What to Do

There is always the chance that your child will disclose acts of abuse and exploitation in the daycare center. If this happens, we want you to be prepared to help the child.

Although you may feel panicky, try not to overreact or show alarm or anger in front of your child. Do not criticize or blame the child for the abuse. Strongly support the child's decision to tell of the abuse.

  1. Do not return the child to the daycare center until you are convinced that it is safe.
  2. Immediately alert the police, sheriff's office, or other law-enforcement agency.
  3. Immediately alert the child protection, youth services, child abuse, or other appropriate social service organisation.
  4. Seek out medical attention for the child. Call your doctor, or go to a clinic or hospital.
  5. Discuss the need for counseling or therapy for the child with a doctor, social worker, law-enforcement official, or member of the clergy.
  6. Take appropriate steps, under the advice of child-care professionals and law-enforcement, to have other parents using the daycare center alerted.
  7. Do not negotiate with the daycare director yourself; rely on the appropriate social service and licensing agencies.
  8. If you are unsure about whether your child has experienced sexual and physical abuse and exploitation, consult with a doctor, social worker, law enforcement, or member of the clergy.

The support and cooperation of the victim's parents are invaluable to the effective resolution of the sexual abuse case. Be open and available to the investigators and prosecutors handling your child's case. If there is media involvement in your case, make sure that your child's name and face, your name and face, and other private information remain confidential.