Decatur Daycare Abuse Attorney Representing Families

We want the best for our children, and if we could, we would be with them throughout the day. Unfortunately, we also need to work to provide support for our families, so we entrust our children to daycare facilities while we are working.

While many daycare providers are dedicated and caring, they may be overworked and unable to provide proper supervision to all the children in their care. And some daycare providers and facilities are only interested in collecting fees and uninterested in the safety and well-being of the children they are paid to care for. In these environments, children are often subjected to abuse and neglect that can cause lifelong physical, mental, and emotional problems.

If you suspect your child may be suffering from neglect or abuse in daycare, it is important to investigate, learn the truth, and hold neglectful daycare facilities responsible for the harm. An experienced Decatur daycare abuse attorney can help you determine what happened and establish liability so that your family can receive compensation to make up for the losses and provide for future needs. At Michael M. Day Law Firm LLC, we understand the rules applicable to care facilities as well as the industry standards that care providers are expected to meet. We know how to show that the failure to fulfill legal obligations caused harm so we can recover full and fair compensation.

Four Types of Daycare Abuse

The conditions that can cause harm in a daycare environment vary tremendously, but they generally fall into one of four areas: physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect. 

Physical abuse involves forceful acts committed against a child’s fragile body. Because their young bodies are still developing, children are extremely vulnerable to long-term harm when force is applied against them. If a daycare provider pushes or drags a child with too much force, the child can suffer lasting injuries. Physical abuse also includes improperly withholding necessities such as food, water, warmth, or sleep as a punishment.

Emotional abuse is not as obvious but can prove just as harmful. Excessive criticism, humiliation, name-calling, yelling, shaming, or bullying behavior can cause severe damage to a child’s self-esteem and hinder mental and emotional development. Feelings of worthlessness can lead to depression and suicidal behavior.

It is very sad to consider how many children are subjected to sexual abuse by a care provider or by someone the provider allows to spend time with the child. Sexual abuse includes inappropriate touching, exhibition, and exposure to inappropriate material such as pornography or dirty jokes.

Neglect may be the most common form of daycare abuse. Many children suffer serious injuries in accidents that occur when they are not properly supervised. They also suffer when their care providers fail to provide proper first aid treatment or other needs. Care providers who are negligent may allow one child to bully another or leave a child alone in a dangerous situation.

Signs of Daycare Abuse or Neglect

Parents or other family members may recognize symptoms of physical abuse when it is severe, but many signs of abuse can be overlooked or ascribed to other causes. A Decatur daycare abuse attorney knows it is important to look for patterns, particularly when a child’s behavior changes.

At Michael M. Day Law Firm, LLC, we have seen numerous indications of abuse and neglect, but some common signs include:

  • Exhibiting fear when returning to daycare or fear over meeting one person in the facility
  • Flinching at the approach of another person
  • Trouble sleeping such as nightmares
  • Difficulty socializing
  • Excessive hunger and thirst after leaving daycare
  • Unexplained bruises
  • Age inappropriate behavior
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Withdrawal and isolation

You know your child better than anyone, so when you notice a circumstance or behavior that seems unusual it is a good idea to make inquiries and find out what is going on. It is far better to investigate a concern and learn that your worries are groundless than to ignore a situation that could be causing lasting harm to your child. The effects of many forms of abuse and neglect can be cumulative, so the longer the situation continues, the more negative effects your child could suffer.

Lawmakers in Georgia enacted provisions to help ensure the safety of children in daycare. Facilities—including family homes—that provide care are required to meet standards, and all those who work with children are supposed to have proper training and background checks to keep inappropriate individuals away from children in daycare.

For example, all facilities are supposed to keep the proper ratio of care providers on-site to match the number of children present at each moment of the day. The approved ratio varies depending on the ages of the children. There are also limits on the number of children that can be cared for at one time.

Those providing care in the home must receive at least 20 hours of training before they can receive a license and must receive 10 hours of care training every year. Those who provide care in a facility must also receive 10 hours of training each year. In addition, there are numerous health and safety requirements regarding facilities including having appropriate fire exits and child-proof settings.

Informal care providers caring for no more than two children are not subject to licensing requirements but still can be held liable for negligence or abusive behavior.

Effects of Daycare Abuse and Neglect

When a facility or an employee within a facility is abusive or negligent, their actions can also have multiple effects on the children in their care. These effects can have a disastrous impact on a child’s development and wellbeing.

Damage could include:

  • Illness due to unsanitary conditions
  • Injuries due to accidents that can require extensive medical care and lead to long-term physical disabilities
  • Development delays due to psychological abuse
  • Eating disorders
  • Injuries from reckless contact or intentional attempts to cause injuries by an employee or other child who was not properly supervised
  • Mental illness and depression
  • Substance abuse
  • Self-injury
  • Suicidal thoughts or worse

Prompt action by loved ones can prevent a child from suffering additional abuse and neglect. In addition, by working with a Decatur daycare abuse attorney to call attention to the problem, you can prevent other families from experiencing the same devastating effects.

How to Protect Your Child from Daycare Abuse

While there is no perfect method to protect your child from the dangers they can be exposed to in daycare, you can take certain steps to help ensure their safety. Before enrolling your child in a facility or home-based care program, do your research. Interview the director and talk to staff. Ask about the daily routine and how they handle emergencies. Look at the facilities closely and if possible, observe other children to see if they seem to be content and interact appropriately.

Additionally, you should talk to the parents of other children enrolled and read reviews. If anything mentioned raises potential concerns or questions, don’t hesitate to ask daycare providers for an explanation.

Once you have enrolled your child, observe their behavior at drop-off and pick-up. If possible, try to watch your child when they do not realize you are there. Show up unannounced on occasion to see what the atmosphere is like when the program is not expecting visitors.

Listen to what your child tells you. Children sometimes exaggerate or exercise their imaginations, but in many cases, they are telling the truth.

If you notice signs of abuse or neglect involving any child, report your observations to the director of the facility and/or Child Protective Services. You can also consult a daycare abuse attorney in Decatur to learn the best options for holding the facility accountable.

A Decatur Daycare Abuse Attorney Can Help Your Family Move Toward a Better Future After Daycare Abuse  

While you may be uncertain what to do if you suspect your child may be subjected to abuse or neglect in daycare, it is important to avoid unnecessary delays that allow the effects to multiply. An experienced daycare abuse attorney at Michael M. Day Law Firm, LLC can advise you about the best steps to protect your child and hold the daycare provider responsible for the harm they have caused.

Your child may require years of physical treatment and mental health care to overcome the harm suffered. This takes a toll on the whole family. We can work to ensure that you receive the resources you need for your future as well as compensation for losses and missed opportunities.

Contact us today for a free consultation and case evaluation to learn what may be possible in your case and what your next crucial steps should be. While we work to recover monetary compensation for families who have suffered all types of tragic losses that could have been prevented, we also care about you and your unique needs. We want to help you find your child the resources they need to recover and move forward.

You can schedule an appointment online or call us at 404-480-4284 to get started with a confidential consultation. Find out what your case is worth now.