Children’s residential treatment center arrives in Cold Spring

COLD SPRING – A new type of treatment center for children with intellectual, developmental and mental health issues will arrive in central Minnesota next year.

Partly because of the pandemic, Minnesota issued a Request for Proposal (RPF) to bring in providers who could meet the growing need for children’s mental health services in the state.

The Grafton Integrated Health Network submitted a proposal and was hired by the Minnesota Department of Human Services to operate a 30-bed Residential Psychiatric Treatment Facility (PRTF) in Cold Spring.

The center will be the first in Grafton, Minnesota and will serve children ages 8 to 21 who are enrolled in school. Operations administrator Abdus Samad says the Virginia-based organization was started in the 1950s by a woman whose dyslexic son couldn’t get the help he needed in school.

She wasn’t someone who would give up, so she started to educate him on her own. She herself had a background in teaching. The neighbors found out that Ruth Birch was having issues with the school district and started contacting her. Neighbors and people from the local community said that my child had this problem, or that the school district would not help me and that is really how it started.

The inpatient center will partner with other local providers to offer a variety of care strategies such as individual, family and group therapy, as well as specialized services, such as occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech therapy. The goal is to help families identify and manage behaviors and triggers and bring children back to their homes.

Samad says the care offered at the center is unlike anything else currently available in the state, as staff will be trained in the Ukeru method. The system was created by Grafton in 2004 after a patient died in a group home in the mid-1990s from a medical condition aggravated by restraint.

The leaders of the day got together and began to explore options for alternatives to physical restraint and physical isolation. So it is a de-escalation and behavior management system that is solely relationship-based.

The facility at 224 Krays Mill Road is expected to open in early 2022, once renovations and hiring are complete.

You can find out more about the services available or apply for one of the nearly 45 open positions by visiting Grafton’s website or by contacting Samad by email at [email protected] or by phone at 540-486-6231.

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