If you enjoy working with children, you are needed to volunteer at the Family Support Center, a United Way agency working to prevent child abuse and neglect.
Volunteers must complete a three-hour orientation session, where they are given training on the issue of child abuse in Utah County, as well as the center's policies and procedures. The next session is scheduled for 6 p.m. May 17.Lori Findeis, prevention specialist, said that children at the crisis nursery are usually there because the child's family is going through a stressful time or crisis and there is a potential for abuse.
The nursery offers parents time away from their children to collect themselves and express their emotions in a productive way. Free counseling and group sessions are also available.
The 24-hour crisis nursery is manned by volunteers, who work at least one three-hour shift each week. The volunteers take care of the children, supervising their play and helping the older children with activities. Volunteers are asked to make a three-month commitment to their weekly service.
There are no special prerequisites for volunteers, except that they enjoy working with children and are patient and loving with them.
"These children needed the extra caring and attention in the loving and friendly atmosphere our volunteers provide," Findeis said. "Most of the children come from homes where they feel a lot of stress."
During the evenings, the Family Support Center also sponsors free parenting classes for parents to improve their skills and learn to control their emotions. The parents may leave their children in the nursery while they attend.
For more information on becoming a volunteer at the Family Support Center or for any other volunteer opportunities, call the United Way Volunteer Center at 374-8108.