The Utah Valley Family Support Center was incorporated on July 2, 1984. In the late 1970's and early 1980's, the issue of child abuse began to take more of a priority among social service organizations. Prior to this time, countless individuals who had been abused and neglected as children suffered in silence as child abuse was a "taboo" subject. As this slowly began to change, the need for child abuse prevention and treatment services also became more apparent. Crisis Nurseries began springing up across the country and were considered one of the best ways to provide parents and children with a supportive environment where they might heal from traumatic childhood experiences and prevent that cycle from reoccurring.
Utah has been one of the most progressive states regarding its support of Crisis Nurseries which, in our state, are housed within the Family Support Centers. The first was located in Sugarhouse and began in 1979. Then, in the early 1980's, Family Support Centers were also established in Ogden, Logan, and Midvale, and the Utah Valley Family Support Center (then located in Provo) was incorporated in 1984. Over the years, other Family Support Centers have been established, and to date, there are 12 Centers operating throughout the state (see utahfamilysupport.org). Each Center is a separate, private, nonprofit corporation, and the Utah Association of Family Support Centers helps coordinate services and assists to build awareness around child abuse prevention issues. All Family Support Centers have crisis nurseries and parenting programs, but from there, the agencies differ according to the needs of the particularly communities they serve.
When the Utah Valley Family Support Center began in 1984, the Crisis Nursery and Parenting were the only programs available, but shortly thereafter, Prevention Education programs were added.
At the same time the Utah Valley Family Support Center was taking root, another organization was also developing. The Utah Valley Chapter of Parents United was incorporated in 1983, and that organization provided support groups from victims and perpetrators of sexual abuse and their families. The number of individuals and families served by both of these organizations quickly began to grow, and the funding sources (Division of Child and Family Services and United Way of Utah County) realized the valuable services they provided. They decided they needed to find a way to ensure the longevity of the services while also cutting administrative costs. From that decision, the two agencies were combined. The official name of the agency remained Utah Valley Family Support Center, Inc., and in July of 1989, the DBA (doing business as) of Family Support & Treatment Center was created to emphasize both the prevention and treatment aspects of the agency.
From that time, the agency has continued to grow and develop according to the needs of the community. Therapy was added in 1990, and in July of 1992, the Parents United support group aspect was discontinued so as to provide more specific therapy interventions including individual, family, and group.
In March of 1995, the Family Support & Treatment Center moved to its present location in Orem. The new building provided the agency with a more adequate home so as to meet the ever increasing demand for services. Throughout the years, we have often quoted the movie "Field of Dreams." "If you build it, they will come." An addition was added to the building in 2000 so that we could again better meet the needs of the community we serve.
Today, child abuse prevention and treatment remains the agency's primary mission. In addition to the Crisis Nursery, Parenting Classes, and Prevention Education, In-home Parenting gives families living in rural areas an opportunity to improve their family situations. Our Parent Advocate travels throughout Utah, Wasatch, Summit, Juab, and Millard Counties helping parents learn to better care for and nurture their children. While child abuse and neglect issues are the primary focus of therapy, treatment services have been expanded to serve victims of all types of trauma and their families.
Unfortunately, we anticipate that the Family Support & Treatment Center will continue to grow as long as individuals and families within our service area are faced with the painful experiences of child abuse and neglect. While the journey toward healing can sometimes be very long and difficult, it is worth it, and we appreciate your confidence as we walk that journey with many courageous individuals we feel privileged to call friends.