This year, we've published reports of physical and sexual abuse, even a pregnancy, at Sonoma Developmental Center in Eldridge, which houses people who are unable to live with their families because of conditions such as cerebral palsy.
The most recent story reported 36 cases of sexual abuse that went uninvestigated at facilities such as this one throughout the state, most of them reported at the Sonoma center. Many of the articles have been generated by an investigative project called California Watch. The group obtained confidential records from a variety of sources.
Sonoma Developmental Center is one of five facilities operated by the state in five counties.
In August, Patch contacted a group of parents who have loved ones within the center. Executive director of Parent Hospital Association, Kathleen Miller, made this video statement on the group's website. She said the majority of staff at the Sonoma Center are there "for the right reasons." She said staff were the ones to report abuse and that the Sonoma center constantly is being observed by the loved ones who visit clients there. She also said that staff are being overworked due to budget constraints.
Patch would like to hear directly from family members and guardians who have loved ones in Sonoma Developmental Center, so we can hear both sides of the story.
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