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Old 12-11-2013, 10:07 AM
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Unhappy Divorce with Restraining Order? Need advice!

I have a 2 year old girl that I've been watching for a few months now. She is the sweetest little girl but extremely shy and so is her young mother. I've never met the father. The girl never speaks, is very timid, is shy about eating, playing... just everything. She's affectionate but once you let her sit with you, she clings on you and cries when you need to move away from her.

About two months ago the grandma who picks the girl up sometimes, tells me that the mom & dad are going thru a very messy divorce and she was worried about the little girl because it seems to be effecting her. I told her that yes she is extremely shy and timid here but I wasnt sure if that was just her norm since she'd only been here for a few weeks.

Another month later the mom came to drop off the daughter and the mom had bandages on her arm from her elbow all the way to her fingertips because she said she got 3rd degree burns. When I asked her what happened she quickly left and didn't answer my question. I had this sick feeling that it was from abuse from her ex... but I didn't know if I should ask. I just can't figure how someone gets 3rd degree burns from their elbow to their fingertips unless they stuck their arm in a pot of boiling water or something?

Now another month later the mom informs me that their divorce is complete but she says she "forgot" to tell me but she has a restraining order against the dad and he couldn't come anywhere near her or the little girl. I was a little shocked she hadn't told me because thats really important to know, right?

So I asked the mom to give me a copy of her restraining order asap in case he ever showed up here. I told her that I wouldn't open the door for him and I would call the police. I don't know if this is what I'm supposed to do - but if he is violent possibly - then is this what I should do? Especially with a restraining order? She tells me that the dad doesn't even know she goes to a daycare and doesn't know where I'm located. But I've seen too many Lifetime movies to know that he could easily figure that out! lol

So fast forward to this week... The mom was supposed to bring me a copy of the restraining order this morning (her first day back since last week). She no-shows and just text me that she had to go to court again and the court awarded the dad custody for 2 days of the week (2 days she's normally with me). So she wanted to switch her assigned days up. She told me that the court dropped the restraining order BUT he is ONLY allowed to see her & have her on 2 days of the week and no other days.

Soooo my questions are...

(1) Is it bad to ask the mom if the dad was violent or abusive at all to her or the daughter? I just keep thinking about the burns and how scared the daughter always is.

(2) If the restraining order was dropped and he's only assigned to have her 2 days of the week... IF he was to show up here on his "off" days - should I open the door? Should I call the police? Should I call licensing and ask?

(3) Is this just a bad situation that I should consider terming care for? I'm just worried about the safety of my other children here and my own.

I've never had a situation like this so I have no idea what I should do. I want to continue caring for her because she is so sweet & a very easy child. But I just don't know what to do if he does come here and tries to pick her up. With a restraining order in effect I figured I just wouldn't open the door - and then call the police with the restraining order in hand. But now that the restraining order is dropped... Not sure how I would handle him just showing up. Hopefully he never figures out she's here and I won't have to deal with it... but just want to be prepared... JUST in case.

UGH. Thanks for any advice!
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  #2  
Old 12-11-2013, 10:14 AM
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thetoddlerwhisper thetoddlerwhisper is offline
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for our kis who only see dad a couple times a week the mom has to call and let me know the dad is coming to get them. if she doesnt call he cant have the kids. its in their parenting plan though
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Old 12-11-2013, 10:15 AM
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Cradle2crayons Cradle2crayons is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I have a 2 year old girl that I've been watching for a few months now. She is the sweetest little girl but extremely shy and so is her young mother. I've never met the father. The girl never speaks, is very timid, is shy about eating, playing... just everything. She's affectionate but once you let her sit with you, she clings on you and cries when you need to move away from her.

About two months ago the grandma who picks the girl up sometimes, tells me that the mom & dad are going thru a very messy divorce and she was worried about the little girl because it seems to be effecting her. I told her that yes she is extremely shy and timid here but I wasnt sure if that was just her norm since she'd only been here for a few weeks.

Another month later the mom came to drop off the daughter and the mom had bandages on her arm from her elbow all the way to her fingertips because she said she got 3rd degree burns. When I asked her what happened she quickly left and didn't answer my question. I had this sick feeling that it was from abuse from her ex... but I didn't know if I should ask. I just can't figure how someone gets 3rd degree burns from their elbow to their fingertips unless they stuck their arm in a pot of boiling water or something?

Now another month later the mom informs me that their divorce is complete but she says she "forgot" to tell me but she has a restraining order against the dad and he couldn't come anywhere near her or the little girl. I was a little shocked she hadn't told me because thats really important to know, right?

So I asked the mom to give me a copy of her restraining order asap in case he ever showed up here. I told her that I wouldn't open the door for him and I would call the police. I don't know if this is what I'm supposed to do - but if he is violent possibly - then is this what I should do? Especially with a restraining order? She tells me that the dad doesn't even know she goes to a daycare and doesn't know where I'm located. But I've seen too many Lifetime movies to know that he could easily figure that out! lol

So fast forward to this week... The mom was supposed to bring me a copy of the restraining order this morning (her first day back since last week). She no-shows and just text me that she had to go to court again and the court awarded the dad custody for 2 days of the week (2 days she's normally with me). So she wanted to switch her assigned days up. She told me that the court dropped the restraining order BUT he is ONLY allowed to see her & have her on 2 days of the week and no other days.

Soooo my questions are...

(1) Is it bad to ask the mom if the dad was violent or abusive at all to her or the daughter? I just keep thinking about the burns and how scared the daughter always is.

(2) If the restraining order was dropped and he's only assigned to have her 2 days of the week... IF he was to show up here on his "off" days - should I open the door? Should I call the police? Should I call licensing and ask?

(3) Is this just a bad situation that I should consider terming care for? I'm just worried about the safety of my other children here and my own.

I've never had a situation like this so I have no idea what I should do. I want to continue caring for her because she is so sweet & a very easy child. But I just don't know what to do if he does come here and tries to pick her up. With a restraining order in effect I figured I just wouldn't open the door - and then call the police with the restraining order in hand. But now that the restraining order is dropped... Not sure how I would handle him just showing up. Hopefully he never figures out she's here and I won't have to deal with it... but just want to be prepared... JUST in case.

UGH. Thanks for any advice!
(1) I wouldn't ask. I would just worry about the emotional well being while in your care. Re assure her. Love etc.

(2) you have to have the court order. If the court order says she has full custody and dad gets dcg on x and y day ONLY. Then you follow that. If it says joint custody but dad gets dcg x and y, I'm not sure there is much you can do. I would call licensing if you are licensed and if not, call Dhs and ask. They should know the legal stuff.

(3) I wouldn't term. This little girl needs you. If mom is following policies, she can't be blamed for her husbands drama. This little girl needs some kind of consistency.
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Old 12-11-2013, 10:16 AM
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snbauser snbauser is offline
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I believe legally you have to allow him access to his daughter UNLESS you have a copy of the paperwork prohibiting it. So if what mom is telling you is the truth and you feel comfortable enough keeping them as clients, you need to make sure she is aware that you can legally only do what you have official paperwork for.
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Old 12-11-2013, 10:20 AM
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melilley melilley is offline
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I have a family that is going through a divorce as well. Dcm said dcd was abusive to her, she never went into detail besides her saying he yelled a lot. I never asked anything because I don't think it's my place. There also is two sides to every story, I believe mom, but who knows what went on behind closed doors.

Dcd can only pick up on certain days and I'm not supposed to let dcb go with dcd unless it's his day. I HAVE to have court documentation saying what the custody agreement is or I have to let dcb go with dcd. I too don't have any papers in hand so I would have to let dcd take dcb. And I think if I did call the police, they would have to let him go with dad. I'm pretty sure you have to have court papers defining the custody agreement and who gets the child on what days or you have to let them go with any parent.
My dcm said she's waiting for the next custody hearing to bring papers, but who knows.

I feel bad for the kids that have to go through a divorce. My parents split up when I was 2 (my father was abusive to my mom and also an alcoholic and drug abuser) and honestly I don't remember it, but I'm sure it affected me in some way when it was happening. Good thing most young kids are resilient!
But my mom also got remarried and redivorced when I was 12. That time it did affect me, but I was older and knew what was going on.
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Old 12-11-2013, 11:18 AM
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Thanks so much for the advice everyone. I ended up getting a phone call from the mom and we talked a lot about the situation. I didn't ask her anything but she just decided to tell me. I guess the dad was never physically abusive... just verbally. He cheated on her so they divorced. The dad got partial custody because his mom (the grandma) pushed him to do it so she could see the girl... but I guess the dad doesn't have much interest in the girl according to the mom.

She told me that he is nothing to worry about and doesn't even know where I'm located and whatnot. But she is going to bring me legal documents to show that he can only have her on the off days she's not here and that he's not allowed to pick her up from here.

I don't want to term her. I think my imagination was going crazy because of the mom's burn. I'm so relieved to know that wasn't going on. Although verbal abuse is horrible as well. I feel so bad for the children that are in the middle of these situations.

Again - thank you for all your advice!
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