The Family Support Center was founded in 1977 as a crisis facility for children, but it has since expanded to provide a wide range of services. It is a non-profit agency that combines the efforts of several government agencies and service groups. Their mission is to protect children, strengthen families, and prevent child abuse. Assistance is offered to women and their children struggling with homelessness, as well as families who need emotional help or education to deal with issues in their homes.
The Family Support Center understands that all parents need a safe place to occasionally leave their children for required activities such as medical appointments, job interviews, court appearances, or just a break to relax. If you just need to get away from your kids because you’re not sure you can take it any more!! – or need to escape some other bad situation -- they certainly want to help! This service is called the “Crisis Nursery”, and can be used for a couple of hours, a day, or up to three days if necessary, for infants and children 12 and under. There are now three locations in the Salt Lake Valley, which are all open 7 days a week. While the Sugarhouse location is open only 8am-8pm, the other two are open 24 hours a day. These visits are free.
The facilities are located in refurbished houses for a home-like feel. For planned visits, call in advance to set an appointment for your children’s stay. You are asked to come in, with ID and other information, fifteen minutes early for the first visit to register. For those of us who lack extended family in town to assist with childcare, and have trouble finding a babysitter, this relief can be a godsend.
Counseling, classes, and support groups are offered. Classes and support groups are offered in several different topics: anger or stress management, parenting skills, step-families, surviving sexual abuse, and divorce. The Parent Advocate program is in-home consultation and education with whatever your family situation requires, such as coping with a special-needs child, disciplining children, developing routines, or communication. Some of these services are offered on a sliding scale based on family in-come, while others are free. A regular daycare is also available.
For more information, see http://www.familysupportcenter.org/, or call 801-955-9110.
Sugarhouse: 2020 S. Lake Street (740 East) 801-487-7778
West Valley: 3663 South 3600 West 801-967-4259
Midvale: 777 W. Center Street (7720 South) 801-255-6881