Alex & Brandon Child Safety Center Provides Safe Custody Exchanges And Visitations
On Christmas Eve, a child custody exchange in the parking lot of a law enforcement center in Alabama ended in tragedy when two children witnessed the fatal shooting of their father. A Child Safety Center in Brainerd works to ensure incidents like this do not happen in Crow Wing County.
The Alex & Brandon Child Safety Center was established in 2000 to ensure safe and supervised child custody exchanges and visitations in the Region 5 area. The Child Safety Center is a member of the Supervised Visitation Network, a membership organization of professionals who provide supervised visitation and access services to families.
“It’s extremely important to our community because what we’re able to offer here is a building that was specifically constructed taking into consideration wanting to prevent the most negative impact that volatile exchanges and visits would have on children,” said Shannon Wussow, Mid-Minnesota Women’s Center Executive Director.
The building is equipped with audio and visual security to ensure the safety of clients and staff during visits. It offers three separate and secure indoor rooms equipped with toys, games, and even a kitchen where families can prepare and enjoy a meal together. The Alex & Brandon Child Safety Center was established after two area children were murdered by their father in a custody exchange, prompting the need for a safe and secure facility.
“The name came from two young boys that were murdered by their father in ‘96. It was a divorce that was not going well, so their mother and the founding mother of the Mid-Minnesota Women’s Center got together and raised money and built this place so that hopefully it would never ever happen again to another family,” explained Linnea Ames, Alex & Brandon Child Safety Center Program Manager.
The Alex & Brandon Child Safety Center is open 365 days a year. Anyone is welcome to use their services with or without a court order.