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Central Texas YMCA Abuse Case Sparks Family Conversations: Vital Questions to Ask Kids

Ahead of summer, lawyers representing three families urge parents to discuss delicate topic with little ones

PFLUGERVILLE, Texas, May 15, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Recent child abuse allegations against a Central Texas YMCA were shocking to local parents who rely on childcare help. Now with summer fast approaching, and many children expected to spend longer days with caregivers at daycare centers and summer camps, notable Texas child injury lawyer Russell Button of The Button Law Firm, which is representing three of the families involved in the YMCA case, is urging parents to have ongoing conversations with their kids to help identify incidents of abuse.

“Learning what a child is experiencing or what they are seeing happen to their friends or classmates while in the care of others can be very telling, even if kids are too young to grasp or process the abusive actions,” says Button.

Last year alone, there were 1,169 daycare abuse investigations involving children 4 years old and younger that were conducted by Texas Health and Human Services, according to a March 2024 report. With nearly 7% of Pflugerville’s population younger than 5 years old, Button recommends that parents take an age-appropriate approach such as using simple words, telling a story, and remaining calm, even if a child informs you of physical or sexual abuse at the hands of a caregiver or even another child. Also, choosing a quiet and private time like bedtime is best to connect and allow a child to open up about this serious topic.

“These types of conversations can be uncomfortable, but they are necessary to ensure the well-being of your child when they are away from you and if you need to intervene if abuse is suspected,” says Button. 

Often, culpable caregivers or camp counselors tell young children not to share what happened to them or what abuse they witnessed. The caregiver may threaten children, telling them that they will get in trouble or that something bad will happen to them or a family member.

“Taking a calm approach can help your little one confide in you and understand they will be safe no matter what they reveal,” says Button.

He encourages parents to seek out daycare centers, childcare programs, and summer camps that are equipped with surveillance cameras. He also wants to remind local centers of their responsibility to frequently monitor the footage to ensure children entrusted to the facility are safe. He warns that the technology can deter abuse but does not stop it from happening. However, it is a vital tool to identify the bad actors and hold them accountable.

“Surveillance footage uncovered the extensive abuse happening at this Central Texas YMCA,” he says. “It is hard to argue with video.”

The Button Law Firm has created a free guide to help parents find safe childcare help, including key questions to ask and what to look for on tours of local daycare centers.

“Unfortunately, nothing is foolproof. There are times that parents do everything right: asking the right questions, seeking out referrals from other parents, and touring daycare centers. But there are still negligent facilities and bad caregivers. Sadly, what happened at the Central Texas YMCA can happen at daycare centers anywhere,” says Button.

About The Button Law Firm
The Button Law Firm (buttonlawfirm.com) is a Texas-based personal injury law firm that advocates for children and their families in meaningful litigation to make local communities safer. The firm focuses on daycare and child-related injuries such as abuse and neglect cases, bottle warmer burns, traumatic brain injuries, and catastrophic injuries. With attorneys in Dallas, Houston, and Midland, The Button Law Firm helps families move forward across the Lone Star State.

SOURCE The Button Law Firm

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/central-texas-ymca-abuse-case-sparks-family-conversations-vital-questions-to-ask-kids-302146570.html
Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com

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