Recently, daycare or child care sex abuse has captured the public’s attention. Sex abuse complaints have been laid at the feet of small owner-operated facilities as well as major corporations running hundreds or thousands of daycare centers. With this in mind, how do you protect your child from child care sex abuse?
As the parent of a child in daycare, you should demand that these facilities follow the law when it comes to ensuring the care and safety of your child. In California, the Community Care Licensing Division regulates daycare centers according to the California Code of Regulations, Title 22. Title 22 helps establish and enforce health and safety standards for child care programs. Title 22 also dictates how many ECE units a daycare worker requires to have unsupervised access to your child. Knowing applicable laws can help you ascertain whether or not a child care center is putting your child at risk.
As we have learned in litigation against corporations such as Child Development, Inc. (CDI), even large and well-established Californian daycare providers might not follow the laws designed to protect your child, or even be aware such laws exist.
How to Protect Your Child from Child Care Sex Abuse
The safety of your child starts with the daycare center’s hiring policies. Does the facility call prospective employees’ previous employers for references? If so, how many former employees does the facility contact? Does the facility do a background check and if so, how exhaustive is it? Ask what policies are in place (if any) to ensure that children are left alone only with qualified employees. Also, ask what training (if any) employees receive about the signs and symptoms of child sexual abuse. Lastly, ask what policies and procedures are in place for reporting and dealing with suspected child sexual abuse. How does the daycare center respond to such allegations? The answers to these questions will either; reassure you that the daycare center is taking the safety of your children seriously; or convince you that they have not made the prevention of child sexual abuse their top priority.
Allegations of child care sex abuse pose many challenges. Typically, they involve numerous victims, who may have been coerced or threatened by facility staff to prevent them from reporting their abuse. A proper daycare center is accountable and concerned for the welfare of the children it serves, and should engage local law enforcement to help investigate the slightest suspicion of child sex crimes.
If you or a loved one has been sexually abused in a daycare or child care facility, please call the law firm of Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard. We can help guide you through this difficult time. Call our San Jose office at 408-289-1417, toll-free at 866-433-6797, or contact us online to schedule your free confidential consultation.