DSS finds more deficiencies at day care where child was injured - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

DSS finds more deficiencies at day care where child was injured

This young child's injury caused parents to complain about not being notified by his daycare director that he was injured. This young child's injury caused parents to complain about not being notified by his daycare director that he was injured.
LEXINGTON, SC (WIS) -

The day care where a young child was injured last year received additional discrepancies when the Department of Social Services did a follow-up visit last month.

In December, Creative Beginnings Christian Child Development Center in Lexington came under the microscope after parents complained to DSS that their child's injury went unreported to them. When DSS went to the facility Dec. 15, four discrepancies were recorded.

DSS cited the day care for incorrect tracking of children in four classes; no attendance sheets for two classes; the director failed to report immediately the incident where the child was bruised to the child's parents and to DSS; and the facility was out of ratio due to a caregiver not having six months experience and not being fully qualified to watch after the children.

Erin Cogswell and Michael Moses picked up their now 17-month-old son, Grant, from Creative Beginnings in Lexington on Dec. 12 to see his eye was bruised and swollen, and they said they got no real answers to what happened to their child.

“We noticed the eye was really bruised and significantly swollen,” Cogswell said. “We had not been notified about it, so we were definitely concerned and pretty angry about the situation, too, because no one had called us and no one really knew what happened. We still don't really know what happened.”

The parents said they picked up their child at about 2:45 p.m. Dec. 12, and the incident that caused his injury happened at about 9:25 a.m. The only story the parents got was that day care employees think Grant fell down and hit his face on a toy sink in the classroom. However, the parents said no one could tell them what exactly happened the day they picked him up from the day care.

It wasn't until WIS showed the parents the DSS report and employee statements obtained from a Freedom of Information Act request that they got some answers.

“It kind of seems like she back-tracked,” Moses said, referring to day care owner Sandra Faggart. “When she realized what did happen, she kind of shaped her answers and responses to maybe more so cover herself and her business. It just seems like it was handled poorly from the beginning.”

WIS contacted Faggart, but she did not respond to numerous requests for comment.

DSS reported that Faggart said the child's injury was a small red spot at first and that ice was applied to it and the child even took a nap. Each time there is an injury, teachers are asked to fill out an accident report and paste it on the classroom door for the owner or director to see and review. It is then left up to the owner or director to decide whether to call the parents.

However, teachers said after he woke up from a nap, they noticed his face was swollen and bruised under his eye. The DSS report stated that teachers did not ask Faggart if parents were contacted since Faggart must have received the accident report from the classroom door since it was no longer there. Faggart told DSS she did not know about the injury when it happened that morning and did not get the accident report off the classroom door until 1:45 p.m. when she was heading out to lunch. Faggart did not return from lunch until the parents were already there to pick up their child.

WIS obtained a copy of the accident report for Grant's injury and under “type of injury,” the teacher circled “bruise” and “bump.”

“I think the biggest thing was that they didn't seem to see it nearly as much of an issue as we did, and I think as most people have,” Cogswell said.

The couple does not think their responses were an overreaction, even now. In addition, they say a lot of what DSS points out as deficiencies were likely the causes of no one knowing how Grant was injured.

“They can go backwards and say in a write-up that he fell and hit his head on a sink, but no one told us that at the time,” Moses said. “So it automatically leads to suspicion. If they would have had a closed-circuit camera, they could have gone back to it to use it as a point of reference. Again, it probably could have been wrapped up that day, and OHAN (Out of Home Abuse and Neglect) would have never have had to be involved. The uncertainty in not knowing is why OHAN is having to be involved, in my opinion.”

OHAN is within the Division of Human Services and investigates possible allegations that a child could be abused or neglected while under the supervision and care of a day care facility.

DSS spokeswoman Marilyn Matheus would not say whether OHAN was still investigating. However, Cogswell said she got a letter from DSS in February stating the agency did not find the day care at fault for any negligence.

The four deficiencies DSS found from the Dec. 15 visit to the facility have been fixed. Matheus said the ratio violation was fixed on site when DSS visited, and the agency worked with the facility to get the caregiver qualified that was cited in December.

“We wanted to go out one more time to ensure that there were no more ratio issues and to clear up the record-keeping issues prior to clearing them off of our website,” Matheus wrote in an email to WIS. “We had been working with the facility since December on other issues, primarily the background check problem with the caregiver.”

Creative Beginnings in Lexington was served with three more deficiencies to include a hazardous issue when a rug was not secured to the floor in a classroom and could cause a tripping hazard. That issue was fixed on site.

The other two deficiencies deal with the facility's physical site, which include a small hole in a classroom wall that could pose a limb entrapment for children and for several lights out in three classrooms. Those are still pending according to DSS' Child Care website.

Grant was removed from Creative Beginnings by his parents and is now enrolled at a different Midlands center.

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