than 3,000 Cache Valley children used crisis-care nursery
May 4, 2009 | CACHE COUNTY, Utah -- It is an ordinary
day at work and the door opens. It's the police. Her
heart sinks as she knows the news will be something
heartbreaking. They lead in a child who has just been
through some unimaginably traumatic experiences. She
is the director, so they hand her the paperwork and
explain that this child was just prostituted so that
the parents could buy drugs.
"This is one of the hardest things that we see and
unfortunately it is not uncommon," said Esterlee Molyneux,
director of the Child and Family Support Center (CFSC).
Molyneux explained that the center deals with a variety
of tough situations. "Currently we have two families
that are using our 24-hour crisis nursery so that their
other children can be taken care of while the parents
spend time with their terminally ill child in the hospital."
She said that the 24-hour crisis nursery is just one
of the many services that the center offers, and that
funding is extremely hard to come by.
"Our goal is to keep our door open."
In April, 19 cities in Cache County adopted the Child
Abuse Prevention Proclamation, encouraging all citizens
to actively help protect children and to work to create
strong families within their communities by supporting
CFSC has created a series of events this month to
promote awareness and to raise money to continue offering
free help to the community. Some of these events include
the recent Blue Ribbon Benefit Dinner and Auction and
a Race Against Child Abuse, and the ongoing Flamingo
Flocking and Blue Ribbon Campaign that continued through
CFSC worker Ashlee Cragun said, "My favorite part
about Child Abuse Prevention Month is that I love seeing
the community getting involved and that this issue is
important to other people and not just us."
Molyneux said that CFSC wants the community to be
aware that their mission is to strengthen families and
protect our children.
"Good parents seek out opportunities to be better
parents," she said. "Kids don't come with instruction
manuals, and so we are the live instruction manual."
The center offers a 24-hour crisis nursery which helps
parents who are "at the end of their ropes" and "just
need a time out" get back to a calm state so that they
can care for their children without hurting them.
It also is a child abuse shelter where children, like
the ones that have been prostituted, can have a safe
refuge. It is a place where lost children can be located
when they have wandered away from home; a place where
families who have crisis situations can place their
children for a short term.
Last year 3,011 children visited the 24-hour crisis
Parenting education is offered to new parents and
parents who would like help with questions like, "How
do I discipline in an appropriate manner?" and "How
can I get my children to listen to me?" Last year 3,664
calls were answered on the crisis hot-line, 236 parents
attended parenting classes, and 3,216 children and adults
learned how to prevent childhood sexual abuse.
Children's education is also available at the center.
Classes are offered to help children with anger management,
social skills, sex education, and other safety programs.
Molyneux said that the center offers therapy to children,
adults, and groups. She said that most of the people
in these sessions have been victims of a crime. "There
are many who have flashbacks of abuse, and others who
feel like when they were abused it was their fault.
A lot of times these feelings affect their current relationships."
"I have been here for 14 years," said Molyneux, "It
started as an internship and I fell in love with the
She said that there are a lot of hard issues that
people deal with every day. So when the officer leads
that child in and she is terrified, support center representatives
have been trained to help. "That is why we are here."
More information about the Child and Family Support
Center can be found at www.cachecfsc.org
or calling 435-752-8880.