02.03.03 - Emergency or Crisis Assistance

Emergency or Crisis Assistance Policy Number and Last Update (02.03.03/01-2011)


When a family has an emergency or crisis, program staff puts aside regular business in order to do everything they can to help the family. Staff is ready at all times to act rationally, objectively, and empathetically to offer assistance in resolving crises and any resulting consequences.


Some examples of emergency or crisis situations are:

  1. Lack of food or shelter;
  2. Life-threatening medical conditions;
  3. Serious accidents;
  4. Domestic violence; and
  5. Child abuse or neglect.

If a staff person finds, during a home visit, that the family needs food or shelter, he/she immediately asks to help, and suspends all other business. He/She provides transportation and translation to a food pantry, or make a referral to emergency housing services. He/She does not leave the family without having secured food for at least 12 hours, and/or some sort of shelter.

In a medical emergency, the worker calls 911 and provides any help needed: transportation, translation, first-aid if qualified, childcare, etc.

If the staff-person witnesses a crime, he/she calls 911, or the police.

If a parent is abused by a spouse, the staff-member provides him/her with all information about shelters and services in the area. He/She advises him/her of the availability of the program's mental health consultant, and arrange a confidential appointment if the parent requests it. If the parent requests police or other intervention, the staff person makes the referral, including transportation and translation if needed.

If a staff-person suspects child abuse or neglect, he/she follows center procedures for mandated reporting.

If children are not picked up from the center, or it parents are not home to receive them from the bus, the staff-person notifies the center director. After two hours, and all reasonable attempts to contact the parents or the authorized persons, the director may call the police, who will notify DCFS. (If the center director is unavailable, the staff-person calls the next person in the chain of command, or takes responsibility himself.)