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April proclaimed Child Abuse Prevention Month in WVC

May 09, 2018 05:24PM ● Published by Travis Barton

Elected officials pause for a photo with Jeff Bird (center), executive director of the Family Support Center. (Kevin Conde/West Valley City Photographer)

By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com

As it did in 2017, West Valley City proclaimed April Child Abuse Prevention Month during its April 3 city council meeting.

“All children deserve to grow up in a safe and nurturing environment to assure they reach their full potential,” Mayor Ron Bigelow read from the proclamation. Between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017 there were 731 confirmed child abuse victims in West Valley City. 

“The protection of children and strengthening of families is of concern and responsibility of all West Valley City citizens because the wellness of children affects our lives now and will continue to affect us in the future,” the proclamation states.

Elected officials took a moment prior to their city council meeting to plant purple pinwheels in front of city hall to honor those victims. 

“We fully support that and are appreciative of the work in that area,” Bigelow said during the council meeting. 

Jeff Bird is the executive director of the Family Support Center which has three child nurseries, including one in West Valley City (across from Granger High School at 3663 S. 3600 West), where short-term childcare is provided for free to families in crisis situations or children at-risk of abuse or neglect.

There were 3,308 child victims in Salt Lake County during 2017, Bird said. He added there were 1,143 individual children who came to the crisis nursery, 9,211 visits, 858 overnight stays and 9,671 meals were served. 

“We are grateful for the time and attention West Valley is willing to give this very important topic,” Bird told the city council. “I know that you have weighty matters to consider and I’m grateful that the safety of our children is one of those things that you are willing to take time to talk about.”

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