RESTRICT FELONS FROM CHILDCARE EMPLOYMENT OR GIVE PARENTS FULL BACKGROUND CHECK RESULTS!
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This paragraph was added on September 2nd, 2016 in order to clarify the intent of this petition. Everything below this paragraph remains unchanged: Background check results on any childcare provider's criminal record OR parents considering childcare should receive COMPLETE background check results of any childcare workers, just like any other employer can, so every parent is able to make a fully informed decision regarding the life of their child(ren), Additionally, NO CHILDCARE PROVIDERS should be allowed to use any name or nicknames aside from their legal name without full disclosure to the parents of the person's full legal name and a prominently placed notification if a person IS using a nickname or alias. That information should also be included in any "welcome folders given to parents so that there are two ways a parent would be able to easily access. Here's why: My beautiful two and a half year old little boy, David Roberts, died at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Washington on January 20, 2013. David held on to life for two days after suffering from catastrophic abusive head trauma that was inflicted while he was in the care of his two state and military licensed childcare providers (a husband and wife). We had unknowingly placed David in the hands of a person who had been convicted of felony residential burglary and other crimes, and who also had a DOCUMENTED anger management and alcohol problem, and David DIED from the injuries he suffered at that childcare during the time that the person in question was working. The state and military told me and my husband that the providers had cleared the background checks, when in fact the state and military KNEW that particular provider had a criminal record which included felony residential burglary, at least one malicious mischief charge, and a DOCUMENTED anger management and alcohol problem...and still chose to license him even though he wouldn't even be allowed to chaperone at any of the schools his children attend. The state and military also knew and allowed this same person to not disclose his legal name. DESPITE KNOWING THESE FACTS, THE STATE AND MILITARY willingly withheld that information, with fatal consequences: my son lost his life. My husband and and I had NO IDEA that he had a felony criminal record and was not using his legal name and would NEVER have put David in their care if we knew that information. The state MUST CHANGE the "Director's List" (WAC 170.06.0120) and PREVENT FELONS from having access to the child(ren) of other people and parents considering childcare should receive ALL background check results of any childcare workers just like any employer can. The state also must prevent ANYONE from using any name or nicknames aside from their legal name while working in childcare, and a law or laws should be enacted and be named "David's Law",
On January 18, 2013 my two and a half year old, autistic, son David, became a victim of catastrophic abusive head trauma at the hands of his daycare providers. He died two days later from the injuries. He was attending a Navy Child Development Home in Oak Harbor, WA. We were told that the providers had cleared their background checks. My husband and I both expected "cleared their background checks" to mean that there was nothing on their criminal record, not that there could be any number of 35 crimes, including felonies, on their record, and that the information about those convictions is not required to be given to the parents. We didn't find out until months later that the husband who ran the daycare with his wife was a convicted felon. He had been convicted of residential burglary while he was extremely intoxicated and had at least one malicious mischief charge and a documented anger management problem. We were told both providers had undergone background checks and had cleared them. The two providers sold everything within five months and in the middle of the CPS and homicide investigation they fled to Maine, where the woman has even attempted to provide childcare still. Here are two links from KOMO4 Seattle which cover what happened to my son as well as the loophole itself: http://www.komonews.com/news/problemsolvers/Day-Care-Felons-281805991.html http://www.komonews.com/news/problemsolvers/Family-wants-changes-to-state-law-after-son-died-from-injury-at-daycare-284046971.html Apparently, in the State of Washington, you can have any of the 35 crimes and felonies under the Washington Director's List of Allowable Offenses on your record and not only can you have unsupervised access to children, but your criminal record is not disclosed to the parents seeking care for their child. Instead, the parents are told the providers have passed/cleared background checks. Convicted felons shouldn't even be allowed to have unsupervised access to other peoples' children in the first place, let alone run a daycare. Parents have the RIGHT to know everything about a potential provider so that they can make their own fully informed decision on whether or not they trust a provider in spite of their criminal record. The list of allowable offenses is here: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/wac/default.aspx?cite=170-06-0120 Had we been told about the provider's criminal record we would have never left our children in their care and he would still be alive today. These laws need to change. There needs to be a law, called "David's Law" that prevents anyone with a felony record from having unsupervised access to other peoples' children in daycare settings, and discloses the results of background checks of the daycare providers to the parents, so that those parents can have the entire story about the providers they are considering letting supervise their children. On page 2 of this document you'll see the statement: "The reality is that parents cannot conduct effective background checks on child care providers on their own. Even the most motivated, well-financed parent search would still be limited to commercial databases, which the Department of Justice has said are incomplete." http://www.naccrra.org/sites/default/files/default_site_pages/2012/background_checks_white_paper_final_july_6.pdf The Government KNOWS that parents cannot conduct adequate background checks, but they don't disclose the results of the full background checks that THEY have access to. That forces parents to rely on the state and government to assure them and protect their children to the highest extent possible. Withholding information about felony (and other) convictions is immoral and reprehensible. Parents have a primal NEED to protect their children, and yet we are limited in the information that we can obtain, information that interferes with the ability of parents to make the BEST, potentially life altering, decision that they can for their families with incomplete facts. That is NOT right. There are some parents in the world who don't mind if a child care center or child care home provider has a criminal record. There are many more who would absolutely prefer that no criminals be allowed access to their children. Parents have the right to know all the information about the person or people who may be taking care of their child(ren). There is absolutely no reason that a provider's criminal background should be kept secret from parents of any child(ren) that may end up in the care of the provider(s).
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