The Children’s Cottage Society (CCS)
All donations are being accepted at our office until Dec 14th.
Mission: Preventing harm and neglect to all children and building strong families through support services, respite programs and crisis nurseries.
Vision: Safe Children in Healthy Families
The Children’s Cottage Society’s (CCS) primary focus is to support our most precious and vulnerable population – our children. Each year we continue to meet families struggling with homelessness, addiction and abuse and each year we make it a priority to provide specialized programs and services to prevent harm and neglect to children and build strong families.
For 30 years, we have been a trusted source of support for our community’s children and families when in crisis, and a recognized leader in providing effective programs and services to help ensure Safe Children in Healthy Families. Over the course of three decades, the staff and volunteers of the Children’s Cottage Society has helped more than 60,000 vulnerable children.
CHILDREN’S COTTAGE CRISIS NURSERY:
The Children’s Cottage provides support to the community through many different initiatives. The one for which we are best known is the Crisis Nursery. The Children’s Cottage’s Crisis Nursery was the first resource of its kind in Alberta, and today we are one of only three Crisis Nurseries in Canada that provide 24 hour-a-day, 7 day-a-week, year-round short term care for children from newborn to age 8. The Crisis Nursery in Bridgeland provides a safe haven for children whose parents may be dealing with mental illness, post-partum depression, drug or alcohol addition, challenges with the law, living in poverty, experiencing violence in the home, or living in shelters.
In 2015, 1333 children from 776 families walked through the doors of our Bridgeland Crisis Nursery, 59.8% or 797 of the children were under the age of four. Nearly 60% of these families were led by single parents, many struggling with exhaustion, chronic and acute medical illnesses or mental health challenges (50%). 101 of our families were living in shelters and 429 were living on less than $1,500 per month, 21% on welfare. Our families came from diverse cultural and socioeconomic populations in Calgary.
Families come to the Crisis Nursery with widely varied situations and degrees of need. Their immediate needs may range from crisis response and respite to supportive parenting advice and referrals for meeting basic needs.
A major reason parents contact the Crisis Nursery is due to parent exhaustion (30% of families). This makes sense as a significant percentage of families served are led by single parents and parents living separately, where the absence of daily shared parenting can place an increased responsibility and stress on the individual parenting alone. Parental mental health and physical illness/hospitalization combined represents a further 20.7% of parents seeking out help. Parental struggles with child behavior problems, including fear of harming their child/losing patience and child protection concerns (combined) is also prominent at 15.3%. Homelessness, searching for housing and financial stressors represent 4.7% of the reasons for admission, and a further 7.6% of families accessed crisis care to attend meeting and appointments, including court attendance.
Parental struggles with child behaviour problems, including fear of harming their child/losing patience and child protection concerns (combined) was a significant secondary reason for requesting service at 21%.
Throughout our program, client situations, needs and challenges are diverse, the common theme is children. We exist to ensure children are safe. For 30 years, The Cottage has been helping vulnerable children whose families are experiencing multiple problems and have nowhere to turn.
We believe every child should have immediate, non-judgmental, short term emergency shelter available to them when they need it most. A qualified team of caregivers and volunteers provides a 24/7/365 emergency safe haven where children (newborn to age 8) are cared for in a safe, nurturing homelike environment – protected from physical and emotional harm, at no cost to the families. Parents are given the time they need time to think, plan, seek medical care or manage other major issues affecting their family and their ability to care well for their children. It takes a brave parent to reach out for help and when they do, we are here.
The Children’s Cottage Society is the first and only Crisis Nursery of its kind in Calgary, and 1 of only 3 in Canada. We are also one of the few local organizations that operate on emergency response. CCS is unique in that our foundation is built on the concept of providing nurturing childcare in a safe homelike environment to protect children against harm or neglect when families are in crisis. This means we work to provide immediate support and assistance to children and families in crisis — the moment they reach out for help.
The Bridgeland Crisis Nursery was built with a vision and commitment to be as homelike and welcoming as possible to both children and their parents.
Staff and volunteers work closely together each day to feed the children in our care. In 2015 843 volunteers generously contributed 10,780 hours of their own time in a variety of different positions. Like most homes, the kitchen is the heart of the nursery.
The upstairs bedrooms are themed just like in a traditional home and are large enough to allow siblings to bunk together while they are in our care.
The upstairs playroom is designed to accommodate children of all ages and is a warm and fun place to spend time.