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Child Abuse – Know Your Family’s Rights

Child abuse is a sensitive issue and should be discussed and handled with great care. According to North Carolina’s Division of Child Development, abuse occurs when a parent or caregiver injures or allows another to injure a child physically or emotionally.

Abuse may also occur when a caregiver puts a child at risk of serious injury or allows another to put a child at risk of serious injury.  Neglect occurs when a child does not receive proper care, supervision, or discipline, or when a child is abandoned.  North Carolina law requires any person who suspects child abuse or neglect to report the case to the county department of social services.

All child care centers, whether they be operated in a home or a larger location, require licensing.  North Carolina law defines child care as the following; caring for three or more unrelated children under 13 years of age, receiving care from a non-relative on a regular basis of at least once a week and for more than four hours per day.

Licensing as a center is required when six or more children are cared for in a residence or when three or more children are in care in a building other than a residence. Unfortunately, some individuals believe the laws do not apply to them, which means their child care services are not regulated. This is not only illegal, but more importantly, dangerous.

Recently, a Hickory, NC woman was arrested for operating an unlicensed child care center.  This indictment was a result of the accusation of child abuse within the home. The woman’s husband has been charged with indecent liberties with a child and first-degree sexual assault.

There are several requirements that apply to both centers and homes that must be met. They are as follows:

Transportation – Child care centers providing transportation must meet all motor vehicle regulations. Children may never be left alone in a vehicle and child-staff ratio must be maintained.

Records – Accurate records must be kept regarding; a child’s attendance, immunizations, and emergency phone numbers, monthly fire drills practiced with safe evacuation of children, as well as a sleep policy for children younger than 12 months.

Discipline – Each program must have a written policy on discipline.  The policy should be discussed with parents and provided to parents as a written copy when child is enrolled.  Corporal punishment is prohibited in all family child care homes and centers.

As parents who enroll children in child care centers, you are entitled to certain rights.  These rights are as follows:

–          Parents have the right to enter a family child care home or center at any time while their child               is present.

–          Parents have the right to see the license displayed in a prominent place.

–          Parents have the right to know how their child is disciplined.

While there is no amount of money that can take away the pain, shame, and guilt that victims have endured, Daggett Shuler is dedicated to helping in every aspect of putting a child’s life and their family’s life back together.

If you or a family member has been a victim of sexual abuse, exploitation or assault, contact Daggett Shuler. You need a lawyer with experience handling these highly sensitive and emotional cases.  We will fight for your family.

Contact Daggett Shuler for your free case evaluation at 1-800-815-5500

Daggett Shuler, you can depend on us.



I would like to take time to thank the staff at Daggett Shuler Attorneys at Law. To Megan Youngblood for helping me get my disability started; thank you so much for everything!

Olivia Winston