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Daycare and mandatory reporting *trigger warning


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#1 (feral)epg

Posted 09 February 2020 - 09:45 PM

There's no nice way of posting this so I'm going to be really blunt.

If a 3-4 year old child was asking other children to go to secret places, then requesting them to take down their pants so he could examine their bums and 'ginas' and also poking them in the anus or vagina with objects (sticks, leaves, toys) is there....'
1. any way that this could be going on in a daycare setting WITHOUT the staff being aware of the situation (is ongoing over several months!)
2. are they legally required to report this to a government department.
3. Is there any way that this is just 'normal' behaviour?  My creep-o-meter is on overdrive at the moment.

This is not my child but he is in contact with mine and there has now been a steady stream of incidents that I am hugely uncomfortable with.  It's all done in absolute secrecy and with blanket denials when questioned (very gently - I don't want to introduce any stigmas to any of the children).  It was only today when I casually asked dd7 about things that I found out about the foreign objects.

#2 Riotproof

Posted 09 February 2020 - 09:54 PM

I don’t know any answers to your questions, but you should report it to authorities.

#3 tenar

Posted 09 February 2020 - 10:02 PM

Tell the daycare. They are mandatory reporters.  They must make a report if they have reason to think child abuse is occurring.

Call Child Services in your state and report it yourself as well.  

That is hugely concerning behavior.

Edited by tenar, 09 February 2020 - 10:02 PM.


#4 Jingleflea

Posted 09 February 2020 - 10:02 PM

It needs to be reported so it can be properly checked out.

It IS common for little kids to look at each other's bits at preschool age, but inserting objects seems to be a worry.

And i'd be highly suspicious that NO staff saw anything, especially if it's been going on for months.

#5 BitsandBobs

Posted 09 February 2020 - 10:04 PM

Day care staff are mandatory reporters. The behaviour you describe would raise flags for risk of harm. You should report your concerns to the management of the daycare center.

#6 taters

Posted 10 February 2020 - 05:45 AM

Honestly if I became aware of this at my sons daycare I wouldnt send him back until a report had been made and I had confirmation from the daycare that the child would be supervised at all times. I would have grave concerns about my child   being near that child at all.

#7 José

Posted 10 February 2020 - 05:56 AM

As above.
Any community member can report to child protection.  You should.
You should let daycare know so they can also report and do a better job of supervision!

#8 PhillipaCrawford

Posted 10 February 2020 - 06:01 AM

This page includes a chart showing what is considered appropriate

https://www.healthyc...g-Children.aspx

Early childhood staff are mandatory reporters.
In VIctoria any adult who has concerns about potential sexual abuse is a mandatory reporter.

As regards awareness while I would hope daycare would have noticed children going into 'secret' places still make them aware.
I think it unlikely they know about it and have done nothing.

I'm confused why  a seven year old is involved?

#9 onetrick

Posted 10 February 2020 - 06:19 AM

They are mandatory reporters, but you probably would not know if they had made a report.

#10 José

Posted 10 February 2020 - 06:58 AM

View PostPhillipaCrawford, on 10 February 2020 - 06:01 AM, said:


I'm confused why  a seven year old is involved?

i think the OP is saying a child who attends day care told her DD7 who then told the OP.

#11 Julie3Girls

Posted 10 February 2020 - 07:17 AM

Definitely tell the staff.
No idea if it could have gone unnoticed by staff ... not enough information to make that call.

You should be telling the staff of any incidents you know about involving your child.
If you suspect it involves other children as well, I guess you should mention that, but that ones a bit harder.

As for reporting, childcare educators are mandatory reporters.  But if it isn’t your child, there is no way they would be letting you know if the situation had been reported. Nor would they be sharing with you any actions being taken in regards to the child.



#12 Staying Strange

Posted 10 February 2020 - 07:56 AM

Mandatory reporting thresholds differ from state to state.

Here's a link to a summary of what each state has in place.  https://aifs.gov.au/...use-and-neglect

It is possible that the educators *have* made a report, or numerous reports already and you may never know.

If this was my child/ren I would
- inform the centre of everything I'd been told - not the room teacher but the person in-charge of the centre.
- ask for a copy of the centres policy on identifying and responding to abuse and neglect
- ask about supervision in the rooms and how they manage kids "sneaking off"
- I'd also ask what they teach kids re protective behaviour, secret keeping etc (though being a social worker with child protection experience I had this conversation prior to enrolling my kids but I'd have it again) and
- I'd make a child protection report


I'm a mandatory reporter.  Often I report and nothing substantive happens; other times on I'm the fence and report anyway and it's one of the final puzzle pieces needed to tip the family over into needing an investigation.

The thing that concerns me from what you've posted is the grooming behaviours (secretive behaviours) combined with the looking/touching/poking of the anus/vagina.

Also, you mentioned "blanket denials when questioned" - who are you questioning? Don't ask the other child, speak with the educators.  Interviewing/asking children about any abuse but particularly sexual abuse needs to be done properly, without leading questions etc so as not to bias/taint/corrupt their memories. Unless the child knows and trust you don't ask them about it.

The things you can do to protect your children is to reinforce messages around private parts are not for touching, no secret keeping, and saying "no" if someone asks them to do something they're not comfortable with. Always tell an adult and reinforce that they're not in trouble for telling.

Good luck OP

#13 PuddingPlease

Posted 10 February 2020 - 08:00 AM

View Postonetrick, on 10 February 2020 - 06:19 AM, said:

They are mandatory reporters, but you probably would not know if they had made a report.

I feel like this point bears repeating. You should absolutely report any safety and well-being concerns you have to the centre but be aware that it is unlikely that they will be able to give you much information about the situation. It's possible that there are well-known issues with this particular kid that the centre is attempting to manage, if it's not working I'm sure they would want to know but it's unlikely that they will be able to give you a lot of information.

Like PP's I'm also a bit confused about where the information has come from. If the more alarming stuff has been conveyed through a seven year old sibling I would probably attempt to confirm it with the kinder child first in case the kids have got their wires crossed somewhere.

#14 liveworkplay

Posted 10 February 2020 - 08:06 AM

Tell the staff, they are mandatory reporters but they may already know and have done so. You can also report as a member of the public.

And yes, this could go on without staff knowing, although in a daycare setting it would be harder then an after school or vacation care setting where a similar, but much more severe assault happened to a good friends child whilst his siblings and my kids were there. She only found out when her son told her as he thought it was wrong and then the other children all collaborated circumstances which pointed to what her son was saying as true. The kids involved were 7 and 5 and the kids oblivious to it were ranged in age from 11 down to 5. The staff knew nothing about it.

The only way I knew was as my friend rang me as soon as she found out asking for my help on what to do. As a parent of the centre I was told nothing. To this day my other friends who kids were attended back then have no idea of what went on.

Edited by liveworkplay, 10 February 2020 - 08:10 AM.


#15 Ivy Ivy

Posted 10 February 2020 - 09:06 AM

This is very concerning.

Until proven otherwise I would assume the child doing these behaviours is being seriously sexually assaulted (probably by someone older e.g. an adult or teenager, and outside the centre, e.g. at home).

The child notification needs to be made to protect the other kids at the daycare, AND the child doing these actions.  Child protection services need to look very carefully into the latter child's life.

#16 Backtoschoolchef

Posted 10 February 2020 - 09:20 AM

View PostJulie3Girls, on 10 February 2020 - 07:17 AM, said:

Definitely tell the staff.
No idea if it could have gone unnoticed by staff ... not enough information to make that call.


It could have gone un-noticed but if it did that needs addressing.

#17 Backtoschoolchef

Posted 10 February 2020 - 09:22 AM

View PostJosé, on 10 February 2020 - 06:58 AM, said:

i think the OP is saying a child who attends day care told her DD7 who then told the OP.
Family daycare perhaps?  Some have older kids.
Some oshc take kindergarteners if a kindy is attached to the school.

#18 robhat

Posted 10 February 2020 - 09:26 AM

1. Unfortunately it is totally possible for this to be happening without the carers knowing. Even in a good centre. I've known similar stuff to happen in people's homes without the parents knowing until later (parents well informed and observant too).

However, you should know that if they did know it was going on, they are not obligated, in fact they are not allowed to inform you. They would however be monitoring the child involved closely, so at this point I'd suggest they aren't aware at all, or aren't aware of how serious it is.

2. Yes. They are required to report this and document it well, but again, they can't tell you this. Not even if you make a complaint about it now.

3. Normal behaviour? Well, it's a pretty normal reaction for a child who has been treated this way themselves. Keep in mind that it could just be a reaction to a scary trip to a doctor, but I doubt it. The biggest likelihood is that the child doing these things has themselves been abused, although that isn't definite, so don't go making any assumptions.

Best thing to do is to call the centre NOW. Request an urgent meeting with the director and room teacher. Tell them EXACTLY what you have told us and let them deal with it. Understand that they will not be able to give you much information about the other child and what is happening with them and reporting etc, however they should be able to tell you what they will do to ensure that your child is safe.

It is also worth knowing that YOU are able to report this if you want and have enough information to do so (you'd need to know the full name of the child).

Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you try to question the child for more information. Also do not be alarmed if the staff don't. They are usually advised not to. This actually includes your own child. Just listen to what they tell you and record it. Asking questions, if not done correctly, can twist the details slightly and taint evidence if needed.

#19 Tokra

Posted 10 February 2020 - 09:41 AM

View Postrobhat, on 10 February 2020 - 09:26 AM, said:

1. Unfortunately it is totally possible for this to be happening without the carers knowing. Even in a good centre. I've known similar stuff to happen in people's homes without the parents knowing until later (parents well informed and observant too).

However, you should know that if they did know it was going on, they are not obligated, in fact they are not allowed to inform you. They would however be monitoring the child involved closely, so at this point I'd suggest they aren't aware at all, or aren't aware of how serious it is.

2. Yes. They are required to report this and document it well, but again, they can't tell you this. Not even if you make a complaint about it now.

Wouldn't they have to tell you if a child did something to your own child though?

#20 WaitForMe

Posted 10 February 2020 - 04:43 PM

I think it could happen and I wouldn't assume the centre has reported it. Even if they did know, sometimes things don't click for people until you spell it out, especially when busy or stressed or distracted. So I think you need to speak to someone about it.

I remember playing doctors with some neighbourhood friends, we used to hide in a cupboard and 'fix' their sick genitals. No adults ever knew. I think it only happened a couple of times and then I just remember the feeling that it was wrong and we'd get in trouble and I refused to play it after that. I look back on it with adult eyes and wonder who instigated it, I honestly don't remember, and if it was coming purely from a place of childhood curiosity or something more sinister from one of the kids I was playing with.

#21 Tall Poppy

Posted 10 February 2020 - 05:26 PM

I think you should report to community services yourself but also follow up with the daycare so they are aware, just in case they aren’t.

possibly they have already reported it but another report won’t matter if you do it as well.

I would like to think a parent would be made aware if a child was doing that to their child. I understand privacy but as a parent I would want to know if my child was harmed.

#22 Lime-Polka-Dot

Posted 10 February 2020 - 05:58 PM

View PostTokra, on 10 February 2020 - 09:41 AM, said:



Wouldn't they have to tell you if a child did something to your own child though?

Yes, but they wouldn't be able to disclose the identity of which child it was.

#23 WaitForMe

Posted 10 February 2020 - 08:12 PM

View PostTall Poppy, on 10 February 2020 - 05:26 PM, said:

I think you should report to community services yourself but also follow up with the daycare so they are aware, just in case they aren’t.

possibly they have already reported it but another report won’t matter if you do it as well.

I would like to think a parent would be made aware if a child was doing that to their child. I understand privacy but as a parent I would want to know if my child was harmed.

Yes, its really no different to a child getting physically hurt in a non-minor way by another child. They have to tell you it happened, but when my child has been on the receiving end I've never been given a name (although my child has always provided one).

#24 (feral)epg

Posted 10 February 2020 - 09:51 PM

To clarify - this is not my child.  He is regularly at my house and in contact with my kids.  There has been a pattern over the last few months where he asks my kids to take their pants down to examine them.  It has progressed to more hidden behaviour - asking them to go behind a tree or into a different room.
I started monitoring him quite closely and making my presence known whenever I was feeling suspicious.  A few times I noticed that he would be holding a stick or leaf or the mast from a toy ship.  I tried in a very casual way to ask why he had the object and he either couldn't explain or even flat out denied that he had a stick.  I have been so so careful to not get cross or tell him it's dirty or anything other that 'we don't do that'.

My children are a 4 year old boy and 7 year old girl.  It is only by very gently questioning them that I've found out the whole details (assuming this is it).

I had a very frank chat with his mum about it last night - and she knew some, but not all of it.  At this point she is certain it is coming from daycare and will have a meeting with the centre director tomorrow.  I've encourage her also to talk to a child psychologist about the issue.

I'm so scared right now that maybe it isn't originating from daycare - and that would open a whole kettle of fish I don't even want to think about.  

At this point I guess I have to leave it to his Mum to discuss with the daycare (or should I also report it?)  I don't think there's a lot of point me discussing it with them as they certainly shouldn't be telling a third party anything.

And I don't want to ostracise this child from our lives - he is precious to us all, but I just have to be so careful of my own children in this as well.

Thanks everyone for responding - it really helps.

#25 IamtheMumma

Posted 10 February 2020 - 10:36 PM

...

Edited by IamtheMumma, 12 February 2020 - 03:57 PM.





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