Minnesota center for abused, neglected children to expand
Apr. 08, 2018
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minneapolis center that serves abused and neglected children is expanding to meet a growing need for services fueled by the opioid epidemic and increased recognition of abuse.
CornerHouse will add space in Rogers, Minnesota Public Radio reported . CornerHouse is located in south Minneapolis, but center officials say children's needs extend beyond the city.
Rogers still needs to raise money to finalize the move, said Rogers police chief Jeff Beahen. All communities have been impacted by opioid abuse, he said.
"Even in a bedroom community, a fairly well-to-do community like Rogers, we're seeing that impact," said Beahen. "And it's so sad to go into these homes and to see that children aren't being fed. They're not getting clean clothes to go to school."
The expansion announcement comes at the beginning of national child abuse prevention month. Officials encouraged residents to report signs of maltreatment.
"Abuse happens when there are secrets; when families aren't talking about it; or when they're just not aware of the reality of abuse," said Patricia Harmon, executive director of CornerHouse.
Parents and caregivers should pay attention to children and talk to them if there are signs of abuse, she said.
"Ask questions about what goes on at school and other areas," Harmon said. "And encourage them to learn that their bodies belong to them."
Hennepin County saw reported cases of abuse increase by 30 percent between 2006 and 2017.
One case involves two developmentally disabled twins who were abused for years before one was able to escape and report what had happened. The girls' father is jailed on charges of rape, assault and stalking, while the mother is accused of criminal neglect. Both are awaiting trial.
The Associated Press is not naming the parents to avoid identifying their daughters.
Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org