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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>What To Do In a Case of Drug Abuse of Parent
Unregistered 01:47 AM 03-29-2008
I had a situation where when the mother would come to drop off her child, going to work into my home daycare she would have an odor sometimes strong and sometimes not so strong. Her eyes would look closed like. This is what she look like on the interview, and of course I thought this was a natural look for her. My assistant and I would have to spray Lysol and open the door.

I really did not want to believe this was what I thought, (drugs) the next week my assistant smell this on this child and in trying to find where it was coming from strongly. It was the child shoes.

Another time the mother came in, it was so strong. Her eyes were closed somewhat. Just in the few minutes she was in to drop off the child, my head started to hurt.
I confronted the mother and told her what I was smelling and if it was doing drugs, she can not do that in front of her child. (The child is 2 and is developmentally delayed, and the only words she can say is hi, thank-you , and her words are not clear). I told her we have to be concern about her child, if she was doing drugs in front of the child. This is not exceptable. The mother was angry with me. Plus there was some problems able her pick times.

She said, "that she does not do drugs, see smokes cigarettes." Well, the next couple of days it was not so bad.
I reported it to the authorities, I am wondering how will they handle this situation even though I did not see her smoking anything.

In all my days of child care I have never had to deal with anything like this!!
This is really not comfortable.

Can someone give me understanding on this matter?
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preciousangels 12:34 PM 04-05-2008
As a child care provider you are a mandated reporter for the children in your care (or at least MO is mandated I don't know of other states but I imagine abuse/neglect laws are same in all states.) If you suspect its drugs call your county division of child and family children division (formerly known as DFS Division of Family) and report the parent. Yeah she'll probably figure who did it and pull the child but if their is a smell on both parent and child, along with developmental delays of the child I'd say either the house isn't fit to be lived in due to cleanliness or their is drug use going on. If mom's mad that's sure signs of a drug use, denial/anger when confront. At least the county social worker would be in process of investigating it and making the living arrangement for the child safer. I am a director of a child care facility and have a degree in the child & family area so I am looking at this from alll angles. You don't want to lose the kid as far as your count and income goes but on the other hand what happens if the mother is under the influence when she picks up little Johnny or Susie and has an accident. I have it in my policy if I suspect a parent or person picking up appears under the influence of any substance the child will remain in my care until another adult who is authorized to pick up can be available. This is for the safety of the child. Knock on wood I haven't had it happen yet. Consider what's in the best interest of the child. Hope it helps.
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Unregistered 11:26 AM 04-09-2008
Yes, I do agree with everything you have said. I have it my contract that is I suspect abuse or neglect I will have to report it to the authorities.

Sometimes in this business when things happens you just need to connect to another in the same business.

I do thank you for taking your time to reply.

I know I would have a rough time when I report this issue. Now she has gone to license board, fire department and I don't know who else. They realized that it lies when they come. The things she said were of course untruths.

I still have to take her to small claim court for the money. She cancel the contract and said she will not give two weeks noticve as per contract.

What are you feeling on this.

Thanks
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Unregistered 07:25 PM 04-19-2008
Apparently she's disgruntal about you confronting her about her problem. (I'm actually seeking experience in this field to go with my degree in the event I don't stay in the child care field. Plus I have a few close family members with substance abuse or bordering abuse problems.) Most people with a drug/alcohol addiction will deny they have a problem, they will become confrontational when pegged on it. You may feel a bit remorse, lose a child, but by getting authorities involved the parent will hopefully get the help they need even if it means the child has to be placed in foster care to do so. If she's any kind of parent and loves her child, she'll do what's best and get herself clean so they can have a positive future together. Parents lead by example to their children even in the young impressionable years.

From what I remember from Contract Law in my Business Law 1 and I'm going to presume that its standard for all states Contract Law, but you may want to check in your county with the prosecuting attorney. If she signed a contract stating she is to give 2 weeks notice and 2 weeks payment and refuses, you have late fees that are attached to payments not made on time then the court will (should) back you provided you have the written and signed contract as evidence. You won't even need an attorney for small claims unless the amount goes over $1000 (it may vary by state too for small claims). If its verbal agreement, it'll be your word against hers and judgement may not be given. Which she'd "win" but it's always best to have written and signed documentation in the event things like this occur. The parent doesn't have to agree to what they are signing but if they signed it, they agreed to it. Unless there is any given reason that she could claim she didn't know what she was signing or wasn't "in right state of mind" you might have a battle, but if she has an addiction problem with substances I imagine that would be dismissed by the courts.

Calling Child Services is never easy and definately nerve racking, especially with the possiblity you could be in court when it goes, but we do what we have to and protect our valuables (children). I'm getting closer to potentially having to make the call myself, I'm documenting information on the child based off their behavior changes, markings on their body, etc. I know I don't need much to make the call, I just want to make sure I have most my fees collected when I have to make the call.

Hope some of this is a help. Don't quote me on the Contract Law 100%, its been a few years since I had the class, plus I'm sure Contract Law may vary by state.
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Tags:accusations, drugs, small claims
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