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  • June 01, 2016, 02:43:40 AM

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Author Topic: Need help with letter addressing safety in child care for social group  (Read 488 times)

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kherbert05

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I am part of a group that gets together for talks on various social issues and science topics. Child care is provided during these talks. A year ago we had a situation where 2 sets of parents nearly came to blows and threats of police reports because 1 child hurt another. Both kids medical diagnosis that affect their behavior. The injured child is Autistic and has severe visual impairments. The child hurting others has Oppositional Defiant Disorder - at this time. I think at the time of the incident his diagnosis was autism. As a teacher I know that diagnosis change because children are on such a steep learning curve that the differences between normal, lagging behind, and serious problems can be shades of gray.

When the incident happened several of us who are teachers with training offered to help out while the board developed a policy. It has been a year no policy is public - and the teachers are stopping in part because we are afraid of being charged if a child gets hurt because we know this child is a ticking time bomb. Most are just dropping out. I'm hoping to give the board a kick in the pants - because honestly they won't have a summer camp day if they don't take this in hand because I'm the only one left standing on that project. Also the reason there hasn't been further injury isn't that he has improved - it is because those of us with training have stop him mid swing or kick. With the people with training dropping out - I'm worried he is going to do serious injury. People keep saying he can't hurt anyone seriously he is only 5. But I've seen a 4 yo pk kid much smaller than this kid with ODD put an adult woman in the hospital with a concussion,  2 broken bones and several fractures. He up ended a 6 x 3 table and slammed it into her. She fell to the ground, table on her and he jumped on it.

Oh the core value is part of the group's mission statement. If you express any disapproval you are told you are being judgmental and not accepting of him. 


Also I think the board is stuck for three reasons
1. Board members' kids have been harmed by this boy in the past. Parents of the boy get on social media and accuse the board members of abusing their position. I actually was taken in by this until I found out the boy and his brother did $4,000 damage in a board member's home (included a broken HD TV).

2. Board members who have kids with mental/emotional/developmental issues. The parents of the boy have some of them convinced their kid will be next. But these board members are good parents who are dealing with their children's issues and don't allow them to hurt other people, damage properties, run riot.


3. Board members who do not have kids. Twofold problem there. Some really have no idea about dealing with special need kids just need some education. Others have been convinced they don't have a right to an oppinion because they don't understand kids. Last time I checked - we are all born infants and go through childhood and puberty it isn't like we without kids a were cloned and came out of our pod developed adults.



Here is my letter


Dear Person in charge of child care room
 
It is with great regret I have to resign from helping with child care. When I started a year ago it was to help with the situation dealing with some special needs children, specifically one injuring other children. I was told at the time a that the board would be developing a policy to deal with the situation.

That was a year ago, and while Iíve been told the board has a policy Ė Iíve never seen a copy of it. Things came to ahead for me my last shift. I stopped (Childís Name) from hurting other children 3 times, but had no idea how to handle it from that point forward -because the board has not made the policy public. (Board Treasurer) was the only other person in the room at that point, who seemed to care. When she stopped (Child) from hurting another child, I informed her that it was the fourth time in less than an hour that he tried to hit or kick another child. She told (Board President), and (Parent) did remove him. 

The core value of be accepting and be accepted seems to have overshadowed the basic human right of not being deliberately hurt. I honestly fear that we are guilty of child endangerment, and failure to protect a child because there is no policy in effect for dealing with a child that is harming others. Allowing a child we know has harmed others and continues to try and harm other children to go unchecked is unacceptable to me. A medical diagnosis is not a justification for hurting others. It should give us strategies for dealing with child and helping him cope. Instead it is being used as an excuse for his behavior with no correction.  We need to take actions that first guarantee the safety of other children while including the diagnosed child as much as possible. To do otherwise is just another version of well what did you do to make him mad that I got from teachers, when I was being bullied and I cannot be a part of that.

I would love to return if the board makes its policy public, and I feel that the policy protects all the children.
 
Sincerely,
 
   
 
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 01:08:35 PM by kherbert05 »
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

BarensMom

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Others are going to chime in, but I think your letter is good as is, except I would remove "To do otherwise is just another version of well what did you do to make him mad that I got from teachers, when I was being bullied and I cannot be a part of that." 

Zizi-K

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I think your letter is excellent; I would just recommend removing the last line, starting with "To do otherwise". It's confusingly written...I think "well, what did you do to make him mad?" would need quotes around it for it to be more readable.

But this sentence makes it seem like you are applying some of your own past traumas to the situation, whereas the rest of the letter is rational and reasonable, and is based on your professional and personal understanding of an ongoing situation. I would keep it to that, and not bring up your own experiences with bullying. It's not that they aren't valid, but I think they distract from the rest of the letter.

Margo

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I would make a few changes: As you have said that you are resigning, I would phase the concerns and suggestions as " the group should / should not, rather than "we" - you've just said that you are not going to be a part of it unless things change.

I would also remove the reference to personal bullying. If you want to add something along those lines I would phrase it as "I believe that the current practices give the children the mesage that aggression is acceptable, and that victims are expected to put up with this"   DOn't make is personal or about you, you want to come across as objective.
I'd suggest that you change to:

"Dear Person in charge of child care room
 
It is with great regret I have to resign from helping with child care. When I started a year ago it was to help with the situation dealing with some special needs children, specifically one injuring other children. I was told at the time a that the board would be developing a policy to deal with the situation.

That was a year ago, and while Iíve been told the board has a policy Ė Iíve never seen a copy of it. Things came to a head for me my last shift. I stopped (Childís Name) from hurting other children 3 times, but had no idea how to handle it from that point forward - because the board has not made the policy public. (Board Treasurer) was the only other person in the room at that point, who seemed to care. When sh stopped (Child) from hurting another child, I informed her that it was the fourth time in less than an hour that he tried to hit or kick another child.
She told (Board President), and (Parent) did remove him.  It did not appear that anyone else in room was concerned by [child's] behaviour

The core value of be accepting and be accepted seems to have overshadowed the basic human right of not being deliberately hurt. I honestly fear that we are social care organisation is guilty of child endangerment, and failure to protect a child because there is no policy in effect for dealing with a child that is harming others. Allowing a child we the organisation knows has harmed others and continues to try and harm other children to go unchecked is unacceptable to me.

I feel strongly A medical diagnosis is not a justification for hurting others. It should give us help shape strategies for dealing with child and helping him cope. Instead it is being has beenused as an excuse for his behavior with no correction.  We the groupneeds to take actions that guarantee the safety of other children while including the diagnosed child as much as possible. To do otherwise is just another version of well what did you do to make him mad that I got from teachers, when I was being bullied and I cannot be a part of that.

I would love to return, and would be happy to do so once a policy is in place, and is publicly available, which protects all the children and volunteers if the board makes its policy public, and I feel that the policy protects all the children.

Margo

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Just to add, depending on how the group is organised, you might want to address it to the chair and/or board rather than than the person in charge of the child care - it sounds as though it is the board which would be ultimately responsible for making, and enforcing, any policy decisions, rather than that of the individual in charge of child care.

You could cc it to the person dealing with child care.

mime

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Just to add, depending on how the group is organised, you might want to address it to the chair and/or board rather than than the person in charge of the child care - it sounds as though it is the board which would be ultimately responsible for making, and enforcing, any policy decisions, rather than that of the individual in charge of child care.

You could cc it to the person dealing with child care.

I was thinking the same thing. It would more directly get to the people responsible for establishing the official policy that is currently missing.

May I also add that I love your paragraph about using a medical condition as an excuse to hurt others. Repeatedly subjecting the other kids to physical assault and the knowledge that they continue to be at risk with little to no protection from their caregivers is ridiculous.


kherbert05

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Thanks - I'll make many of the changes. The person in charge of child care is a board member. I'll also send it to the president (His house is the one that had $4,000 in damages including a broken HD TV), and the director.
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

MindsEye

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How do people sign up for the child care right now?  Do they sign up at all, or do they just show up and drop their kids off? 

You might suggest in your letter some positive steps for moving forward - such as instituting behavioral rules, suggesting that all parents who make use of the child care sign agreements to abide by the rules, and outline procedures for excluding children/parents who cannot/will not abide by the rules.  (I know that it seems harsh, but it sounds to me like Problem Child should not be in child care at all, and should be excluded for the safety of everyone else.)   

You might also want to consider if child care should continue to be offered at all, and what the consequences might be if it were completely discontinued.