Tucson Daycare Abuse Attorneys
When you drop your children off at daycare, you do so with the impression that they will be taken care of. Sadly, that is not always the case. Many abusers gravitate toward daycares and other childcare facilities, as children are easy targets for abuse. Even if you did your research and picked a daycare you believed to be safe, the owner may have neglected to do her duty and hired someone unstable. When that happens, it puts all children in the daycare in great danger.
If you child was abused at a daycare in Tucson, you should hold the abuser and the daycare responsible for the damage that was done. Doing so, however, will require the help of compassionate and dedicated attorney. At Breyer Law Offices, P.C,. we fight for the rights of our clients, especially when they are children. To tell us what happened, call the Husband and Wife Law Team at (520) 624-4228 today.
The word “abuse” conjures up images of hitting and slapping. However, there are many different kinds of abuse. Some don’t involve any physical contact. All of them are dangerous, especially for developing children. For children to grow into strong and healthy adults, they need nurturing and loving supervision, which teaches them right from wrong. Abuse, in all of its forms, is the opposite of that. The most common forms of abuse include:
Physical abuse: This is the act of physically harming someone, and can involve kicking, slapping, punching, pinching, biting, and even burning. It is never okay to physically harm a child on purpose, especially since children are much weaker and smaller than adults and can sustain permanent injuries.
Emotional abuse: Children are not just physically fragile, but mentally fragile as well. Screaming, shouting, or demeaning a child can impact that child’s ability to develop mentally and emotionally. Children who are emotionally abused can grow up with deep-seated psychological problems, or even develop anger issues themselves, going on to scream and lash out at others.
Sexual abuse: Children are never able to consent to any kind of sexual contact. In Arizona, the age of consent is 18, so anyone under that age is not legally able to give consent for a sexual act. If an adult has any kind of sexual contact with a child under the age of 18, that is sexual abuse. This kind of abuse can be particularly damaging for children, as it can warp their perception of appropriate behavior, as well as damage their mental health.
Medical abuse: If a caregiver ignores a doctor’s orders, whether that means neglecting to give needed medication, implementing a dangerous diet, or giving the wrong medication, then that caregiver is practicing medical abuse. This kind of abuse can be deadly, especially if a child has a serious medical condition, such as fatal allergies or severe asthma.
Neglect: Neglect can be one of the hardest forms of abuse to spot. Children are not capable of taking care of themselves, which is why parents turn to daycares for help. When children are neglected -- as in left unfed, unwashed, or not properly dressed for the weather -- then they can become ill, injured, or even die. A caregiver’s job is to ensure the safety and health of her charges. Purposefully refusing to do so is a form of abuse.
You may not notice that the daycare staff watching over your child engages in abuse. Oftentimes these abusers will put on an act for parents. They may even threaten your child into silence. That is why knowing the signs of abuse is so important. It is unlikely that anyone, even your own child, will admit to the abuse freely. An investigation will need to be launched, but that can only happen if you are able to spot the signs yourself. Be on the lookout for:
- Sudden, unexplainable injuries
- Changes in behavior, such as hostility, aggression, or hyperactivity
- Changes in school performance or developmental abilities
- New, unusual fears
- A loss of self-confidence
- A noticeable loss in weight or poor health
- Poor hygiene
- Sudden defiant behavior
- A reluctance to go back to daycare
- A fear of caregivers
- Sexual behavior and knowledge that is not appropriate for your child’s age
- An onset of intense affection seeking
- A loss of interest in beloved activities and hobbies
If you notice just one of these signs in your child, it may or may not be from abuse. Keep in mind that everyone reacts to trauma differently, especially children, who do not have the same outlets as adults. Your child may show some of these signs, or they may show next to none. What is important is that you pay close attention to the daycare and its staff, and take action when you suspect something is not right.
If you begin to notice worrying signs in your child, you should take action quickly. Even one instance of abuse, whether it be physical, sexual, or emotional, is enough to permanently harm your child.
The first step is to remove your child from the abusive environment. This can be difficult for working parents who are unable to care for their child during the day, but allowing your child to stay at the abusive daycare for even one more day could lead to serious and irreversible damage. Call in favors from family, friends, and trusted neighbors until the situation is settled.
Your second step is to contact the authorities, both the police and the Arizona Department of Child Safety. Tell them why you suspect abuse, and hand over any evidence that you may have gathered, such as photos of your child’s injuries, a medical examination of your child, or a record of your child’s behavioral issues. From there, the authorities can conduct their own investigation into the daycare center.
The third step is to contact a local attorney who has experience dealing with abusive daycares. You may put together a claim against the daycare, the staff member, or both. Treating a child who has suffered abuse is a long and costly process. Your child will probably need therapy sessions to lessen the damage that has been done, on top of medical treatment for any physical injuries due to the abuse. By filing a claim against the liable party, you can make sure that you have the funds your child needs to heal.
You might assume the abuser is the only one to blame for the abuse. However, that is not always the case. Keep in mind that in order for abuse to continue, others must turn a blind eye. In our experience, liable parties for daycare abuse can include:
The abuser: Of course, the first person who should be considered responsible is the abuser. Anyone who abuses children should be held accountable, in both criminal and civil court. Abuse is never acceptable.
Other staff: Larger daycares often have multiple staff members. Employees of daycares are required by law to keep children safe, and that includes spotting signs of abuse. If staff members saw clear indications of abuse, or knew that the abuse was happening and did nothing, then they would also be considered liable for your child’s injuries.
The daycare: Employers are considered responsible for their employee’s actions. If the people in charge of the daycare allowed the abuse, or created an environment where the abuse was tolerated, then they are also responsible for the damage done to your child. This is true whether the daycare is run by a corporation or in someone’s house.
If you do decide that you want to file a claim against the parties that allowed your child to be abused, then you will need help. This kind of case is not only complicated, but emotionally difficult. It will require an investigation into what exactly happened to your child, as well as to other children, and that process is difficult for any parent. That is why working with a skilled and compassionate Tucson attorney will be key to moving forward with your case.
No child should have to face abuse, and no parent should see their child abused. If your child was abused at daycare, then you need strong legal help. We at Breyer Law Offices, P.C., are dedicated personal injury attorneys, and we want to help you get the justice you deserve. To speak with one of our skilled lawyers, call us at (520) 624-4228.
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Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer