Children’s Center received a grant of $10,000 from the Reser Family Foundation, which will support specialized testing for up to 200 drug-endangered children.

As Clackamas County’s sole agency providing medical evaluations, forensic interviews and family-support services to children who are suspected victims of abuse and neglect, the Oregon City-based nonprofit plays a vital role in ending the trauma of child abuse. Children of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds are referred to Children’s Center experts for suspicion of abuse, including drug endangerment.

“People on drugs are unpredictable, so kids in these homes have an increased risk of sexual and physical abuse,” said Children’s Center Medical Examiner Chris Smith. “A lot of the kids we’re seeing for drug endangerment we’re also evaluating for other types of abuse.”

Drug exposure is a special concern among young children — infants, toddlers, preschoolers and those who are developmentally delayed. The investment will strengthen efforts to minimize the endangerment of children exposed to harmful substances, such as methamphetamines, marijuana and heroin, and to provide appropriate interventions.

“We are so thankful that the Reser Family Foundation’s support will allow us to expand the availability of our services to the drug endangered children of Clackamas County,” said Children’s Center Executive Director Barbara Peschiera.

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