In July, Boston Children’s Hospital announced it was closing two new Children’s hospitals in Salem, Oregon and the nearby town of Redlands.
The move comes after a number of local news outlets reported on a pattern of child abuse and neglect at the Redlands facilities.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public health authorities have investigated allegations that the facilities at Redlands and Salem, as well as other locations in the state, had failed to report serious and ongoing child abuse or neglect, according to the report.
A federal judge last week blocked the closures.
In response, Salem Hospital announced that it was changing its policy and that its new facilities would be open for business as usual.
In Salem, the Redlanders had opened a new facility at the end of 2016, after a new administration at the hospital and state began implementing stricter rules to deal with the epidemic.
A spokeswoman for the Redland Children’s hospital told Ars that the facility’s child abuse policy has not changed and that staff will continue to support children who need their care.
In Redlands, which is about 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Portland, the child abuse problem has been largely hidden, with the state only reporting instances of child sexual abuse to the FBI.
The city has also had a number, but not all, of the state’s child welfare offices closed for lack of funding.
The state has also said that it’s investigating the Redlander facilities for allegations of child neglect.
Ars reached out to the Salem Children’s Center for comment, but did not receive a response.
“When you have this level of child sex abuse, it’s just so sad,” one former Redlands facility employee told Ars, referring to the widespread abuse.
“I just can’t imagine the kids getting that kind of treatment.”
The Redlands Child Abuse Center did not respond to Ars’ request for comment.
“Redlands is a very small town, so when we started, there were only two child welfare people there, but that number has been increased to five,” the employee added.
“It’s the worst thing you can imagine, and it just shows that child abuse doesn’t just go away when you have a big, rich city like Portland.
It doesn’t even go away.”
“It would be easier to put out a statement, but you can’t do that when the people you’re trying to protect are living in the same building as you.”
The Salem Children Department did not return Ars’ questions for this story.
Ars contacted the Salem Child Abuse Office and the Salem Police Department for comment but did so via phone.
“If I were to go out and see the children that are being abused or neglected at Salem, I’d definitely call them up and ask if they know anyone that could help,” the child worker told Ars.
“The response is, ‘No, no, no.’
But it would be easy to put the children out there and hope that they get the help that they need.”