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The City Journals

Herriman uses April to recognize good causes

May 07, 2018 12:52PM ● By Travis Barton

Pinwheels are planted around the valley during April to recognize Child Abuse Prevention Month. (Travis Barton/City Journals file photo)

The month of April was proclaimed Child Abuse Prevention Month during Herriman’s April 11 city council meeting.

“All children deserve to grow up in a safe and nurturing environment to assure they reach their full potential,” read the city’s proclamation. Between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017, there were 81 confirmed child abuse victims in Herriman.

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

Jeff Bird is the executive director of the Family Support Center, which has three child nurseries in West Valley City (3663 South 3600 West), Midvale (7729 South 777 West) and Salt Lake City (2020 South 740 East) 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. Bird said this level of service “provided 51,531 hours of care to our most vulnerable population: children at risk for abuse.”

But Bird, a Herriman resident, said these numbers “don’t mean anything unless you understand the human side of the story.” He recounted how one 6-year-old told his mom while being picked up from the crisis nursery that the child liked sleeping there “because the pillows don’t have bad dreams.” 

“We are grateful for the time and attention Herriman is willing to give this very important topic,” Bird told the city council. “I know 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.”

This proclamation happened on the same month when Herriman City Hall was illuminated with blue lights on April 2 to support Autism Awareness Month.

The city council also used the April 11 meeting to proclaim April as Fair Housing Month on the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, which guarantees fair housing for all citizens of the United States. The last Friday of April was also designated as Arbor Day where residents are urged by city leaders to “plant trees to gladden the heart and promote a well-being of this and future generations.”