• Paper towels

• Toilet paper

• Wet wipes

• Antibacterial cleaning wipes

• Dish soap

• Hand soap

• Plastic zip bags (all sizes)

• Batteries (all sizes)

• Toys for children (bubbles, water paints, coloring books, wii games, activities and toys for older ages 6-12)

• Underwear

• Socks

• T-shirts

• Pajamas

• Gift cards

The Crisis Nursery and the children they serve would be grateful for these items, and it is a good way for us all to become more familiar with the help they can provide when those individuals and families we deal with in our practices need support in a crisis.

Best wishes for the holidays and in the coming year!

Sara Stout Ashcraft is a partner in Ashcraft, Franklin, Young & Peters LLP. She concentrates her practice in the areas of matrimonial and family law.

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