Daycare Sexual Abuse Lawyers in Pennsylvania

Daycare Sexual Abuse Lawyers in PennsylvaniaNo parent who entrusts a child to a daycare center in Pennsylvania should have to worry about whether he or she will be abused.

Unfortunately, though, there is a hidden history of abuse in such facilities that has only recently started to be exposed.

The most vulnerable people in society are also the most abused. This includes children in daycare centers.

Most employees in daycare facilities excel at their jobs and would never dream of abusing a child. However, these facilities also attract predators who are experts at evading detection – and who abuse the system to be able to abuse children.

Sexual abuse of children should never be tolerated, Fortunately, it has become easier in recent years to hold perpetrators accountable and to prosecute cases of historical and current abuse.

The child sexual abuse lawyers at Andreozzi & Foote are at the forefront of assisting victims receive justice in Pennsylvania.

UPDATE: HB 963 to extend the statute of limitations on sexual abuse

The realities of daycare facilities

Daycare facilities are popular places in Pennsylvania and around the US.

Around 11 million children under the age of five enter daycare centers each week around the country. Many spend long hours there and are enrolled in multiple child care arrangements due to parents’ working hours.

And most children have a wonderful experience.

It’s almost impossible to get accurate statistics on child sexual abuse in daycare centers because traditionally there have been no mandatory reporting requirements for staff who suspect abuse.

How common is daycare sexual abuse?

Daycare Sexual Abuse LawyersDaycare abuse takes many forms: neglect is the most common complaint, often leading to cases of mental trauma in children. Physical abuse is also reported.

According to the American Society for the Positive Care of Children, around 8.3 percent of abused children are abused sexually (these statistics are not specific to daycare facilities).

However, the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect (US Health and Human Services) reports that “less than one percent (of child abuse cases) are reported to have occurred in child care settings”. It sets the number of sexual abuse cases at 21.9 percent, though.

As the child sexual abuse problem has become more high profile in society in recent years (particularly concerning clergy abuse cases), the number of cases in daycare centers appears to have increased too.

We have worked on enough cases in Pennsylvania and elsewhere to know that every victim of such crimes deserves justice. With most children in daycare being so young, any case of sexual abuse is horrific and must be investigated fully.

What constitutes sexual abuse in Pennsylvania daycare facilities?

Nobody likes to have to consider a child being sexually abused.

However, by learning more about what actually constitutes child sexual abuse – and identifying the possible signs of abuse – we can become more adept at preventing it.

Contrary to what some people think, sexual abuse does not always involve physical contact. It can take many forms and each can have a major impact on a child’s psychological development.

Of the following five types of sexual abuse only two or three may involve physical contact:

  1. Exposing a child’s genitals: If a daycare worker “helps” s child go to the bathroom, for instance, or watches a child undress, this could be construed as abuse.
  2. Inappropriate photography: Most photography is innocent but if it is carried out by a daycare employee and deemed as inappropriate, it may be illegal and you may have grounds to file a complaint or lawsuit.
  3. Showing pornography: If pornography is shown to children at daycare centers or a child is forced to watch or listen to sexual acts, this is obviously highly inappropriate and the perpetrator can be prosecuted.
  4. Inappropriate touching: If staff in a daycare center handle a child inappropriately or force a child to touch someone else inappropriately, it may lead to a claim of sexual abuse.
  5. Sexual stimulation or intercourse: Any case of sexual stimulation or intercourse involving a child is illegal and should not go unreported.

How can we protect children from daycare abuse?

Five of the main ways that children can be protected from abuse in daycare centers are:

  1. Stricter hiring policies and procedures with background checks conducted on every employee.
  2. Checks and balances in place in daily routines, such as avoiding instances where an adult is alone with a child in an isolated area of the center or needs to help children with changing their clothes.
  3. Ensuring that there are adequate staffing and enough supervision of children in care centers.
  4. Educating all employees on the signs of child abuse so that they know what to look for: this should help identify early warning signs of abuse.
  5. Having a clear procedure for reporting suspected child abuse.

These three relatively simple measures are good starting places for keeping children in daycare facilities safe and secure.

Parents should thoroughly check facilities and speak to other parents about their experiences before selecting a center to send their child to.

Protect your child from daycare abuse in Pennsylvania

As a parent, it is important also to educate your children about what abuse is and when and how they should tell someone about inappropriate behavior.

Here are some basic pointers to prepare your child for life in a daycare center without having to fret about possible abuse:

  • Educate your child on appropriate and inappropriate touching
  • Teach your child about when it is appropriate to say “no” to an adult
  • Let your child know that they’ll never get in trouble for anything they tell you
  • Ask your child every day about what they did at daycare

Other sensible steps you can take as a parent include:

  • Maintain a close relationship with the daycare center and staff
  • Performing background checks on daycare employees who interact most with your child
  • Reading up on how to prevent child abuse

If your child has been abused in daycare in Pennsylvania or you suspect abuse but cannot prove it, getting legal assistance is the logical next step.

Start with a free and confidential consultation with a child abuse attorney at Andreozzi & Foote. Rest assured that all the information you provide will be treated confidentially, including the identities of you and your child.

Verdicts and Settlements

Client Reviews

Ben and Nate are great guys. They walked me through the whole process, from beginning til the end. The receptionist and very nice. Answer all my questions and concerns. I will refer them to anyone. Their not like other lawyers that talk around the topic. They tell you just how it is or how they believe it will be. Thank you guys so much.

S. W.

Ben and Nate took their time in handling my case with compassion and care. I never had to wonder what was going on. They always made sure to include me in each and every decision that needed to be made before they were made. Their entire staff was always very polite and knowledgeable. I cannot say enough kind words about Andreozzi + Foote; they are simply the best!

V. B.

One of the best personal injury lawyers in the country. Great experience. Really genuine people at Andreozzi and Associates.

B. E.

Handled our case SO well even though it took a long time to settle, and STILL helps us with paperwork related to the settlement account every now and then. They were honest with us from the get-go, worked REALLY hard on our behalf, and always kept in touch with us about what was going on. So pleased.

S. G.

When you and your child are victims of a horrid crime it’s hard to understand why things are the way they are. Information and answers are what you want, but unfortunately the system doesn’t offer that. Nathaniel has fielded and patiently listened to a broken mother wanting nothing more than for someone to help her understand why she has no answers, and through these phone calls Nathaniel has been very informative, honest and upfront. I would recommend Nathaniel and this firm to anyone who is seeking answers, help and professionalism in a firm when going through such difficult times.

S. L.

Can’t say enough about the kindness and compassion of this law office. They helped me immensely with a difficult case and the level of support they provided me was stellar.

L. A.

It is impossible to put into words our gratitude for Ben and Nate through the most trying time of our life. As scared, confused, and traumatized parents, the isolation and loneliness of litigation are abysmal. In the beginning, everyone surrounding you has endless bright ideas and can’t say enough how you should pursue action, but then when it comes down to it, these cheerleaders are suddenly silent and nowhere to be found in what feels to be your darkest hour. Thank God we had these two extraordinary men at our side from the moment we contacted them. Their friendship, counsel, and sound resolve to do everything they could in order to balance the scorecard meant more than we can ever convey, and is simply immeasurable. If we had known how simple this seemingly horrific ordeal would’ve been with their help from the start, we wouldn’t have agonized a single minute over doing what we did. If you are in a similar position as I’ve described, take advice from someone who’s been through the worst, thankfully with the best. Call them!

E.K.

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