A Day in the Night Shift at CRH
February 12, 2013

It is 10:30PM and much of the city is settling down to get some rest for tomorrow’s workday.  For Georgeta Muresan, Children’s Receiving Home’s Overnight Residential Supervisor, 10:30PM signals the beginning of a full night of work. 

Georgeta represents for both her staff and the youth they serve a calm strength in the darkness. At 11:00PM the doors are checked to ensure a locked safe campus; Georgeta checks in with each residential counselor to catch up on issues that may have carried over from earlier in the day.  Many times the children in their care are still awake, in fact, they have been waiting up to greet the night staff; as Georgeta explains, “Our kids need to see and know who will be watching over them while they sleep. The night is a time of extreme vulnerability for abused children.  Many of whom were hurt during the night by the very adults that should have been their protectors.”  Bedtime in the CRH cottages does not always bring quiet and sleep.  Many children and youth need attention more often during these hours than they do during the day.

Georgeta plays the role of soothing night den mother. Her nurturing character comes natural as a mother of two boys, now grown young men in their twenties. She is comfortable giving encouragement to CRH youth, while her straightforward tone delivers respect and expects it to be returned.  She knows consistency will build trust and trust will become the foundation for positive relationships with the youth and with the staff she supervises.

When the night is quiet Georgeta processes a stack of paperwork left from the day shift before; however, a 2:00AM intake from the police; or perhaps, a youth who is on the verge of running, will suddenly turn her attention to a more urgent need.  After 14 years of working the night shift, Georgeta is still confident there is a solution to every challenge. Nothing is more rewarding for her than to reach a youth who is about to AWOL out into the dark night and have them instead choose to stay safely on campus. 

Georgeta recalls a 16 year old girl who was brought to the Receiving Home in the middle of the night.  The girl was overcome with emotion since her own two year old daughter had been separated from her and left in a foster home.  Georgeta saw the heartbreak in the girls face and softly comforted her with encouraging words. She remembers telling the girl, “You have a good heart and I am sure you are an awesome mom.” Those words helped this young mom in an unbearable situation and became the spring board for a better outcome down the road. 

8:30AM, the end of Georgeta’s shift; she is ready to head straight home for a good day of sleep and always ready to come back the next night to a job she clearly loves.