Providence House Family Preservation Crisis Nursery

About This Program

Target Population: Children ages birth to 12 and their adult caregivers

For children/adolescents ages: 0 – 12

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 0 – 12

Program Overview

Providence House Family Preservation Crisis Nursery provides emergency shelter and crisis care for children aged birth through twelve years old. Additionally, it offers support to their parents/guardians through comprehensive case management services, counseling, parent support and education, links to community services, and up to twelve months of aftercare support following their child’s discharge from the nursery. The Crisis Nursery offers free shelter, 24/7 daily care, personal necessities, medical care, and developmental and educational enrichment to children for the duration of their stay, which can last from 24 hours up to 90 days until they are safely reunited with their own family or admitted in other long-term care settings. The Pediatric Crisis Nursery provides additional services to children with medical needs.

Program Goals

The goals of the Providence House Family Preservation Crisis Nursery are:

For children:

  • Achieve advancements in developmental milestones
  • Improve overall health and wellness
  • Increase bond with parent/guardian

For parents/caregivers:

  • Reunify with child
  • Connect with needed resources
  • Participate in aftercare services
  • Attend weekly case management sessions with licensed social work staff, including participation in service and discharge planning
  • Obtain employment and housing stability
  • Reduce trauma symptoms
  • Reduce medical knowledge gaps
  • Attend services to increase the likelihood of achieving long-term child safety and family stability
  • Maintain and increase bonds with child
  • Increase of income and benefits

Logic Model

The program representative did not provide information about a Logic Model for Providence House Family Preservation Crisis Nursery.

Essential Components

The essential components of Providence House Family Preservation Crisis Nursery include:

  • Traditional Crisis Nursery (Emergency Children’s Shelter)
    • Operates 24/7
    • Provides shelter and care for up to 90 days
    • Voluntary, Non-Custodial admissions
    • Services are free of charge
    • Houses up to 30 children at a time (the maximum number is determined by the licensing standards for the local area), aged newborn through twelve, in a home-like, trauma-informed facility that includes:
      • Play and education spaces (indoor and outdoor)
      • A dining area
      • Sibling bedrooms
      • A family room
    • Emergency CPS placement programs:
      • Provide shelter and care in the trauma-informed crisis nursery environment for children:
        • Taken into emergency CPS custody until appropriate foster or kinship care is connected
        • Maximum duration of 14-days
    • Medical Services and Monitoring
      • An additional tier of medically related services and pediatric clinic services in partnership with the local hospital system and Visiting Nurses Association in order to:
        • Improve child wellness
        • Reduce hospital stays and readmissions
        • Increase parent/guardian capacity to support their child’s medical needs
  • Family preservation services:
    • Required engagement for families in the Crisis Nursery program
    • Centered around a dedicated Family Center on campus that is equipped with three “family rooms,” furnished with couches, tables, chairs, and children’s play equipment. Services provided in the Family Center include:
      • Private onsite family visits
      • Individualized parent education
      • Case management meetings
      • Trauma services
    • Aftercare program support
  • Community Education and Resiliency Program (CERP):
    • Provides family preservation services in a group setting to community clients in offsite locations
    • Helps parents and guardians to think proactively about their families and improve stability for the future
    • This prevention-based program includes:
      • Providence House case management
      • Group Parent education
      • Voluntary Trauma services
    • CERP aims to help families:
      • Identify unmet needs
      • Connecting to community partners
      • Build upon parenting strengths
      • Increase coping skills
      • Identify and strengthen social connections
  • Assessments and interventions:
    • Allow Providence House staff to tailor their schedules to support the child’s:
      • Physical needs
      • Developmental needs
      • Social-emotional needs
      • Educational needs
    • Children are helped to:
      • Engage their creativity
      • Learn healthy coping skills
      • Foster a love of learning
    • On and offsite activities provided for the children include:
      • Yoga
      • Music therapy
      • Field trips to local educational and cultural centers
    • Parent/guardian support and education programs are provided while children are in care. Parents participate in individualized education sessions to:
      • Build nurturing parenting skills
      • Build Independent life skills
      • Develop peer-to-peer connections
  • Family Trauma Services:
    • Offered by certified trauma professionals who:
      • Screen whole family for symptoms of trauma
      • Assess level of symptoms of trauma in children ages 3 years and older and all parents/guardians
      • Address symptoms of trauma in anyone who has an assessment
      • Work to alleviate symptoms of trauma during service period for children in care or during 8-week cohort for CERP
      • Make referrals to treatment providers for long-term support
  • Respite program:
    • Serves families seeking support to prevent child maltreatment or maintain stability, mental health, and/or sobriety
    • Offers a 3- to 5-day prevention program quarterly, when there are no higher need families on the waiting list
    • Offers parents and guardians case management and service referrals with no formal engagement
  • Aftercare program:
    • Offers a voluntary 12-month program for parents/guardians who have used the Crisis Nursery program. Support includes:
      • Weekly group parent education classes
      • Access to basic need items, and additional referrals and supports through individual case management sessions
    • As needed, families may also receive:
      • Home deliveries of basic need items
      • Home visits
      • Referrals for additional services for children in family if requested by parent
  • The Community Referral program:
    • Works with community partner agencies to provide basic need items for families

Program Delivery

Child/Adolescent Services

Providence House Family Preservation Crisis Nursery directly provides services to children/adolescents and addresses the following:

  • Maltreatment, trauma, neglect, high-risk of child welfare system involvement, lack of personal necessities (e.g., food, shelter, clothing), lack of family permanency, lack of concrete family supports, social isolation
Services Involve Family/Support Structures:

This program involves the family or other support systems in the individual's treatment: Providence House Family Preservation Crisis Nursery connects the family to over 130 partner support agencies as resources in the individual’s direct services by identifying existing support connections, lapsed connections to rebuild, and gaps to connect to concrete supports for additional stability. Handouts and resource materials are provided during family preservation and aftercare sessions to parents, co-parents, or anyone presented in the structure of caregiving unit. These relationships are determined by the admitting parent/guardian and screened at intake. Visitation with authorized nonadmitted siblings and family members is permitted. Family liaisons are established if parent/guardian is not available – connection to parent/guardian is maintained through this relationship.

Parent/Caregiver Services

Providence House Family Preservation Crisis Nursery directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:

  • Lack of personal/family necessities (e.g., food, shelter, clothing, utilities), homelessness/unsafe housing, unemployment/underemployment, mental health crisis, medical crisis, witness/victim to violence, need for respite care, education gaps, extensive trauma history/experiences

Recommended Intensity:

While their children are in the crisis nursery program, parents are required to engage in two 1-hour visits per week at minimum for family preservation services and child visitation. More frequent visitation is encouraged and allowed. Children receive 24-hour care while they are in the crisis nursery program. Following their child’s discharge, parents may participate in one hour of group and subsequent individual case management aftercare services weekly for up to 12 months.

Recommended Duration:

Child admission is 1 to 90 days (average length of stay is 25 days). Families encouraged to participate in twice monthly aftercare for 12 months after the child’s stay.

Delivery Settings

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Community-based Agency / Organization / Provider
  • Group or Residential Care
  • Virtual (Online, Telephone, Video, Zoom, etc.)


Providence House Family Preservation Crisis Nursery includes a homework component:

Parents/guardians participate in individualized and group parent education sessions led by licensed social workers with hands-on reinforcement activities that can be practiced at home based on their individual needs. Family contact is also supported by childcare staff who serve as peer mentors for parents/guardians directly regarding the care, development, and behaviors of their child. Based on parenting assessments and feedback on skill gaps, individual, private, hands-on education sessions are included in each family’s plan.

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

  • Facility/building that meets the parameters set by local state licensing:
    • Room sizes/counts
    • Bathroom count
    • Play areas
    • Outdoor space
    • Ground floor egress
    • Cooking/eating spaces
    • Building materials
  • Personal necessity items:
    • Size/weather appropriate clothing
    • Diapers & wipes
    • Food
    • Baby formula
    • Beds/cribs
  • Toys/enrichment for children
  • Computers
  • Childcare staff
  • Social work/programming staff
  • Administrative staff
  • Transportation vehicles
  • Medical care items
  • Public and private funding support

Manuals and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

Programming/Social Work: Bachelor’s degree (specialization dependent on role), criminal background check

Childcare: 21 years of age or older, high school diploma or GED equivalent required, one to two years of direct paid childcare experience at minimum, valid State driver’s license, criminal background check, drug screening, physical mobility test

All Employees: SAM/OIG, BCI background check, Medicaid Provider exclusions list check

Manual Information

There is a manual that describes how to deliver this program.

Program Manual(s)

While there is no main manual for the Providence House Family Preservation Crisis Nursery program, the Employee, Childcare Provider, Volunteer, Parent, Board Governance, and various handbooks and policies required for accreditation and licensing (i.e., Disaster, Crisis Communications, Donation, Financial) can be accessed through the program contact. Handbooks are reviewed and approved by the Providence House Board of Directors on an annual basis.

Training Information

There is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
Training Type/Location:

Through the Center for Crisis Nurseries, Providence House provides replication, consultation, and coaching support to individuals and groups interested in starting a Family Preservation Crisis Nursery or enhancing Family Preservation services at their existing Crisis Nursery. For more information, please go to

Number of days/hours:

This is dependent on the implementing agency’s needs.

Implementation Information

Pre-Implementation Materials

There are pre-implementation materials to measure organizational or provider readiness for Providence House Family Preservation Crisis Nursery as listed below:

An initial Readiness Assessment Questionnaire is used to introduce the Providence House team to an individual or group interested in adopting the Providence House Family Preservation Crisis Nursery program, and also provide insight as to the level of preparedness of an interested party looking to begin Family Preservation Crisis Nursery services. Contact the program at or

Formal Support for Implementation

There is formal support available for implementation of Providence House Family Preservation Crisis Nursery as listed below:

Through the Center for Crisis Nurseries, Providence House provides replication, consultation, and coaching support to individuals and groups interested in starting a Family Preservation Crisis Nursery or enhancing Family Preservation services at their existing Crisis Nursery. Support is optional and provided upon request. It is provided through virtual meetings, phone calls, email, site-visits, or a combination of those options based on training needs. Support is available and conducted for the term of the service agreement set forth by both parties. Extensions and revisions to the service agreement are provided when needed in order to offer the most in-depth amount of training possible. Formal support can serve a variety of needs, including one-on-one coaching, stakeholder presentations, program evaluation and support, facility evaluation, training materials (virtual (webinars, etc.) or physical forms), agency governance guidance, and government licensing support. See for more information.

Fidelity Measures

There are no fidelity measures for Providence House Family Preservation Crisis Nursery.

Implementation Guides or Manuals

There are implementation guides or manuals for Providence House Family Preservation Crisis Nursery as listed below:

A Family Preservation Crisis Nursery Startup Guidebook is scheduled be available on the website (see bottom of entry) in Q1 2024. This workbook is a comprehensive guide for startup and existing programs to assess their readiness and needs for support to implement Family Preservation Crisis Nursery practices.

Implementation Cost

There are no studies of the costs of Providence House Family Preservation Crisis Nursery.

Research on How to Implement the Program

Research has not been conducted on how to implement Providence House Family Preservation Crisis Nursery.

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

Child Welfare Outcome: Permanency

Crampton, D., & Yoon, S. (2016). Crisis nursery services and foster care prevention: An exploratory study. Children and Youth Services Review, 61, 311–316.

Type of Study: Other quasi-experimental
Number of Participants: 322


  • Age — 14–21 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — 219 African American, 56 Biracial, 35 Caucasian, 11 Hispanic, and 1 Middle Eastern
  • Gender — 172 Male
  • Status — Participants were families who received respite services from the Providence House Family Preservation Crisis Nursery.

Location/Institution: Cleveland, Ohio

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
The purpose of the study was to examine whether receiving crisis nursery services (providers of Providence House Family Preservation Crisis Nursery) reduces the chances of subsequent placement of children into foster care. Measures utilized include administrative data provided by Providence House. Results indicate that case management and parenting education provided from the crisis nursery were associated with reduced likelihood of subsequent foster care for children who were placed in the crisis nursery. Foster care placement during the previous 12 months and Caucasian race were also associated with higher odds of subsequent foster care placement. Limitations include this was a cross-sectional study and thus any causal links between parenting education, case management, and foster care placement could not be identified. In addition, this secondary study was limited to those variables that existed in the administrative data set and thus only limited number of covariates were included in the models to control for possible pre-existing differences between the families who did and did not participate in case management and parenting education. Some potential confounding factors, including type of maltreatment, severity of maltreatment, presence of substance abuse problems, presence of intimate partner violence (IPV), and family poverty were not controlled for in the models because of a lack of data availability and findings of the study may not be easily generalized or replicated with other samples, and thus need to be verified further in future research.

Length of controlled postintervention follow-up: None.

Additional References

ARCH National Respite Network. (2023). Innovative and exemplary respite services.

Children’s Bureau. (n.d.). Meet the 2019 Children’s Bureau champions.

Children’s Bureau. (2021). National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect (NCCAN) day 2 plenary (Providence House is discussed at 39:32): Conference Description:

Contact Information

Natalie Leek, BFA, M.Ed.
Title: President & CEO
Agency/Affiliation: Providence House
Phone: (216) 651-5982 x224
Ashley Stock, MSSA
Title: Director of Programming and Clinical Operations
Agency/Affiliation: Providence House
Phone: (216) 651-5982 x247
Amy Mills
Title: Executive Assistant & Center for Crisis Nurseries Manager
Agency/Affiliation: Providence House
Phone: (216) 651-5982 x230

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: December 2022

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: September 2023

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: September 2023