Thursday, March 13, 2008

sorry if I got you fired....

but you should not have been yelling at, pushing, jerking around the girl in your care!!!

Today, I took the kids to the park and met a friend with a brand new baby. We spent HOURS there. It was a fantastic day....high 70s, very low humidity, crayola blue sky blue with a few white puffy clouds scattered around. Picture Perfect. Until my eye spots a group of mentally handicapped "kids" and their three caregivers. One of the caregivers is being absolutely ridiculous to this poor girl.

My friend and I sat and watched to see what exactly was going to happen. When the woman smacked the girl in the head (for the second time, mind you) - I decided I must call the police. This girl was sitting in the sand, and apparently the caregiver did not want her to be sitting in the grass, so she yanks on her arm to pull her up and when the girl doesn't follow the "caregiver" smacks her in the back of the head!!!

Luckily, the police took my call very seriously. VERY seriously. I was able to get the license plate number of the van they were driving and give the police the direction in which they were heading. The traced it to a home in the next city and that police department went to the house. Turns out it's a group home and the woman who owns and operates it ended up firing the "caregiver" (a term I'm using very loosely) on the spot. She filed an abuse report and called me to let me know - on another note - why did the police give her my phone number??? But anyway, she wanted to make sure I would be able to identify her if called upon. She also informed me that the kids in her care are all non-verbal so it just re-confirmed that I did the right thing.

I had a nice chat with the owner and fully believe her - I don't think she had any idea this was going on - the woman she fired had only been working for her for a few weeks, she said. Oh well. It made for exciting drama in my world. I felt like I was on some secret mission as I stood next to my minivan waiting for them to drive by so I could sneak a peek at their license plate!!

The craziest part was that I actually started to second guess myself. When I first saw them, the hairs on my neck stood up!! If that doesn't get your attention, I don't know what will. But my gut was telling me something wasn't right and to keep watching. But then, after I made the call, I started saying to my self, well, if someone called the police every time I yelled at my kids, I'd be serving ten years in a state penitentiary. But then, common sense came back to me and reasoned that these are people who are being paid to care for others, number one and number two, these are children who are not competent, children who cannot and do not have anyone fighting for them.

Well, anyways, that's all she wrote. I'm exhausted, you know, with all my crime fighting, I have GOT to get some shut eye.


devinisagirlsname said...

OK, I'm totally making you a cape....or maybe a badge. Not sure yet, but I'm so proud to be your friend right now!!

Amy said...

Oh my gosh! Good for you!! You totally did the right thing and it is very good to know how seriously everyone took it and that they acted so quickly.

Nice story!

April said...

Thank GOD you did call! Can you imagine if one of those children were your own? How grateful you'd feel to know a stranger had called and complained after viewing that? It is commendable!! You need a Super Hero name now, for sure!

~**Dawn**~ said...

Just remember there is a far cry between reprimanding & even a quick backside swat and what you witnessed. A head slap on a child that is special needs & cannot even *speak*?? Sometimes you just have to listen to your gut. I once had to make a call on a child I had in daycare. I worked in the infant room. Six weeks to two years, but even at two, they are still for the most part at a communication disadvantage. And certainly unable to defend themselves or tell someone they are being hurt. I had to make a judgment call -- and thank God it was wrong -- but not only was I required by law to report anything I found justifiably suspicious (daycare providers in CT are mandated reporters), I also told myself that if I was right & said nothing... and then something happened to that child... Anyway, good for you.

Anonymous said...

I linked to you from April. That is awesome. I used to work at a domestic violence shelter and we were mandated reporters. Our rule was, "It's not up to us to determine if it's abuse, it's up to the authorities. So if something doesn't seem right, report it." You usually always have a feeling when something isn't right.

krissy said...

You did what any decent human being would do.

These caregivers are getting paid to take care of these kids. There are strick rules that need to be followed provided from the state. I'm pretty damn sure slapping them in the head and yanking at their arms is breaking the rules.

I'm proud of you. Let's change your name to "Mission Impossible". Did you do the theme music why you were spying on them?

Thank God for good sensed people like you!!!! I'm giving you a Whoop-Whoop, and I don't give those out lightly!

jurl said...

Congrats to you for having the guts to act.

Cecily R said...

Oh, I'm so glad you followed your instincts! That just makes my skin crawl.

You rock for making the call!

Misty Baniewicz said...

You totally did the right thing. I would have done the same thing 100X. Once I got frighten after I watched this women on the news hitting her child over and over in the carseat in her car. I would always fear that anytime I spatted Hunter on his thigh or bottom I was going to be called on.

Keri said...

You are awesome ! What a fantastic thing you did !
Those voiceless helpless children need more people to stand up for them.
Horay for you!!