WEST VALLEY, UT (ABC4UTAH) — A West Jordan couple charged in connection with killing their 13 day old baby is prompting organizations to stress there is help and resources available for parents who are overwhelmed.
Maria Elena Sullivan, 26, and Dylan James Kitzmiller, 21, are accused of abusing their newborn son that resulted in the baby’s death.
The Family Support Center is a blend of public and private funding and offers a crisis nursery free of judgment.
It’s a service that offers a safe place without necessarily getting Child Protective Services involved.
The Family Support Center’s Crisis Nursery is a free service, open 24/7 and they accept children a day old up to 11-years-old for families who desperately need help before tragedy happens.
Barbara Stallone, Family Support Center Development Director, “everybody wants to be a good parent. Everybody wants to take good care of their kids but sometimes you need a break.”
The Family Support Center has been providing that emergency break for the past 40 years this month. They’ve been helping families cope when parents and caregivers feel they might harm their own children or simply they have no one else to turn to.
Stallone, “if you have a medical emergency, legal obligation, if you are abused and have a court date or need to fill out paperwork, don’t bring them with you, bring them here.”
It’s a free service that could have very well saved a 13 day old baby from West Jordan.
The baby’s mother indicated to police her boyfriend was abusive towards she and the baby and that she had witnessed horrific abuse in the past.
When police and paramedics arrived at the infant’s home on September 17th they saw bruising around the baby’s eyes, and upper body. First responders were unable to revive the baby boy.
Stallone, “the most important thing is, as a mom, I know what it feels like to get to that place where you need help. I can’t imagine getting to the place where I take my child’s life. There are resources available, there is help for these parents. We can take children from a day old in the Crisis Nursery. If you need a break, haven’t slept, if you need help bring, them here.”
In severe cases, the child can stay up to 72 hours.
Stallone, “never be embarrassed to ask for help. No judgment here. When you come through those doors, we don’t judge. We just want your kids to be safe.”
The Family Support Center even provides an in-home parenting program that offers the skills moms and dads need before they get to their breaking point.
The Family Support Center has three locations: Sugarhouse, Midvale and West Valley.
The phone number to call is 801-967-4259