The most important task that any parent has is safeguarding their children. While many parents would prefer that someone in their family provide substitute care for them when needed, the reality is that few parents ever have that option. Even still, there are always times when an outside care giver may be necessary to watch over children.
Unfortunately, there has been a rise in neglect and abuse injuries sustained by children with certain child care providers. In North Carolina, for instance, there has been an increase of around 26 percent or reported cases in recent years. Below is some information on how to choose the safest child care services and detect possible negligence.
1) Plan Ahead
Start the search for a care giver several months to a year beforehand since the best caregivers and facilities usually fill up quickly. Doing so will make sure that the proper amount of time is taken to make one of the most important decisions a parent will ever make for their children.
2) Obtain Referrals
Friends, family and co-workers often know of reputable child care providers to consider. Begin the search by gathering referrals and contact a child care resource and referral agency to learn about options in the area to suit your needs.
3) Do Research
Once you have a list of referrals, conduct research online and through local agencies to determine if they have ever had any safety violations or complaints for negligence or other illegal activities filed against them. For instance, it is estimated that every five minutes in North Carolina a child is abused or neglected. As a result, Child Advocacy Centers in the region have investigated nearly 6,500 child abuse cases annually.
4) Do Interviews
Visit several facilities or interview at least three potential care givers. Take note of the facility or home’s appearance for safety, state of the art equipment and how any other children are present. Broken or dirty supplies or facilities and uncared for children can be a sign of neglect or abuse. When interviewing individuals, make note of how they speak and how it feels to be in their presence. For those who have made the final cut, introduce your child to them and see how they interact. While many babies, toddlers and other kids may be a little uncomfortable, you can still get a feel for how well they will get on with the care giver or new environment.
5) Ask Key Questions
Ascertain the following information with regard to each potential caregiver or facility:
a. Care giver and facility training, education and accreditation
b. Adult to child ratio and group size
c. Staff turnover or job history and references
When You Suspect Abuse or Neglect
Anyone who suspects that their child, or anyone else, has been a victim of any form of abuse or neglect at the hands of a child care worker or facility should record all the particulars in writing and get photos and video if possible. This should be done prior to removing the child from the care of the suspected abuser to have full access of the facility.
Finally, it is the parent’s duty to protect their children and make sure that their human rights are not violated. For example, North Carolina laws mandate that cases of abuse be reported to authorities. Should there ever be a suspicion that a child has been endangered or mistreated by child care workers, it is may be a good idea to contact any one of the Charlotte, NC personal injury attorneys as soon as possible to discuss how best to proceed. In this way, parents and victimized children may be compensated if necessary for medical care, pain and suffering and parental loss of income as a result of the negligence or abuse.
Jamica Bell is a blogger and proud mother of seven. As a parental advocate, she contributes this article to equip moms, dads, and guardians to protect their children to the best of their ability. Charlotte, NC personal injury attorneys, such as Auger and Auger Attorneys at Law, use their experience and knowledge to protect the legal rights of victims of child abuse and neglect at the hands of child care workers.