Children are among the most valuable and vulnerable members of our society. Abuse or neglect at a childcare center can result in physical or emotional trauma to the child and a loss of trust by the parents. These facilities are governed by laws and regulations designed to protect children. When childcare centers fail to follow these rules, serious consequences can result. Abuse and neglect can lead to not only physical injury, but also mental and emotional issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. Appropriate evaluation and treatment by mental health professionals is often required. Signs of abuse include unexplained cuts and bruises, headaches or stomachaches with no known medical cause, changes in behavior, and emotional volatility. If you suspect your child has been injured as the result of day care abuse or neglect, contact us to discuss the legal options available to you.
Many infants and toddlers in this country participate in some form of out of home daycare or childcare. Working parents who do not have the luxury of in-home childcare must rely upon these daycare and childcare providers to provide a safe and nurturing environment for their children. This requires a great deal of trust by the parents and places an enormous responsibility on the providers. When this trust is breached through instances of abuse or neglect, it can result in significant physical and/or emotional harm.
Signs of Abuse or Neglect Leaving your child at a daycare center can be difficult on its own, but the idea that your child could ever face emotional or physical abuse while there is almost unthinkable. Cases of daycare abuse are serious, and parents should handle them immediately, but parents are often unable to determine whether their child is mistreated. Children are constantly growing and changing their behaviors, so it can be difficult to know whether something abnormal is happening in your child’s life. Here are some signs of daycare abuse to notice.
All children are different. Some kids have severe separation anxiety, while others never experience it at all. Both can be normal, but sudden changes in behavior are what you should notice. The important sign to watch out for is if their behavior relates to daycare specifically and whether or not a pattern forms. If your child is old enough, be sure to ask questions to determine whether something negative is happening. They could be feeling anger at an individual at the daycare center or acting fearful and aggressive rather than just upset.
Listening to your child is extremely important. Young children in particular will be honest, so don’t be afraid to ask them directly what happens while you’re not around. Also, pay attention to what your child isn’t saying. Children become more independent when they get older, but if your child suddenly withdraws from you, it may indicate they are hiding something. Children don’t like to keep secrets from their parents, so any signs of guilt should also be a red flag that something more is going on.
Obvious signs of physical harm immediately, especially for young children who are not mobile. Kids who run and play can be injured easily, so it can be difficult to tell what injuries are caused by accidents and what could be something more. Repeated injuries should be cause for alarm, particularly if your child is unable to explain where they came from. Additionally, if your child complains of stomachaches, headaches, or has a sudden loss of appetite with no known medical cause, then you may have cause to investigate further.
Effects of Abuse or Neglect Abuse and neglect can lead to a variety of results for children and their families. The physical effects are obvious. While young children may be spared the mental and emotional trauma that these incidents can lead to, older children can carry with them the effects of abuse and neglect for years. This can lead to mental and emotional issues, ranging from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to anxiety to depression. Appropriate evaluation and treatment by mental health professionals is often required.
Daycare Abuse & Neglect Attorney It is important to retain counsel who are experienced in evaluating and litigating daycare abuse and neglect cases to maximize the value of your case. Navigating the Department of Social Services regulations, investigations and proceedings is an important aspect of these cases. If your little one has been the victim of abuse or neglect at a daycare or childcare facility, please contact us to discuss the legal options available to you.