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Family Support Center seeks to prevent child abuse in Midvale

Thursday, May 10, 20122550 views

Families who need support during times of crisis can find it at a local crisis nursery -- one of only three in the Salt Lake Valley area.

The Family Support Center seeks to provide programs to alleviate the stress faced by parents dealing with unforeseen financial trouble, medical problems and emotional trauma.

Family Support Center Executive Director Bonnie L. Peters said all of the programs and services are meant to support healthy communities.

“Our mission is to protect children, strengthen families and prevent child abuse,” Peters said.

To raise awareness, the organization participated in the first Child Abuse Prevention Walk held in April. The walk took place in the neighborhood near the Family Support Services administrative offices in Taylorsville.

About 60 people, many of them from the Midvale area Family Support Services, participated in the event.

To show support, Midvale City Mayor JoAnn Seghini declared April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Midvale to raise awareness of the issue.

In Midvale, the Family Support Center is located at 777 West Center Street.

On-site staff provides aid and support to parents, many of them single mothers, who need a safe place to drop off their children in an emergency situation.

For example, parents are encouraged to use the crisis nursery when they need time to go to a scheduled job interview, visit the doctor, look for work, or if they just need time to regain their emotional health during periods of extreme stress.

Parents may leave their children at the nursery with trained, licensed caretakers for up to 72 hours.

Although the Midvale Family Support Services facility is not usually open overnight, staff at the West Valley location may open the building to provide services for families in need.

In addition, families in Midvale will find programs that help teach good parenting skills and access to the knowledge of licensed clinical social workers trained to help families raise healthy children.

Some of the programs are home-based, or provide for visits from social workers to families in their place of residence.

Peters said Family Support Services staff also makes a special effort to meet the needs of non-English speaking residents. Many of the staff members are fluent in Spanish, and translators are available to aid communication for families speaking other languages.

The organization runs crisis nursery facilities in Sugar House and West Valley City, as well.

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