(Editor’s Note: This is a story from the ‘Morgan Monitor,’ a news wire offering legal perspectives on news in your community.)
The daycare worker in a viral video showing her pushing a four-year-old girl down a flight of stairs faces charges of assault, harassment, and reckless endangerment. The incident, at a daycare center outside of Philadelphia, has struck a chord in those who rely on care centers like a daycare or retirement home to take care of their loved ones.
A hidden camera caught a daycare worker at Child Care of the Future in Upper Darby Township committing violence against one of the children at the facility. The woman is currently released on a $25,000 bond, according to reports. She appeared in court last week and waived her preliminary hearing, leaving shortly thereafter.
The child wasn’t seriously injured, and returned to the facility the following day, according to NBC-10 Philadelphia. But the girl’s family retained an attorney and plans to seek damages for the emotional suffering caused by the incident. The girl is in psychiatric care, and “their [the family’s] lives are in turmoil,” according to her attorney.
The camera caught the act only an hour after installation, according to Upper Darby Township Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood. No prior sanctions or suspensions appear on the facility’s license, according to the Washington Post. The daycare worker, Sarah Gable, does not have a prior record.
Shawayne Tavares, another employee at the daycare center, caught Gable immediately after the incident, according to reports.
“I was so upset. I had tears in my eyes,” Tavares told NBC-10 Philadelphia. “You don’t put your hands on a child.”
The daycare facility has a good record of care, but the event touches on some of the stark realities of leaving your loved one at a care center.
Parents put a lot of effort into finding a daycare center responsible enough to consistently supervise and nurture their children. However, it’s not just children who are at risk of being abused while under care. Senior citizens living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities are also at risk.
Caring for Your Loved Ones When You Aren’t with Them
Just as a parent could have a civil remedy to seek justice for his or her child suffering at a daycare center, families can seek justice when their elderly relatives suffer neglect or abuse.
For example, our attorneys have recovered significant awards for clients who seek to right the wrong inflicted on their loved one. This includes a $2.6 million settlement for the family of a resident who was attacked by a certified nursing assistant. Not only does this help that family, but it helps other families by acting as a deterrent against future abuse.
Negligence in elder care often means too few employees, poor hiring practices, weak training, and more. Some types of abuse in a daycare center are possible in an elder home, too. Physical and emotional trauma like in the Child Care of the Future video can occur across care centers.
Your children or elderly relatives could show abuse in the form of bruises or bleeding, physical discomfort, untreated diseases, and withdrawal. Additionally, elder care centers and employees are sometimes cited for financial exploitation. If you suspect that your family member is being abused in some way in a care center, it’s important to report the incident through the proper channels. And remember, there are attorneys you can contact who can help.
As for, Gable, the daycare worker, she is due back in court April 12, reports say.
(Note: Feature photo is not a photo of the daycare discussed in the story.)