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What if a Child is Subjected to Child Abuse, Corporal Punishment, or False Imprisonment at a Day Care Center?

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


In Arizona and other States, parents rely on day care centers to provide a safe learning environment for their children. In most facilities, the day care center dutifully cares for the child in a supportive learning center for the children. With proper training and due diligence, children can truly flourish in a day care center. Unfortunately, for some children, a day care center experience is quite something else. Tragically, some children are abused, subjected to corporal punishment, or even falsely imprisoned or trapped in a day care center. When a parent learns of the abuse, neglect, or false imprisonment at a day care center, a parent is faced with many challenges and issues. It is at these times that a parent and the child will need the support of family, friends, community, law enforcement, mental health counselors, medical providers, and, yes, in the appropriate situation, child injury lawyers.

There are three types of legal actions that may apply or move forward when there is abuse, neglect, corporal punishment, or false imprisonment:

1. Criminal Proceedings. The arrest and / or criminal prosecution of a day care center worker accused of criminal acts is a decision to be made by the local law enforcement agency and the state attorney / prosectutor / district attorney. Often times, the investigation is coordinated in part with the social service agency in charge licensing and regulating day care centers and child care providers.

2. Administrative Proceedings. The State social service agency may also take action in the form of putting a day care center on probation, suspension, and in the appropriate circumstance – revocation of the license.

3. Civil Proceedings. A civil proceeding or case can be pursed regardless of there being a successful criminal proceeding or administrative proceeding. A parent, on behalf of the child, can pursue a civil case or claim for compensation for the emotional and / or physical harm caused to the child.

The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Medical Treatment and Bills, Day Care Center Injuries, School Injuries, Playground Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.

In Mesa, Arizona, it was reported that a day care center worker was accused and arrested for the abuse / false imprisonment of a child under her care. It was reported that the child was bound (tied up) with a blanket to the point that the child could not move. Another day care center worker was concerned about this method of “supervision” and took photos of the child. The photos were sent to the photos to the police. The day care center worker will be entitled to representation by a Criminal Defense Lawyer or the local Public Defender. It is most concerning that there are photographs in place that show the restraint of the child. The day care center worker will likely try to explain away the “restraints” and argue that no harm was caused to the child. You can read more about this incident at Mesa, Arizona Child Care Worker Arrested.

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