Crisis Nursery plans merge with Child Crisis Center to better serve Valley kids

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- They're two big names known Valley-wide for protecting our state's most vulnerable children. Now, they're joining forces to better look out for kids and families who are in crisis.

This spring, Phoenix-based Crisis Nursery, Inc. and Mesa-based Child Crisis Center plan to merge, with a combined mission to create a stronger, larger-scale organization to better meet the needs of vulnerable children and families.

"All of us at Child Crisis Center are so excited about the impact this new organization will have in our community.  Together, we will be retaining the high quality programs that we currently operate and expanding services where it makes sense. While our name might eventually change, we remain committed to our respective missions of breaking the cycle of child abuse and neglect and putting prevention services in place to ensure that kids are safe and families are strong," explains Christine Scarpati, Child Crisis Center CEO.

For nearly four decades, these two non-profit organizations have been strong advocates for area children. Now those agencies have begun publicizing their intent to merge.

"With the pending retirement of our two long tenured Executives, our Boards came together twelve months ago to explore what might make sense in the broader landscape of our community and the changes in non-profit service delivery. Through negotiations we recognized the depths of our similarities and believe that a combined, new organization will have an even greater impact on the lives of the children and families it is our missions to serve," explains R. Lee Fraley, Crisis Nursery, Board President.

Marsha Porter, Crisis Nursery Inc.'s Executive Director for the past 20 years will retire at the end of 2014. Christine Scarpati, 34-year founding CEO of Child Crisis Center will remain as CEO throughout the integration phase as a search for a new CEO of the merged organization gets underway.

Goals will include: to enrich youngsters through early childhood education, to build stronger families by connecting them with critical resources, and to recruit, train, license and support foster and adoptive families.

Collectively, the two agencies have been providing services to more than 8,000 individuals and families. With the merger, there is a possibility of expanded programming in the future at both the East Valley and Central Phoenix campuses.

"This new organization will be more than the sum of its parts and will be able to broaden our geographic reach, expand our continuum of serves and be a stronger voice for vulnerable children and families across the Valley," says Fraley.

Also, if the merger leads to better funding, there might be an opportunity to hire more people from underrepresented specializations, according to Crisis Nursery spokeswoman Damita Curry.

During the merger and integration, all programs will continue to provide uninterrupted services in their current locations.

The administrative headquarters will operate in Mesa, in the current location of Child Crisis Center, with existing programs and services continuing in their current locations in Phoenix and Mesa.

The agencies have already begun merging their resources, and hope to have a new board in place by April.

For more information on programs, services and merger goals, visit ChildCrisis.org or CrisisNurseryPHX.org.