What are Safety and /or Abuse Warning Signs in Schools? What Parents Need to Look Out For.

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In Florida and other States, children are injured, abused, or otherwise harmed in schools, day care centers, after school programs, and sports leagues. In many instances, the parents are completely shocked that the abuse or neglect was taking place in an environment that was assumed to be safe and staffed with caring professionals and volunteers. In some cases, the warning signs were not so obvious or particularly well hidden from the view or observation of the parents. In other instances, there were warning signs present that should have raised some concerns or action by parents and / or other individuals in charge or in a position to better protect the child. What are some of the warning signs? What should parents be on the look out for?

*What is the level of supervision in place at the school, day care center, after school program, sports program, or other activity?

*Does the facility, school, or program have written policies and procedures in place as to supervision and care of the children?

*What is the training and education of the staff members?

*Is the facility licensed by the State of Florida?

*Is the facility inspected by the State of Florida?

*Are background checks completed for the employees, volunteers, or staff members?

*What is the school’s / program’s policy as to parent visitation? participation? volunteer work?

*How are complaints or issues handled as to the care or supervision provided by the staff?

*Have there been prior reports of abuse or neglect at the facility, school or program?

*Does the teacher, coach, volunteer, or other adult spend time alone with any students or players?

*Has the teacher, coach, volunteer or other adult showed excessive interest in one child or player?

If there is a concern about the care, treatment, supervision, or education of a student / player / child, parents should voice their concerns and consider contacting school officials, guidance counselor, administrators, board members, or others about the concerns. In addition, it may be helpful to consult with a Florida Child Injury Lawyer about these concerns.