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Old 10-13-2009, 03:09 PM
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seashell seashell is offline
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Default OMG DCF Visited Me Today!

I am still in shock! A neighbor complained that I was letting my daycare children play outside, unattended. DCF showed up on my door step today to investigate. They pushed their way into my house and started examining every inch of my house and the kids I was caring for. The claim was that I was allowing school age children to play outside in the parking area and in the road on a regular basis, with no supervision.

Ready for the kicker here? I don't have afterschool children! The kids they are talking about are neighborhood children, playing outside afterschool. I know the children they are talking about and yes, one of them is my own 11 year old daughter. She can't play outside with her friends why? The kids are all in the middle school, 4th grade and over. My daycare children are all under 3. There was one day a few weeks ago that one of the girls fell off her bike and scraped her leg. My daughter brought her inside and I washed a very small cut and put a band aide on it. I guess this neighbor saw her come in and assumed they all belonged with me.

I explained that my DC kids were all infants and toddlers and that I didn't have school age kids. I explained the kids in question lived in the neighborhood. They didn't believe me! They asked for the names and contact info of my parents. I gave it to them because I have nothing to hide. I told my parents about this when they picked up. One immediately asked for the agents number, she wanted to call and set them straight. She wants to sue them for talking to and evaluating her child without permission.

They claim that this is a pending investigation and they will be in contact. They also told me I could not care for the kids until I heard from. Ummm . . . I did nothing wrong here! They weren't my kids! Does this mean that they will be coming back to harass me some more? I am not stopping caring for the kids when I clearly know this is a misunderstand that will be resolved. What will happen if they find the kids here before the realize the mistake?

Advise is soooo appreciated!


I HATE NOSEY PEOPLE!
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Old 10-13-2009, 03:13 PM
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Oh my goodness! I don't have any advice but I just wanted to tell you how sorry I am to hear you're going through this! What an awful situation, I hope I never experience something like that. My suggestion would be to stick to your guns, continue being honest and the truth will come out soon enough. If it were me though, I would probably just watch the number of children permitted for an unlicensed person until things are resolved. I dunno how you would sort that out, but it's not worth completely losing your license over a misunderstanding, you know? Good luck, I hope things work out.
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Old 10-13-2009, 03:54 PM
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Oh Seashell, I am SO sorry! I, too, don't have any advice. However I am happy to hear that at least you have one of the parents backing you up.

GRRR! I HATE state licensing with a passion! I have NO respect for them whatsoever! When I worked at my former center, we did a yearly Trike-A-Thon benefit to raise money for St. Jude's Children's Hospital. We have done this EVERY single year for the past who knows how long. We had a half moon driveway and so 2 adults would be on each end and 1 adult would be in the middle. Many parents/grandparents always helped us. We had cones to help block the kids in. The adults had whistles and the children ALWAYS listened to our commands. Our center is located on a residential street and it used to be an old house.

About 3 years ago, some fool (turned out to be a neighbor as our state lady told us), reported us saying that we were letting the children right their bikes recklessly in the street.

We had to provide documents to show we were doing this for St. Jude's and the parents who volunteered that day had to write statements and etc etc..just a bunch of baloney.

Yet, when there is an abuse case, sometimes it takes weeks if not months to figure it out!

Long story short, once again I am so sorry Seashell. Please stick to your guns and keep us posted.
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Old 10-13-2009, 05:32 PM
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See if you can get a statement from the parents of the girl whose leg you bandaged, and maybe just to cover your butt, a statement from all of the parents whose children play outside with your daughter that you can.

I know if you're licensed your kids aren't supposed play outside by themselves, but I don't know what business it is of the states if you're not licensed.

I'm sorry you are going through this.
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  #5  
Old 10-13-2009, 08:27 PM
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My4SunshineGirlsNY My4SunshineGirlsNY is offline
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That is just horrible...I know how you feel about nosey people...I was turned in when I was in the process of getting my license for being over my numbers for unlicensed. My husband lost his good paying job and I was trying my hardest to get my license fast and yes, I was over my numbers but our family was struggling....what bothers me is I'm a great provider, great role model, and there are others out there harming kids and I had to be bothered...

anyway, I understand how you feel, that is just terrible that they don't belive you....like someone suggested, get a statement from that girls mother stating she does not attend your daycare.

I'm in NY and I just took my health and safety course over the summer and we can allow school age children to play outside unattended with written permission from the parents as long as we check up on them every 15 min.
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Old 10-14-2009, 05:02 AM
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What state are you in? Have you researched the laws there pertaining to operating pending investigation? I ask because it seems very unAmerican to assume someone's guilt and therefore punish them BEFORE an actual investigation is started let alone before a conclusion from that investigation is drawn. I'm thinking it's probably (at the very least) borderline against your civil rights.

I'm not American but I did live there quite a few years so I have an understanding of how things work in the U.S. Personally, I think they are bullying you because most people probably don't know their rights. I would be googling that issue pretty damn fast if I were you.

Oh, and can you define the acronym "DCF"? For me. I assume it is some sort of child welfare organization but what does it literally stand for?
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Old 10-14-2009, 06:18 AM
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All my kids are here today. Their parents will be calling DCF today and letting them know that I don't have afterschool kids. I am not licensed, so they cant tel me not to take the kids. I also talked to several of the neighbors last night who's kids play outside. Some didnt care to get involved, others will be calling to say that I am not their daycare provider. Im sure this will be done by the end of the day. Here's my question. Will it stay on record somewhere that I was investigated? That would make me so mad!
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Old 10-14-2009, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by judytrickett View Post
What state are you in? Have you researched the laws there pertaining to operating pending investigation? I ask because it seems very unAmerican to assume someone's guilt and therefore punish them BEFORE an actual investigation is started let alone before a conclusion from that investigation is drawn. I'm thinking it's probably (at the very least) borderline against your civil rights.

I'm not American but I did live there quite a few years so I have an understanding of how things work in the U.S. Personally, I think they are bullying you because most people probably don't know their rights. I would be googling that issue pretty damn fast if I were you.

Oh, and can you define the acronym "DCF"? For me. I assume it is some sort of child welfare organization but what does it literally stand for?
If I remember correctly Seashell is in Florida, and if so, then DCF is Department of Children and Families.

Yes, people like to say innocent until proven guilty, although, realistically that doesn't typically happen. Once you've been accused of something, people are digging to find any little thing they can use to throw the book at you. Especially when children are involved.

I wholeheartedly agree with you that she should be researching this herself too as much as possible, just for a little extra protection to use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by seashell View Post
All my kids are here today. Their parents will be calling DCF today and letting them know that I don't have afterschool kids. I am not licensed, so they cant tel me not to take the kids. I also talked to several of the neighbors last night who's kids play outside. Some didnt care to get involved, others will be calling to say that I am not their daycare provider. Im sure this will be done by the end of the day. Here's my question. Will it stay on record somewhere that I was investigated? That would make me so mad!
I'm sorry to hear of the trouble you're having. Sounds like total BS. I like your attitude about you not being licensed so they can't tell you not to take the kids. Very true. Especially considering all of your parents seem to back you up. As far as this staying on record, I would imagine that DCF would start a file with this investigation and it'll probably stay with them. Unfair as it seems for you, I believe that they'd do so, that way if they ever needed to take a provider to court for some heinous crime they would have record of sketchy activities in the past to use as evidence that the person wasn't perfect to begin with. Remember, there are children involved.
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  #9  
Old 10-14-2009, 02:57 PM
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Default DCF means...

Dept. of Children & Families. Same as CPS in some areas, which is Child Protective Services. It's called different things in different states. Yes, a child welfare agency.
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  #10  
Old 10-15-2009, 08:01 AM
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seashell seashell is offline
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Well, they talked to my parents and a few of the neighbors and the official response? "There was no evidence to sustain the complaint". Of course there was no evidence, there was no crime! No appology, no we're sorry to have bothered you, nothing!

Sigh . . . Im glad it's over but I can't help having even less respect for the system now after the way I was treated. I spoke with an attorney who claim that if they ever show up again like that, I should demand a search warrant before letting them in the house. Letting them in? Im never opening my door again to anyone but a parent!

Thanks for the help ladies and gents!
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Old 10-15-2009, 06:10 PM
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I am glad everything worked out for you!
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Old 10-16-2009, 06:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seashell View Post
Well, they talked to my parents and a few of the neighbors and the official response? "There was no evidence to sustain the complaint". Of course there was no evidence, there was no crime! No appology, no we're sorry to have bothered you, nothing!

Sigh . . . Im glad it's over but I can't help having even less respect for the system now after the way I was treated. I spoke with an attorney who claim that if they ever show up again like that, I should demand a search warrant before letting them in the house. Letting them in? Im never opening my door again to anyone but a parent!

Thanks for the help ladies and gents!
Yiippy! I am SO happy that it worked out for you! I am also proud that you spoke with your attorney! Good thinking!

Thanks for the update!
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  #13  
Old 10-16-2009, 06:52 AM
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Thats great news! It sounds much like what they do when someone turns a parent in for neglect/ abuse. I have it done afew time all cuz I pissed someone off. One was a provider I had. The worker showed up where I worked! She gave me a big list of what she had to look into everyone of them I shot down. I remember one was that I did not take him to the Dr when I should - I had the kid to the Dr every month told her to call his Dr & talk to them, by the end of the day I had a call saying not to worry but they had to look into it. I was pissed cuz it made me look like a bad parent but those who turn you in for nothing get away with it.
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Old 10-18-2009, 01:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by judytrickett View Post
What state are you in? Have you researched the laws there pertaining to operating pending investigation? I ask because it seems very unAmerican to assume someone's guilt and therefore punish them BEFORE an actual investigation is started let alone before a conclusion from that investigation is drawn. I'm thinking it's probably (at the very least) borderline against your civil rights.

I'm not American but I did live there quite a few years so I have an understanding of how things work in the U.S. Personally, I think they are bullying you because most people probably don't know their rights. I would be googling that issue pretty damn fast if I were you.

Oh, and can you define the acronym "DCF"? For me. I assume it is some sort of child welfare organization but what does it literally stand for?
If you read the fine print on most facilities of this style (day care, foster care, group homes, etc) you will find that in there, is something to the effect that you will open your place of business, your records, and comply with all investigations, or your license is automatically revoked and you can be charged with obstruction.

It falls under the laws of "implied consent".....such as, if you drive a motor vehicle, you have automatically consented to undergoing a breathalyzer or BAC test if suspected of operating under the influence.


Quote:
Originally Posted by seashell View Post
Well, they talked to my parents and a few of the neighbors and the official response? "There was no evidence to sustain the complaint". Of course there was no evidence, there was no crime! No appology, no we're sorry to have bothered you, nothing!

Sigh . . . Im glad it's over but I can't help having even less respect for the system now after the way I was treated. I spoke with an attorney who claim that if they ever show up again like that, I should demand a search warrant before letting them in the house. Letting them in? Im never opening my door again to anyone but a parent!

Thanks for the help ladies and gents!
I'd talk to another attorney, one that actually understands what kind of facility you are operating, the wording of the license, and what they are talking about.

Refusing to allow an inspection of a facility (in most states) is automatic grounds for closure. And good luck getting re-opened.

Think of it like a restaurant refusing to allow the health inspector in......yeah, that wouldn't go well for them either.


While what you went through was a major PITA, stop and think about it from the other side of the situation....they get a call reporting that kids in daycare center XYZ are playing in the road, and if they don't respond and thoroughly investigate, THEY are called out as being negligent, and the fault falls upon DCF for ignoring a complaint if something were to happen (a kid in your care playing in the street getting run over and killed).

About them not believing you, I'm sure they've heard more lies in their line of work than you'd imagine. The only way to get to the truth is a thorough, complete investigation.

They're doing their job.....however much it may seem that they are picking on you.
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Old 10-19-2009, 05:23 AM
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seashell seashell is offline
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The difference is, I am not licensed and have no intention of getting a license. Therefor, there is no implied concent applicable here and they have no reason to storm my house.

I understand they have a job to do, but being rude and disrespectful is not part of their job.
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Old 10-19-2009, 06:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seashell View Post
The difference is, I am not licensed and have no intention of getting a license. Therefor, there is no implied concent applicable here and they have no reason to storm my house.

I understand they have a job to do, but being rude and disrespectful is not part of their job.
I TOTALLY agree! They had absolutely no business being there. Now if it was an allegation of some physical abuse, that would be different. However just because some nosy a** neighbor who has nothing better to do than to sit by a window and report people, that is ridiculous.

As I said before, I am so happy that it worked out in the end for you. Chalk it up as a learning experience
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Old 10-19-2009, 12:35 PM
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Hmmmm...I'm pretty sure that they can do their job without being rude. I understand that they see a lot of things and hear a lot of lies, but that doesn't excuse them. I am equally certain that they see many, many false complaints and therefore shouldn't make up their minds before they get to the truth. Investigate, yes. Be respectful of another human being...absolutely.

By the way, I have had a similar experience. The investigator showed up, just one investigator. We talked, I explained the situation (in this case I had contacted a mother regarding the welfare of her children while with the non-custodial parent, he had called me at home on the weekend, drunk) She contaced the police to do a well child visit...my name showed up in the police report and he was angry to say the least.

Anyway, she didn't push her way in, treat me like a criminal, and wasn't in any other way disrespectful. She did her job like a professional.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chickenhauler View Post
If you read the fine print on most facilities of this style (day care, foster care, group homes, etc) you will find that in there, is something to the effect that you will open your place of business, your records, and comply with all investigations, or your license is automatically revoked and you can be charged with obstruction.

It falls under the laws of "implied consent".....such as, if you drive a motor vehicle, you have automatically consented to undergoing a breathalyzer or BAC test if suspected of operating under the influence.




I'd talk to another attorney, one that actually understands what kind of facility you are operating, the wording of the license, and what they are talking about.

Refusing to allow an inspection of a facility (in most states) is automatic grounds for closure. And good luck getting re-opened.

Think of it like a restaurant refusing to allow the health inspector in......yeah, that wouldn't go well for them either.


While what you went through was a major PITA, stop and think about it from the other side of the situation....they get a call reporting that kids in daycare center XYZ are playing in the road, and if they don't respond and thoroughly investigate, THEY are called out as being negligent, and the fault falls upon DCF for ignoring a complaint if something were to happen (a kid in your care playing in the street getting run over and killed).

About them not believing you, I'm sure they've heard more lies in their line of work than you'd imagine. The only way to get to the truth is a thorough, complete investigation.

They're doing their job.....however much it may seem that they are picking on you.
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  #18  
Old 11-25-2009, 07:09 PM
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I had Children & youth here about 2 weeks ago. It was all bs.
They complained I had a 5 year old boy running around outside in a diaper & that same child drove a bike over the cliff at the back of my property. The things is it was my nighbors son not mine & in their care both times. (over the cliff was 1 1/2 yrs ago.)
That I leave the daycare kids run loose in the yard. Well I live in Pa & all daycares can not have the children outside w/out a fenced yard. I have 2 two year olds, a 11 month old & a 6 month old. I said u got to be kidding me. I live on a end lot and have a propery that is odd shaped that is 20 feet wide, back 125 feet and 160 feet angel conects them. So i am the local play ground.
The other complaint was I make a mentally retarded adult live in my basement.
I do and I have a full aprtment down there and am licenced by the state to do shared living.
That the police are here all the time. Again the neighbor's house not mine. I moved in here almost 2 years ago & they were here only 1 time. That was June 1, 2008 when a parent punched my husband in the face because he told them after 3 1/2 months of care & no payment to take their kids home & keep them.
She told me not to worry but I still have not gotten my notice of being cleared.

In PA if I was licensed they could close me down while investigating. But unlicensed they can not.

If they come and I am over ration (3 children at a time) I will be closed & not elligable for a licence in my state. Plus fined $1000 a day if I wold stay open.
It is a pain & scarry. I was very open with all my parents and they called in and voiced their opion. The thing is I do foster care & custody care and am doing a home study to adopt a special needs child. Neighbor & parents can say or call Children & youth anytime you do not do what they want.
I follow the law to T and do what I have to. And deal with it as it comes along. I am applying for my licencing because 1 parent is due in March & i need another spot to take her baby in care. But I fear if someone wants gets mad they will close me down and then what?
Any sujestions form others who went thru things?

Last edited by Michael; 11-25-2009 at 09:18 PM.
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